An "eloquent (and compulsively readable) reminder that, though we're laying waste the world, nature still holds sway over much of the earth's surface." Bill McKibben
Winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature and a finalist for the Orion Book Award
Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? That is the question that Robert Macfarlane poses to himself as he embarks on a series of breathtaking journeys through some of the archipelago's most remarkable landscapes. He climbs, walks, and swims by day and spends his nights sleeping on cliff-tops and in ancient meadows and wildwoods. With elegance and passion he entwines history, memory, and landscape in a bewitching evocation of wildness and its vital importance.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Robert Macfarlane is the author of a prizewinning quartet of books about landscape and the human heart: Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways, and Landmarks. He has contributed to Harper’s, Granta, The New Yorker, the Observer (London), the Times Literary Supplement (London), and the London Review of Books. He is a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was slightly nervous reading this again as I adored this book when I read it first last year. I needn¿t have worried as I quickly became absorbed. The author relates his journey through the British Isles trying to track down those wild untouched places, from: mountain summits, woodlands, beaches and even Dorset¿s own wild place. His reaction to what he finds is surprising to him and thought provoking to the reader. The language and the imagery used is sublime, conjuring places vividly into life and encouraging to me to find my own wild places, to feel and see the beauty that the landscape and nature has to offer.
Macfarlane¿s travelogue of his exploration of some of the country¿s wildest places is a thoughtful, well-researched look at our remaining wilderness. A compelling mixture of enthusiasm, sadness and observational genius, his book takes the reader from his local beech-wood to mountain summits and salt-marshes. His prose often takes flight to become near-poetry, but remains unpretentious and his lyricism simply adds to the atmosphere of perfect retelling, while he examines our response to, and treatment of, the wildness that mankind has dedicated his existence to conquering. Although I enjoyed it, (particularly the author¿s views on the subject of maps and how they are losing any sense of the organic), this took me a while to get through; I¿m not used to travelogues, and found that the absence of a story-like thread of narrative meant I put it down more often than I would a work of fiction or biography, but despite that I found The Wild Places to be a rewarding read, that did it¿s job in making me yearn for remoteness and a better relationship with the surviving natural areas in the UK.
Macfarlane, a naturalist and Fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge emerged me in a world I had no idea existed. This quote early on gives a good picture of what the book attempts to do, ¿¿ as I traveled¿ I would draw up a map to set against the road atlas. A prose map that would seek to make some of the remaining wild places of the archipelago visible again, or that would record them before they vanished for good.¿ Now this is a book that I would not normally read, but as I got into it, I found some amazing research and an unparalleled John Muir like enthusiasm for bucolicism 'if that¿s a word'. Macfarlane is the type of narrator that weaves prose descriptions of landscapes with his own imaginative journey through the wild and gives quite an unusual perspective on cartography. He also has some fun adventures. For instance, when you¿re reading in your head you¿re saying, 'wow that river must be freezing, you know the one with ice floating on it?' And the next sentence Macfarlane is stripping down naked and jumping into it. I became familiar with places in the UK that may present themselves in my upcoming summer travels and for that I am thankful. The touching story about his friend and fellow adventurer Roger was a great personal detail. I¿m also very impressed with the ending, because it was truly a beautiful scene, when Macfarlane returns to his office in ¿civilization¿ and reflects and arranges his ebenezers in full circle.