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Walking Home: Travels with a Troubadour on the Pennine Way | [Simon Armitage]

Walking Home: Travels with a Troubadour on the Pennine Way

In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born.
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Publisher's Summary

In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born.

Travelling as a "modern troubadour" without a penny in his pocket, he stopped along the way to give poetry readings in village halls, churches, pubs, and living rooms. His audiences varied from the passionate to the indifferent, and his readings were accompanied by the clacking of pool balls, the drumming of rain and the bleating of sheep.

Walking Home describes this extraordinary, yet ordinary, journey. It's a story about Britain's remote and overlooked interior - the wildness of its landscape and the generosity of the locals who sustained him on his way. It's about facing emotional and physical challenges, and sometimes overcoming them. It's nature writing, but with people at heart. Contemplative, moving, and droll, it is a unique narrative from one of our most beloved writers.

©2013 Simon Armitage (P)2013 Canongate Books Ltd in partnership with Faber and Faber Ltd

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There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Sue McW
    UK
    6/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A relaxing and enjoyable read"

    Simon Armitage, who narrates his own book, has a very relaxing voice which makes this an enjoyable read. His narrative about walking the Pennine way - using no money except that which he earns from readings of poetry along the way - is charming and interesting. He includes a couple of his poems later in the book which are magical.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Southend on Sea, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A poet in his element"
    Would you listen to Walking Home again? Why?

    Yes I would. It takes a while to get used to Simons voice as it is a little whiny. But it works well with words he uses that have a rhythmn and almost rhyme you would expect from a poet.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Walking Home?

    Towards the end he wonders if he can ever do another live performance again as he has done so many during the walk. You get a real feeling for the dedication he has to his work, his craft and art and how much it can take out of him.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Armitage’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have seen him on TV documentaries and he lacks a bit of passion as a presenter. But as an audiobook narrator he works much better.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No it is good to follow his journey in episodes as the walk was punctuated by his performances. A few days of his journey at a time is best.


    Any additional comments?

    A good insight into the pennine way and the character of a fine poet and social commentator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Stockton on Tees, United Kingdom
    12/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Familiar Countryside that I didn't recognise."

    I'm not sure about this book I enjoyed the walk but I know, and have often walked, a lot of the middle sections of the Pennine Way. Somehow I didn't recognise any of the places from the word pictures that Simon Armitage painted. I found that this bothered me. I also found that I only got a very superficial view of the people he met along the way. I have read many books about walking, in familiar and unfamiliar surroundings and most I found more engaging than this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roderic
    Victoria Park, Australia
    10/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Muted content; dire narration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, though I admit I did finish it.


    Would you recommend Walking Home to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. I chose it for a perspective about the Pennine Way and that aspect of the book was dolorous. the poetical and observational perspectives were OK, but just OK.


    What didn’t you like about Simon Armitage’s performance?

    Armitage's voice drones terribly and has very little animation. The main reason I listen to audiobooks rather than read the text equivalent is to get the added value from the narrator: in this case there was none.


    Do you think Walking Home needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A R H
    UK Suffolk
    8/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great story let down by dull narration"
    What disappointed you about Walking Home?

    The narratior seemed like he was close to suicide. DULL


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Walking Home?

    Ditching it for another audio book


    What didn’t you like about Simon Armitage’s performance?

    Very monotonal and dull


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Walking Home?

    I would have left them all in just spiced up the narration


    Any additional comments?

    Pass me a rope

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dartmoorlander
    UK
    7/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Mountain Rescue's Nightmare"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    His adventures, encounters and battles with nature along the Pennine Way


    What three words best describe Simon Armitage’s performance?

    An honest account


    Was Walking Home worth the listening time?

    Yes if your'e acquainted with the outdoors


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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