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The Wild Rover Paperback – 29 Mar 2012
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On Map Addict:
'Mike Parker offers an exhilarating celebration of the humble map.' Mail on Sunday
This excellent book on the pleasures of maps and navigation, which is also a withering attack on the infantilisation of the satnav age’. Daily Telegraph
‘A highly engaging and thoughtful, haphazard and personal, meander around maps and map-related arcane.' Daily Mail
'This eclectic, funny and warm book should be on the shelves of everyone who has spent hours staring at a map.' The Great Outdoors
'A witty entreaty to leave the satnav in the car, and to head for the hills with the Ordnance Survey.' BBC Country File magazine
About the Author
Mike Parker has had a varied career, which at one point saw him working as a stand-up comedian. He has been widely published and also presents various travel programmes for radio and television. His books to date include the Rough Guide to Wales as well as several other guide books. He writes freelance travel pieces for most of the UK papers, including the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Mirror.
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Whole sections of the first part of the book seem to be devoted to rewriting history so that the British footpath network becomes some sort of socialist success-story. One of the things I have always loved about walkers is how we are drawn from all sections of society, but to listen to Parker we are all secret Marxist-Leninists struggling against Tory landowners at every turn. This has not been my experience.
Then to add insult to injury, he displays the most appalling snobbery about towns like Swindon - worse than you would hear in any Conservative Club in the land. I wish I had never bought this book. The only thing I am giving any stars for is the few humorous jokes in the first chapters.
It contains and irreverent collections of stories and experiences, giving insights into the history of public footpaths, the development of the long distance path, and the degree to which walking and outdoor equipment has become so specialised, expensive and designer lead.
I found it difficult to put down.
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