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on 8 July 2015
A thought provoking collection of essays on the concept of being lost.

Meandering between childhood memories, species extinction, travel, absent friends, departed loved ones and different approaches to living, there is great truth in the thinking that to find yourself, you must first try and get lost.

This isn’t my normal kind of reading, but I enjoyed it and the writing makes it a personal experience, with plenty of time for contemplation.

I was lost in these musings and am the better for it.
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on 5 July 2016
This is not an easy book to read. It rambles from subject to subject, some interesting, some not so. It is occasionally a great tug on the emotions. The overall concept of the book, the art of getting lost both mentally and physically is fascinating. It is well worth reading but it is not an easy ride.
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VINE VOICEon 16 May 2009
Rebecca Solnit is an essayist/writer from San Francisco and author of a number of successful books including A Field Guide to Getting Lost. I remember reading the field guide a year or so ago but wasn't able to quote more than a few lines from chapter two: the blue of distance. There was something about Simone Weil, the Hindu God Krishna & light, lots and lots of light. I needed to revisit the book, time had dulled my memory of the book but I vividly remember my initial breathless reaction to the writing, having to lay the book down and pace my flat repeating the words and them settling like dust around me. I remember carrying the book with my in my shoulder bag & dipping into it in the public park close to where I live in Edgbaston, Birmingham. I didn't remain seated for long during my reading, something in Solnit's writing drove me to my feet and meant I didn't pay much attention to where I was walking. I walked safely but managed to get lost in the process, which I think Solnit would be proud of.

Rereading the book to prepare for this review has been a deeply rewarding experience and have discovered that it has subtly influenced my reading over the last year or so. Authors quoted or books mentioned have quietly appeared on my bookshelf, as if summoned by being read. I can't claim this book will change your life, I'm not even sure it's what changed mine but I can trace the resonance of phrases, the impish nudge towards uncertainty and the words "the blue of distance" back to this book.

Solnit shares from her own experience, quotes liberally from other authors and is unashamedly intelligent and rich in her writing but is in no way alienating with her prose. She holds our attention whilst writing eloquently about loss, being lost and uncertainty. She comes back again and again in the book to the idea of "the blue of distance", she turns it over like a paperweight and explores from different angles.

You should rush out and buy this book, read it, forget about it and then reread it. There's a strange alchemy at work when you're reading it and it will mark you once you've finished. Your dreams will shift to a more bluish hue, you'll want to answer the call of adventure, the lure of the horizon and find yourself sneaking through open doors at every opportunity. My review stands as the last signpost before you wander into your own desert following Solnit's footprints in sand and I encourage you to chase her ideas where they lead you. Toss that map aside, enjoying being uncertain and above all: Get lost!
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on 12 January 2016
Interesting book but I will need to listen again, Rebecca Solnit appears to have written a fascinating book and made it considerably more boring by narrating it herself. Her voice drones and has little cadence, it makes it very difficult to hold on to anything of the core of her words.
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on 2 December 2015
This is an extraordinary book, like something written by a visitor from a fourth dimension who can look at our every day world and see how things fit together,or don't, in a way that most of us never can. Because she talks about her life and lives are often episodic or peripatetic or just plain boring, there seems little substance to the book, like a beautiful wedding cake with no centre to it. But after a a while you realise that does not matter. The medium is the message. She has us looking so closely at the head of a pin that finally we see the Angels dancing on it. There is scarcely a sentence that does not resonate. Look for one to quote and you wind up quoting the whole book. I was lost but now I am found may not be the heart of the matter, but she does teach us to travel hopefully and in the end, we may find it was the journey that mattered most.
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on 25 July 2014
I loved it at the beginning but somehow tired of it about two thirds of the way through. That maybe says more about me than the book. But I am happy to have found an author I was not familiar with.
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