Slow Coast Home: 5,000 miles around the shores of England and Wales Paperback – 6 May 2004
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Dew excels at recreating and evoking the quaint and sometimes bizarre idiosyncratic behaviour and events she encounters (- Adventure Travel)
Josie Dew needs little introduction...her writing is chattery and matter of fact (Cycling Plus)
* The popular cyclist, Josie Dew, cycles the perimeter of England and Wales and shares her unique and entertaining perspective of the Coast and its people in the perpetual adventure of her life on wheels.See all Product description
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This book is a bit jaded and repetitive and doesn't have the sparkle of her earlier books. Sounds like Josie needs a long rest from the saddle.
Unfortunately there was little in the book to inspire. Josie has tried too hard to make a basically unexciting ride around England & Wales seem exciting and funny by padding it out with her vivid, but rather silly, imagination (read about the 'terrorist's bag left on the pavement in the Isle of Wight to see what I mean.) In a further attempt to make the ordinary interesting she gives the impression that Britain is populated by people who are either weird, unpleasant or talk too much.
My advice is don't waste your money or your precious reading time. For real richness in travel literature try Dervla Murphy -superb!!
Hoewever, writing travel books about places that are new to you is one thing, writing about places that are mundane and familiar to you is altogether more difficult.
It requires you to set aside your pre-conceptions and prejudices, start with a clean slate and a clear head, and try to put yourself into the shoes of someone visiting a place for the first time. Sadly, Josie has shown herself to be incapable of rising to this challenge.
The reader finds uncharacteristic moodiness and introspection, page after page of whingeing about the weather (in contrast to the light-hearted treatment of being caught in a cyclone in Japan in an earlier book), paranoia about the intentions of virtually everyone she met (Mugger? Murderer? Rapist?), and none of the vivid descriptions of the people and places encountered that characterised hear earlier books.
In fact, the overwhelming impression is of an author who doesn't really want to be making this journey, or writing this book. Maybe a contractual obligation very grudgingly fulfilled?
I'd hate to think that people would be deterred from visiting Britain and its wonderful and varied coastline on the strength of this mean-spirited effort. I'd recommend Paul Theroux's "The Kingdom by the Sea" or Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island" for a truer reflection of the country.
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Interesting and funny,as all her books are,but I think it reflects the...Read more