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The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot par [Macfarlane, Robert]
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The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot Format Kindle

4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
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Longueur : 374 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Description du produit

Revue de presse

Praise for The Old Ways:

“With a steady command of the literature and history of each place he visits, [Macfarlane] tries ‘to read landscapes back into being.’ His sentences bristle with the argot of cartographers, geologists, zoologists, and botanists.” —The New Yorker


“Macfarlane explores the meditative aspects of being a pedestrian…not so much a travelogue as a travel meditation, it favors lush prose, colorful digressions…if you’ve ever had the experience, while walking, of an elusive thought finally coming clear or an inspiration surfacing after a long struggle, The Old Ways will speak to you – eloquently and persuasively.” —The Seattle Times

“A backpack of assorted expeditions charted by a writer whose poetic and scientific skills are equal to one another…there are some splendid set pieces.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A wonderfully meandering account of the author’s peregrinations and perambulations through England, Scotland, Spain, Palestine, and Sichuan…Macfarlane’s particular gift is his ability to bring a remarkably broad and varied range of voices to bear on his own pathways and to do so with a pleasingly impressionist yet tenderly precise style.” —Aengus Woods,

"Macfarlane seems to know and have read everything…his every sentence rewrites the landscape in language crunchy and freshly minted and deeply textured. Surely the most accomplished (and erudite) writer on place to have come along in years." —Pico Iyer

"Luminous, possessing a seemingly paradoxical combination of the dream-like and the hyper-vigilant, The Old Ways is, as with all of Macfarlane's work, a magnificent read. Each sentence can carry astonishing discovery." —Rick Bass

“In Macfarlane, British travel writing has a formidable new champion… Macfarlane is read above all for the beauty of his prose and his wonderfully innovative and inventive way with language…he can write exquisitely about anywhere.” —William Dalrymple, The Observer

“In this intricate, sensuous, haunted book, each journey is part of other journeys and there are no clear divisions to be made…the walking of paths is, to [Macfarlane], an education, and symbolic, too, of the very process by which we learn things: testing, wandering about a bit, hitting our stride, looking ahead and behind.” —Alexandra Harris, The Guardian

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Old Ways is the stunning fourth book by acclaimed nature writer Robert Macfarlane.

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize 2012

In The Old Ways Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast network of routes criss-crossing the British landscape and its waters, and connecting them to the continents beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, of pilgrimage and ritual, and of songlines and their singers. Above all this is a book about people and place: about walking as a reconnoitre inwards, and the subtle ways in which we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move.

Told in Macfarlane's distinctive and celebrated voice, the book folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature. His tracks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird-islands of the Scottish northwest, and from the disputed territories of Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he walks stride for stride with a 5000-year-old man near Liverpool, follows the 'deadliest path in Britain', sails an open boat out into the Atlantic at night, and crosses paths with walkers of many kinds - wanderers, wayfarers, pilgrims, guides, shamans, poets, trespassers and devouts.

He discovers that paths offer not just means of traversing space, but also of feeling, knowing and thinking. The old ways lead us unexpectedly to the new, and the voyage out is always a voyage inwards.

'Really do love it. He has a rare physical intelligence and affords total immersion in place, elements and the passage of time: wonderful' Antony Gormley

'A marvellous marriage of scholarship, imagination and evocation of place. I always feel exhilarated after reading Macfarlane' Penelope Lively

'Luminous, possessing a seemingly paradoxical combination of the dream-like and the hyper-vigilant, The Old Ways is, as with all of Macfarlane's work, a magnificent read. Each sentence can carry astonishing discovery' Rick Bass, US novelist and nature writer

'The Old Ways confirms Robert Macfarlane's reputation as one of the most eloquent and observant of contemporary writers about nature' Scotland on Sunday

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 9892 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 374 pages
  • Editeur : Hamish Hamilton (7 juin 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0087ORP7W
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°118.609 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I first bought this as an audio book but felt I needed the real thing to return to the many quotes, names and places that Robert Mcfarlane refers to throughout his journeys.

A great walking book, accessible to all, wonderful descriptive vocabulary, a delight.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 98 commentaires
60 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Walking, seeing, thinking, writing 30 décembre 2012
Par Interested Reader - Publié sur
Format: CD Achat vérifié
This is a stunning book. The author walks, talks to people, but most of all sees deeply the natural history and human history of the places he walks. I was captivated by the intensity of his observations, the beauty of his writing, and the astonishing range of his knowledge (and vocabulary!). He sees and writes like a poet and a naturalist. He also makes friends with people who know the terrain and the history; people he meets along the way, but even more, people of knowledge and creativity themselves who are deeply tied to the landscapes he walks.

Another reviewer asked for maps. I read this book, in retrospect, in the best way possible. Reading it in the Kindle app on my iPad, I could easily look up the flowers and birds he sees, and the geological and local terms he uses. When he writes a lengthy meditation on the art of a painter of the British Downs, I could Google the artist and see examples of his art.

Best of all, by far, I used Google Earth to not only track his path but to see what he saw. When he describes a mountain in Tibet as having three intersecting ridges, I could move around a three dimensional image of the mountain, and also of the valley from which MacFarlane was looking. When he walked across a Scottish Isle, I could track his path around a lake, past a mountain, and across the heath. When he talked about the terraced hillsides outside Ramallah and the Israeli settlements, I could see those, too: the hills circled by ancient terracing, and the subdivision-like streets lined with identical houses and lots under construction.

I'm now going to buy the hardcover version, because this is a book to keep and to re-read. But I highly recommend reading it with the Internet, especially Google Earth, at hand.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot 4 février 2013
Par Joanne K. - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I came across a review of this book and thought it sounded interesting.. It turned out to be fascinating. The language is beautiful, and the author convincingly draws the reader into his premise that a landscape's (and seascape's) past and present can be felt by a thoughtful and aware traveler who takes the time beforehand to learn about the territory to be covered, and is physically in touch with the land paths and sea lanes being travelled. This book truly exemplifies Oliver Wendell Holmes' quote that one's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent, delightful…. but disorienting….. 14 août 2015
Par Wombat - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Macfarlane does an exquisite job at writing of his walking, and takes us to that mystical land known to many of us through the roll of the hip, the crunch of the boot, the air in the lungs and the many moods, thoughts, yearnings in our spirits. Yet, for all their beauty, I felt left out of his experiences simply due to my lack of working knowledge of England and its place names. To read of a place I need to orient it not only in the writer's mind and inner geography, but in the world's. I want to know where it is - North? South? near someplace I have been? Distant from anywhere I know? Near the sea? Which? I found myself needing to tear away form the pure poetry and mysticism of his writing to rush to Google the place name. I tried not to…. but to hear of an experience without its being oriented in space is, for me, to miss too much. A note to the publisher: please, if this is ever reissued, please include a series of small, one page maps!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you love nature and want to vicariously experience hiking around in wild places, this book is for you. 11 octobre 2015
Par DF - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I bought The Old Ways (partly) mistakenly thinking it would be like one of my all-time favorites, The Old Straight Track, which I have read and reread many times. It turned out to be different, but rewarding in many more and different ways.

I had started reading this book from the library, but after reading another review, I realized how much richer an experience reading it could be if I got the Kindle edition and googled the flora, fauna, and geographical features along the way. So now I will read it that way--enlisting Google Earth at times, as well--even though I really prefer books made of paper to digital ones.

The writing is beautiful, wonderful powers of description, and some gripping stories and other information about the places where he walked. I can't forget the night he camped all alone in an ancient "circle" in Britain and had a blood-curdling experience of the sort that had (as he found out only later) sent a bunch of tough bikers fleeing the place in the middle of the night. Then there was also his experience of walking for hours across the tide-exposed sands to an island, where it could mean death to miss the path where the sand was firm or to still be out there when the next tide came in; and there were no longer any good markers on the path. I never even knew that sort of "road" existed. There are, apparently, also courses to follow in the sea that are like "roads." Altogether a great book, as is his The Wild Places. I have that one, too, and plan to get Mountains of the Mind as well.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Ways And Meanings 25 juillet 2013
Par Daniel Myers - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I've read MacFarlane's previous book in this trilogy, The Wild Places (Penguin Original), which I found, while not without its faults, or, rather, one particular fault, to which I'll return, a very informative and entrancing read indeed. This book, I should say, is far superior to the previous one and does away, especially towards the end, with the one fault I found in the former book; to wit, a sort of cosy domesticity that had MacFarlane motoring back and forth between the eponymous wild places of the book and his comfortable home in Cambridge, where he is a Fellow.

Here, he breaks free of England altogether, going as far afield as China, where the book truly began to relentlessly take hold of my thoughts and feelings. The book is both erudite and poetic, as the other reviewers have all mentioned. It's full of lovely lines like,

"But other gannets were on their hunts, slamming down into the water after fish invisible to me; you could see how they might pierce a hull. They came back out of the sea like white flowers unfurling."

Good stuff. But, make no mistake, the book is not merely a travelogue of walking and wilderness. At its heart is the mysterious, sometimes mystical overlapping of landscape and mindscape, or perhaps, to indulge in neologism, soulscape. As MacFarlane writes at the beginning of the book:

"When I think back to the outer miles of that walk, I now recall a strong disorder of perception that caused illusions of the spirit as well as the eye. I recall thought becoming sensational; the substance of landscape so influencing mind that mind's own substance was altered."

This is the type of experience MacFarlane cherishes, and, as it happens, so do I. There is also his continued devotion to poet Edward Thomas, clearly MacFarlane's muse, even in the previous book. Indeed, this book can and should be read as a tribute to the mystical insight MacFarland feels that Thomas found in walking, but which MacFarlane feels he can't quite reach in the way Thomas did. But MacFarlane has more than enough of his own perilous and eldritch experiences to suffice in this book, far away from cosy Cambridge, to grip even the most intrepid armchair traveller and to cause his/her scalp to tingle with a sense of the uncanny in our outer and inner worlds.

A harrowing and splendid read.
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