I know I'm a sucker for hiking tales. I'm a hiker, and I read most things on the topic I can get my hands on. Within that body of hiking literature, I'd say this one is fairly interesting and motivating. It does make me want to hike the GR10; after I finished the book I went right out and bought the trail guide. You should not, however, expect this to be Bill Bryson hikes the Pyrenees. That's not the author's intent. Instead he takes you on his 50-day trek, full of gorgeous scenery, interesting characters, the usual hiking snafus and problems, and some physical misery. I enjoyed it and will probably listen again, this time with guide book in hand.
The reader did an excellent job. And, thank heavens, his pronunciation of the names of French towns was accurate---otherwise the listening experience would have been difficult.
My only caveat is that the author seems concerned you'll think he and his hiking partner may be lovers rather than just friends, so he makes any number of jokey references to the fact that they are not. These jokes become annoying fairly quickly. Aside from this bit of "homophobia light," I enjoyed the book immensely.
Is that how you spell it? Well, in any case, I agree with an earlier reviewer that Alan Bradley and Jane Entwistle are a magical combination. And Flavia de Luce is my favorite character and series. More please.
I'm beginning to think Gladwell doesn't have a boring bone in his body. When I finished this book I immediately began it again, in part because I wanted to make sure I hadn't missed anything the first time but mainly because the topics are so compelling and the narrative so well constructed.
I've enjoyed books 1 and 2, sort of, but Mrs. Pollifax is definitely not the American answer to Fowler of the UK's Bryant and May. I wanted to like the book but in the end was really only vaguely entertained. I guess Mrs. Pollifax isn't that amazing. I need to remember not to bother with book 3.
I found this book interesting reading for several reasons. The first is that it gave me more information about and insight into Richard Olney and M.F.K. Fisher, and their work. And then it brought them together with our more well known friends the Childs, Judith Jones, James Beard, and Simone Beck for various rousing encounters. This book was just an all around feast.
As a long-distance hiker and consumer of trail and adventure books, I found this short read to be entertaining, real, and a spur to get back on the trail, any trail. Many of the author's adventures are fun; some are compelling and useful. This book is a good midwinter read for those dreaming of hiking days to come.
Who would have thought Edmund White would be tiresome? I didn't believe other reviewers, but indeed I should have.
As a longtime backpacker in places such as Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks, I made myself listen to the entire book, although I found it excruciating. The book is a mishmash and overwritten to the point that one almost cannot blame the narrator for her overly dramatic rendition of the narrative. This is the People Magazine version of important issues that have faced the Park Service for years. Books such as Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon and Not without Peril: 150 Years of Misadventure in the White Mountains come at some of these issues more peripherally but perhaps with less high drama. This book is very overwritten.
This is a remarkably boring book. I generally enjoy Donna Leon's book, I enjoy slow books, including mysteries, but it's been almost three hours of listening and still little has happened. I don't know that I'll finish it.
A trope of many hiking books is how I hiked the Big Trail even though I'd never hiked before and was out of shape, started out with a pack full of useless stuff that I could hardly carry, and made a lot of other really stupid mistakes, until I gradually became competent and learned to love the trail. This theme gets old after a few books--no one, after all, can quite come up to Bill Bryson's level of incompetence or hilarity--so I was delighted to begin a hiking book in which the author was fit for the trail and knew what he was doing. And I continued to enjoy it. The author is one of those guys who regularly puts in 20-mile days--after all, he's there to hike--and doesn't seem to be a jerk to boot. I recommend this piece of hiking literature; it'll give you a feel for hiking the AT without having to hear some of the usual hiker neuroses.
Having spent a number of years around a diverse group of Indians but never having traveled to India, I find this series utterly charming. The book stands up well as a murder mystery (unless you like a little gore and sadism in your mysteries), and the characters are real and lovely. Please record more of them.
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