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The Wild Rover Paperback – 29 Mar 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007448457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007448456
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought the book without much thought into what it was going to be about or who had written it and I was wonderfully surprised. Firstly it offers lots of interesting historical and current information on the state of roaming freely in the UK, how the Right to Roam act came into place and the battles that have been fought to secure it. More interesting than that, it is an account of one man and his link to walking and how he finds it, the best word to describe the book is 'personal' - it is written in a unique and opinionated style while not causing you to feel like you are reading a propaganda manual. Thoroughly enjoyable and well worth a read for anyone interested in the slightest in what might lie beyond their back garden.
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Format: Hardcover
Having enjoyed map addict so much I couldn't wait for this one to come out and it didn't disappoint. Lots of fascinating facts written in a humorus and absorbing way. Right I'm off for a walk now.
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Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book. I really expected to enjoy it. I enjoyed his previous book, "Map Addict". When I found out it was on sale I bought it straight away. I had it with me as holiday reading, while walking a long distance foot path and then staying in the Lakes. There is some really interesting stuff in here: a chapter about the struggle for access rights in the north, which goes beyond the usual account of the Kinder trespass, to other acts of civil disobedience, a chapter on battling super-rich southern landlords, an account of Parker's own walking of a long distance path, the Ridgeway, a discussion of the merits of coastal and river walking, a fascinating chapter about walking old ways with religious connections.

However, about a third of the way through, I found that I wasn't enjoying it as much as I was expecting and quickly realised that Parker spends much of the time sneering. Sneering at his fellow walkers, sneering at people who plan their walks, sneering at people who work 9 to 5 and live on new build estates, sneering at coastal walking as against walking by grubby canals and rivers.

Now that would not necessarily be a bad thing were his sneering to be witty and original. It isn't. He picks out lame old targets and attacks them with the blunt and rusty implement of stereotyping. He has a go at health and safety legislation. He bravely portrays schoolboys who like science and maths as wearing bottle bottom glasses. In talking about people living in a new village he creatively talks about "...most of the decisions to move to Mawsley were taken by whippet thin wives, which their considerably heftier husbands went along with for an easier life".
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Format: Hardcover
I saw Mike speak at an event in Wiltshire, bought his book mainly out of politeness, but back at home found that I couldn't put it down. A great blend of passion for the subject, funny annecdotes, and with a deprecating sense of humour. A very open and honest writer. As a member of my local ramblers group for many years, the stories about ramblers were often spot on and made me laugh a lot. I love the fact that Mike has made an interesting book from something so mundane - our local network of paths, plus the history behind them - much of which I didn't know, despite working in the sector - and some great walking tales. I love the descriptions of his experiences in Blacks, buying kit, and freaking out on the CtC path after a night in a bivvy sack. Quality.

Ho hum, after buying this book get off the computer and get yr boots on.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book didn't really do it for me. I was hoping for something more in keeping with the description, or Parker's other book "Map Addict". Instead I thought the author came across as really rather full of himself.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazon brought this to my attention after I'd purchased my Harvey maps for the Wainright Coast to Coast walk, and it seemed like appropriate reading to have with me on the trip. I'd not come across the author before, but I'm now awaiting a second book by Mike Parker, as I found 'The Wild Rover' well researched, good at challenging my own views on footpaths, walking etc - and hugely (at times 'laugh out loud') entertaining. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Mike Parker's earlier book "Map Addict", and was keen to get my hands on this one.

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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