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The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot Paperback – 30 May 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 296 customer reviews

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  • The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
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  • Landmarks
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Total price: £22.97
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (30 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141030585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141030586
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

A wonderful book: Macfarlane has a rare physical intelligence, and his writing affords total immersion in place, elements and the passage of time -- Antony Gormley A naturalist who can unfurl a sentence with the breathless ease of a master angler, a writer whose ideas and reach far transcend the physical region he explores The New York Times Book Review [Mountains of the Mind is] a distinguished book that jolted my heart. Adventurous, passionate, intensely romantic ... fizzes with insights -- Roger Deakin A new naturalist to set beside the classics in our literature Evening Standard --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Robert Macfarlane is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks. Mountains of the Mind won the Guardian First Book Award and the Somerset Maugham Award and The Wild Places won the Boardman-Tasker Award. Both books have been adapted for television by the BBC. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and writes on environmentalism, literature and travel for publications including the Guardian, the Sunday Times and The New York Times. He is currently working on an illustrated children's book about the natural world in collaboration with illustrator Jackie Morris.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Glad I finished this rambling, prolix, wordy, waffling, meandering book, volume, tale, story....
(This is how he writes - with a few obscure languages thrown in). Loved chapter one. Wore me out enroute after that. I don't even know anyone I could give this book to, without worrying it'll do their head in too.
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A book that was full of detail and thought provoking themes thank you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautifully written book in which the author describes following the ancient tracks, roads and pathways of land and sea. He makes full use of all his senses as he paints a picture that depicts the richness and strangeness of these places. This is truly a wonderful book - the best book I have read in many years.
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intriguing
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Excellent
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This is an absolute favourite book that I often return to - sometimes just re-reading snippets when I'm in the particular mood to visit the place again, or return to a walking pace and contemplative mindset when life has become too pressured, too fast, too speeded-up to notice things or relax.

The language Macfarlane uses is beautiful, and the ideas expressed vary from simple and direct to quite complex and abstract. Having done some long walks (multiple days on a long trail), I recognise the way my own thinking loops between these modes when a certain amount of time has elapsed at a walker's pace: thinking of the elements and being warm or cold, or being thirsty, or some other practicality, but also being aware of the old pack-horse bridge, an ancient group of standing stones, other human landmarks from times past, the glory of a view or the patterns in the sky, a glimpse of rare wildlife or a carpet of wildflowers, and perhaps sensing that you've just shared the inspiration for a poet, writer or artist who's been here before. So as well as being so well-written, the words resonate and ring true.

Highly recommended for yourself but also a nice book to buy someone as a gift, as it's one to treasure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved Mountains of the Mind. I love the English countryside. I have walked some of the beautiful paths Macfarlane describes. But I have not encountered any of the dark passageways filled with pretentious twaddle that fill the pages of this book. It was like reading a never ending entry in Pseuds corner. I had to stop. I could not go on. What a disappointment. If you want to share a magical hike through the simple unembelished beauty of the English countryside try Nightwalk by Chris Yates
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say this book is nowhere near as good as it's cracked up to be, and I suspect its reputation has been artificially enhanced by the support of the author's friends in the academic/ literary community. It mostly consists of anecdotes, semi - interesting but hardly ground braking musings on walking & the countryside, frequently slips from the genuinely poetic into the pretentious, is full of lots of guff about seeing people's souls through their eyes, and is padded out by reams of quotations from other people's books and stuff he's read on Wikipedia ( e.g about Doggerland & Dunwich ). Nothing special ; in fact a bit pedestrian really.
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