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Walking the Himalayas: An adventure of survival and endurance Paperback – 5 Jan 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (5 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1473626269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473626263
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Britain's best-loved adventurer... he looks like a man who will stare danger in the face and soak up a lot of pain without complaint. (The Times)

In the macho, adrenaline-fuelled arena of TV adventurers, Levison Wood is that rare beast: the real deal. (Radio Times)

Wood's USP is that, unlike a great many pretenders, he is the real deal: a former paratrooper, a major in the army reserves and as hard as nails. (Telegraph)

Adventurer Levison Wood is 'bewildered' by being called a sex symbol, as a death-defying trek through the Himalayas is set to have fans' pulses racing. (Daily Mail)

Levison Wood is a great adventurer and a wonderful storyteller. (Sir Ranulph Fiennes)

Book Description

From the bestselling author of Walking the Nile, explorer Levison Wood begins his next challenging adventure - walking the length of the Himalayas.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As you can see from my review, I thought this book was amazing!

Walking the Himalayas is absolutely brilliant and a wonderful accompaniment to the excellent television series. Levison Wood has a wonderful talent for describing not just the places he visits but the people he meets and becomes friends with. I find him a very easy author to engage with and his books are fascinating, funny and very difficult to put down. (I have also reviewed Walking the Nile).

When I started reading the book, it got to 12:50 am in the morning before I realised how much time had passed since I had started reading it.

The first chapter, where he describes his first meeting with Binod who became his friend and later his guide on the expedition, is an excellent example of serendipity which perfectly illustrates the friendliness and caring attitude of the people that were encountered on the expedition. This set the whole tone of the book and was one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much.

Whilst the author described the places that were visited and the difficult terrain that was encountered, what I enjoyed and found the most interesting were the people he met in these countries. The book gave me an insight into the values, religions and beliefs of these amazing people and also the challenges they faced. The author was very respectful of these people and writes about them in a very positive and engaging way.

The second chapter was very illuminating as I didn’t really know much about the author’s background, other than that he had been in the army and so it was really interesting to learn more about his formative years and what he had done before this expedition. He describes the reasons behind embarking on this expedition in a very engaging and humorous way.
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Format: Audio Download
I read this as an audio book. I don't like to workout and "working out music" just makes it all the more unnerving, so I signed up to audible and as I was watching the tv show I thought Walking the Himalayas would be an easy book to follow while running on a treadmill without needing much concentration. Oh boy, was I wrong.

"Remember the Nile? Wasn't it incredible? The lack of choice, of having to make do. (...) Look around us, people spend their lives worrying about little insignificant decisions. Pointless choices that really don't matter. That's what makes people unhappy". When I heard this I realized Ash Bhardwaj had just explained why I like travelling, especially in the wilderness. Ever since then, I have been hooked on Levison Wood's narration of his dramatic walk trough the Himalayas. I have been raving about it to everyone around me.

Contrary to other reviews, I believe the show is the companion to the book. The latter gives us such vivid descriptions of landscapes, people, conversations and impressions that 5 1-hour episodes simply can't. The book also treats us with relevant pieces of History that link to his journey and the people he meets.

It's rare to find a travel book that doesn't have a spiritual or anecdotal narrative these days. And that is what strikes me the most. Levison Wood doesn't want to send us a message, brag about the places he visited or tell us about funny situations. I don't feel that there's an agenda. He just wants to get us closer to realities we don't know, meet people we might never talk with.

He's just a man living his life as he knows it and telling us about it. And he does that with such eloquent simplicity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The television series of Walking The Himalayas is a fast paced romp through beautiful scenery with a few highly dramatic moments.

The book is far more insightful. Written, it seems, directly from the heart of the author. A deep thinking man, the descriptions of the countries and people he meets are interspersed with his own soul searching, his worries for the future and finally his realisation that one has to live in the present.

Levison Wood is a historian and I finished the book knowing far more about the featured countries. The political and cultural histories are in depth and confusing at times, but very interesting.
Lev writes many times (sometimes convincing himself I think) that the main reason for his travels is to bring awareness to those countries with historical or present difficulties, and he does this job well. I immediately want to go and visit places I had previously thought too dangerous or unsettled.

Having finished the book, half of me desperately wants to undertake another (mental) journey with Lev, to wind him up and watch him go. The other half wants to wrap him in a duvet, make him a nice cup of tea and take care of him. I don't think he'd be able to stay contained for too long though and am sure he is already plotting routes into the, if not unknown, rarely seen places of the world.

The only negative I have is that the photographs deserve much more space, and better quality printing. I would love to see more. More portraits, bigger landscapes.
Perhaps I will have to seek out his next exhibition, or wait and see if a coffee table book is published (bagsy 10% if you hadn't already thought of this)

Well done Levison Wood. It's not the journey or the destination that really matters in the end. It's who you take the journey with. And you chose your companions well.
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