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Publisher's Summary

Drawing together many histories - of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores - Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction - from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja - finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

©2000 Rebecca Solnit (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Wanderlust

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Must read for all interested in human condition

I cannot say enough good things about this book. I took 2 years to devour it slowly, chapter by chapter & it is a constant reference. A cross-section of art, history, nature, politics via the idea of walking.

8 people found this helpful

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I fell in love again with walking

I’m now a big fan of Solnit. She goes through much of the social history of walking, the political power of pedestrians, and even touches on the evolutionary history of walking upright. If you ever needed some motivation to walk in the countryside, hike through your city’s streets, or even ditch the internal combustion, this is a great place to go.

4 people found this helpful

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Not bad at all

I typically would avoid a book by someone such as Solnit, who comes across as one of those “always ready to be triggered” types but, this was a good rundown of walking with a bit of entertainment thrown in for good measure.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Exhaustive treatment of walking with an agenda

I walk. So this tome really does explore walking in almost too precise detail. Way too much detail. But if you are walking and listening it is almost symbiotic. Now the endless literal references are interesting but a bit too much. The treatment of walking or rather protest walking as a vehicle for the hidden agenda of the book which is to detail walking as a form of protest. It left me a bit off... I read the entire book. It was not that bad. But I waste time as a profession. "Retired"

8 people found this helpful

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Walking as politics

This is not the book I was expecting. If you want a feminist from SF to explain how walking relates to protest marches, women's suffrage , and gay rights, this is the book for you. If you want to read about walking while traveling or walking tours, skip it.

11 people found this helpful

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Not so much a history of walking . . .

as an evaluation of walking controlled by a political viewpoint so narrow and persuaded of its own righteousness that it interferes with enjoyment of anyone but a deeply committed fellow traveler. I was underwhelmed.

5 people found this helpful

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Rebecca Solnit Tells Us Things

She used all her note cards but point of view more snobby than scholarly. Narrator may have aggravated the superior tone of the writing.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

I so enjoyed this audiobook, my son whom we raised each other said I had wanderluust at the time I thought he meant I just enjoyed walking , tnis book has told me I am not alone in my longings to always be moving and see and exploring what our mother earth has created, we think will be here forever, but us humans are changing it so that we may not have it to enjoy the what our world was like before man put his mark on everuthing, you talked about so many places I have been to and have had the opportunity to explore here in the us, that it just gave me the want to start walking again. Currently, I am mow a truck driver and I get to see our country from a different point of view, it is so b re eautiful and perfect. If you ever get the chance take the trail from the top of the Grand Canyon down to tne Colorado River, I have loved everything I have got to see, but the feeling you get looking at the beauty and the size, it really puts things in perspective. Thank you and it is wonderful to read another Wanderlust Bug's experiences.
Bernadette (Berni) K

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    3 out of 5 stars

“FEET: We All Have Them” would be a better title


Wanderlust is a misleading title. Although there is some fascinating historical context in this book, the essays are only loosely connected. It is a better read than a listen.

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Meh, underwhelming and without life.

Audible recommended this after my last several books were walking histories by Robert McFarland and Nan Shepherd. This one left me cold. As if someone did a keyword search for all Wikipedia articles with the keyword: 'Walk’ and then put them in a book. Also: and I admit I found this more aggravating than it really is: the first 30 minutes of this book is nothing but disjointed quotes from various authors. I kept wondering: when will the book start? Does the author have anything to say?