I have tried with this book and totally failed. It is a compilation of sources other than the author's own experience. I suppose that it is fine as the basis of some academic exercise but I prefer the work of people have actually put one foot in front of the other and just walk....... I'm thinking about Patrick Leigh Fermour, Wilfred Thessiiger, and why not Wainwright? Basically, I was bored to the point of hurling out the window.
I have read and enjoyed "Psychogeography" by the same author and was eager to tuck in to this, his latest work.
The book looks at the relationship between walking and writing from Greek and other philosophers (Rousseau,Michel de Certeau) through to the Psychogeography/Deep Topography of today (Iain Sinclair, Will Self, Nick Papadimitriou) and includes much else in between. Coverly looks at the walker as Pilgrim (William Langland,Hilaire Belloc,Werner Herzog); as imaginary walker (William Cowper, Albert Speer); as Vagrant (John Clare, Walt Whitman); in the natural world (Wordsworth); as Visionary (John Gay, William Blake, Thomas De Quincey); the Flaneur (Charles Baudelaire, Robert Walser); and experimental walking (the dadaists and Guy Debord). It is extensively referenced and has an excellent bibliography.
It is a really entertaining walk through history and I gained a lot of knowledge on the way. Written in a lively style, I whizzed through it and yearned for more. My only issue is that I would like to have had more depth because I found the subject so interesting(that's why it lost a star). So, yes, buy it if you like this sort of thing. You'll like it.
Coverly provides a good overview of walking writers from a British perspective. But he missed several writers who use walking as an integral part of a writing. His bibliography does not list Alfred Kazin (A Walker in the City), Phillip Lopate (Waterfront), Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York), Orhan Pamuk (Istambul), Chet Raymo (The Path), Robert Lennon (Pieces for the Left Hand), and Craig Childs (House of Rain). I wonder how his analysis would be changed by including these walking writers.