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Holloway Hardcover – May 16, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Anyone who has grown increasingly impressed by Macfarlane's nature writing over the past decade will feel instantly at home in this slight collaboration with writer Dan Richards and illustrator Stanley Donwood ... With Donwood's ghostly, Hansel and Gretel-esque illustrations peppering the prose, Holloway is undeniably a gorgeous package. Even though it takes less than half an hour to read, the subtle call to revel in the wonder of the natural world lasts much longer. -- Ben East Observer An impressionistic piece of landscape writing, Holloway evokes the sense that time is densely layered in these secret lanes; many people have trodden here, and their ghosts are still apparent in the deep tree-shaded paths. -- Carl Wilkinson Financial Times The pleasures herein are almost intangible and they're certainly initially fleeting. Yet these pellucid tales of Dorset's deep-set lanes and their duvets of foliage will stay with you long into the summer dusk and may even encourage you to embark on your own investigation of England's ancient arteries. -- Paul Connolly Metro This beautifully produced book is part tribute to the late Roger Deakin, part trafelogue, and bearing in mind the Faber imprint, part poetic evocation of the 'Holloways' of south Dorset, infused with Macfarlane's sensitivity to nature and beautifully illustrated by Stanley Donwood. -- Michael Conaghan Belfast Telegraph

About the Author

Robert Macfarlane is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places and The Old Ways, and was the Chair of judges for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. Stanley Donwood is an artist. He has produced record covers for Radiohead and has exhibited worldwide. He is also the author of a collection of stories, Humour. Dan Richards is a writer. His first book was The Beechwood Airship Interviews, and his second, concerning his great-great-aunt the pioneering mountaineer Dorothy Pilley, is Climbing Days.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non-Fiction; 1st ed edition (May 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571302718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571302710
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kiki on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book describing English paths known as holloways, complete with text by the incomparable Robert Macfarlane, and incredible etchings by Sranley Donwood. The book is even better having read "the making of" the book in a Guardian article by Macfarlane. See [...] It was that article, plus my obsession with reading ANYTHING written by Macfarlane that caused me to order Holloway. I highly recommend it. It's also a great gift book for your walking friends.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cindy R. on July 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered this book on the internet and ordered it from the UK. Speedy delivery. I loved the book and wanted to pass it along to family and friends. Sent if off first to one of my sisters. We agreed we'd document the travels - message in a bottle. Lot's of history to follow up on. And a visit to South Dorset is warranted. I also ordered a second copy to keep for myself which also arrived from the UK tout suite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne E Barnes on January 22, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A bit smaller of a book than expected, but the photos and writing are lovely.
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By M. Graham on August 28, 2015
Format: Paperback
I like Robert Macfarlane's writing but the brevity of this book left me wondering if this particular project didn't turn out quite as he and his two companions had hoped.

Much of Macfarlane's work is concerned with attempts to imbue walks and journeys with meaning in some form, and clearly with the intended tribute to Roger Deakin the three men headed to Dorset with high hopes of an artistic "happening".

Mundanity, disappointment and disagreements with companions however are just as much of the Everyman walker's experience as breathtaking vistas and moments of inspiration. While it is not made explicit in the book, the impression I formed from the sheer thinness of the work was that perhaps the three men didn't hit it off, that the humour between them misfired, the hoped for happening didn't spark into being and that the expedition fell somewhat flat.

Donwood's art is evocative and there are some vivid, if brief, passages of poetic prose, but this is a journey that bore a disappointingly thin crop of stunted fruit.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book, an elegant rumination on a feature of the natural landscape that seems perfectly designed for promoting dreams and misty, half-mystical encounters in the woods. I first encountered Macfarlane in his introduction to the Selected Poems of Edward Thomas, and as I adore the writing of the latter, so have I come to adore that of the former. This is the kind of nature writing American writers should practice-- it's learned and deeply engaged with the language of the landscape, favoring precision and strangeness over transcendent rhapsody, that Emersonian legacy that often draws us away from Nature and into the empyrean. I know I'll prepare for my next holloway walk by reading a page or two from this book for inspiration.
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