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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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  • Sue McW
  • 06-12-13

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-01-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kris
  • 07-23-15

Poetic and comedic. Real down to earth adventure.

Enjoyed this little big adventure with my favourite modern day poet tremendously. I don't agree with other reviews about his lack of excitement. I found him to be full of humour with a strong balance between enthusiasm and the reality of the task at hand. His manner is not unusual for a Yorkshireman, takes one to know one I suppose! (Lancashire to be honest). I am familiar with some of the areas he travelled through and found it added to my enjoyment.
I will certainly listen again. Looking forward to the next journey!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-16-14

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-11-16

Dull and ponderous

Gave this as much of a chance as I could. Made it halfway through but just found it too boring to finish. Think it needed more information and stories about the different areas as the walk itself doesn't seem to have generated much of interest to write about. Think the book suffers because in the end the walk wasn't much of a challenge and it didn't really involve meeting interesting people or really much else of interest happening, so it didn't leave much for the author to write about. Author's narration is a bit droney which doesn't help.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan Clarkson
  • 12-02-15

Simon Armitage and the Pennine Way

Would you listen to Walking Home again? Why?

Yes, because it is such an evocative read. The poet paints a vivid picture of his adventure.

What does Simon Armitage bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He has a wonderful voice and an authentic Yorkshire accent. This is his own story and his reading is sincere and believable.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was emotionally engaged throughout as I am also from Yorkshire and know parts of the Pennine Way. I laughed out loud at many passages and felt really involved with the account at the end when he did not complete the walk.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tommy
  • 02-05-18

Beautifully narrated walking travelogue

That rare thing - an unpretentious and thoroughly enjoyable walking travelogue that never becomes boring nor routine. It's clear from the very start that the author is a natural storyteller and his beautiful narration makes for a lovely listen.

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  • Abi Grove
  • 10-23-17

Heartwarming and hilarious

A wonderful book and a pleasure to hear Simon perform it. I pined for Yorkshire every step of the way.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-17

Fabulous

I am sure I should enjoy reading this book, but having Simon Armitage read it aloud is pure joy. He combines humour with lyricism, deadpan wit and fancy. I'm a walker, though I'd hesitate to tackle the Pennine Way alone, but I think non walkers might enjoy this too and get an inkling of what sends so many of us out with our boots on.

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  • Roderic
  • 10-07-14

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful