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In Motion: The Experience of Travel
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2011
As a long-time fan of Tony Hiss, I have often related to his insights. Here is what I rely upon when I read his writing: 1) Hiss identifies an important concept (e.g. Simultaneous Perception in his book "The Experience of Place," and now Deep Travel in "In Motion") 2) He supports the concept with personal experience as well as historic or other published works, so that you, as a reader, can continue that journey and 3) He builds upon each idea, so that the concept becomes increasingly relevant to contemporary life.

With "Deep Travel," Hiss encourages readers to see what is innate in each of us: the ability (and joy) of being highly aware of where we are, whether it is a trip far from home, or a walk in our own neighborhood. We all read books through our own individual filters; mine is the filter of creativity. The more I read about Deep Travel, the more I realize that it is exactly what feeds me as an artist.

For many people in creative fields-- writers, choreographers, photographers, musicians --a huge part of making art consists of observation feeding discovery, and vice versa. And it is not just the initial stages: observation and discovery is an ongoing duet throughout the creative process. "In Motion" takes the reader through many examples where an act of observation leads to the excitement of discovery, which, in turn, leads to more observation.

This is just one of the ways that "In Motion" feeds and encourages creativity. While it is categorized as a travel book, I would also place a copy in many more aisles (physical and virtual) of the bookstore, from Art to Philosophy to Urban Planning.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2010
I loved Tony Hiss's book THE EXPERIENCE OF PLACE, and his newest book, IN MOTION, is beautiful in a similar way. I love the way he chooses particular places and makes us understand the specifics and the meaning of travel--of being human and being in motion. In that sense each of us travels every day and when we do, we're that much more aware of ourselves and our surroundings. I've had that experience nearly every time I've taken a long train ride. But Hiss is so articulate, so funny, so pure in his prose, and so brilliant in his examples that he brings that long-hidden truth to light. Great for anyone who travels anywhere--which is all of us. I plan to get several copies as holiday gifts this year. My dad would love it-- and so would my niece.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Tony Hiss' IN MOTION awakens the reader to the profound possibilities in travel. With Hiss, we go, not only to distant lands, but through own neighborhoods with fresh eyes. I followed with growing excitement, as Hiss introduced questions of how we experience space and time, and how we can, with remarkable ease, shift from an ordinary, preoccupied sense of what's around us, to a deep encounter that stretches time and gives deep savor to life. This is an unusual book, in that it's written from within the consciousness of Deep Travel, and beckons in a way that's startlingly simple and shocks with its persuasiveness. We recognize ourselves in it, and at the same time, discover our surroundings as if for the first time. This is easily the most important book I've read this year, and like Hiss' earlier book, THE EXPERIENCE OF PLACE, is utterly transporting. Don't miss it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2010
Tony Hiss is one of my favorite writers. His book, THE EXPERIENCE OF PLACE is on my all-time must read list. So I've been waiting anxiously for this book, IN MOTION, and am thrilled to have it. Hiss writes beautifully and lucidly. He uses great examples and covers travel from a simple daily commute to the Millau Viaduct to midtown Manhattan to high speed Acela trains to interplanetary travel. His notion of Deep Travel can help us bring meaning and focus, not only to the time we spend moving from one place to another, but in relation to our lives in general. A beautiful, and meaningful book! I agree with Grayreader that it will make a perfect holiday gift.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2011
I agree with Wendy Richmond that Tony Hiss's "In Motion" is an important book for artists, but I think it is important for anyone wishing to live a full life. Artists in the habit of careful observation will appreciate the author's ability to beautifully articulate so much of what we observe and know intuitively, while also linking the personal experience of careful observation to the findings of anthropology, physics, astronomy, literature and poetry. This book exemplifies the very idea of travel in its interdisciplinary path. It is a generous book in that the author invites us to share in his everyday life and to understand how a single sentient human being can encounter the beautiful complexity of the universe. It is a friendly invitation to live deeply.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2010
I really loved THE EXPERIENCE OF PLACE so I was looking forward to this book, and I loved it too. There's no other book quite like it. Lots of subjects covered and it got me thinking about how our minds work as we move around. I now look forward to actually enjoying what I had always considered the more mundane aspects of travel. Highly Recommended!
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on March 27, 2014
Buy the cliff notes. This is a long and wordy book that the author could have condensed into an article for a magazine like the New Yorker or a similar type publication.
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12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2010
The only thought provoking pieces in this book occur within the first chapter. This book is fractious and the points that Hiss tries to make get lost in a sea of over-dramatized exemplification. Furthermore, there are a number of mental shifts that the author tries to articulate (the way we view places, the way our mind percieves time, etc.), for which the only support he provides are other literary examples. I just came off of reading a brilliant book about how we make decisions, for which the thought provoking material was supported by scientific fact, not other authors of a distant era. Making a claim about the way the brain works, and supporting it with literature is a waste of time and paper. The general theme - we view the world in a different way when we travel - is very agreeable, but the support and articulation of that in this book is very poor. There were times while reading this, where I wondered to myself if the "two rainbows" guy from the viral youtube video had written a book. Bottom line, this book is a waste of time. If you want a great book about traveling, there are far better choices. If you want a great book about how the mind works and percieves things, there are far better choices.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
In a recent New York Times Sunday Book Review section, Colson Whitehead lists his 12 rules for writing. Number 4 is "Never use three words when one will do." Part of following the rule is to "kill your darlings," which I read as edit out any words or sentences or passages that you love in your writing that don't add to the text. Hiss's "In Motion" is full of such darlings. (Of course, Strunk and White nailed the rule decades ago, when they said, "Omit needless words.") Navel-gazing to the point of tedious, the book could easily be a third of its official 360-page count without losing the essence of the argument, as interesting as that may be (hooray for deep travel). If you ever ask yourself what a good editor can do for your writing, read this book to see what can happen when the editor takes a leave of absence.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2011
I just can't see how anyone likes this book. Rather than conveying anything profound, it is profoundly, irredeemably bad. It reads like an extended narrative of someone's first experience taking magic mushrooms but apparently it's not. Apparently Tony Hiss really thought these things and, rather then keep such mundane thoughts to himself, warranted them important enough to put into a book. The writing is incredibly laborious to the point where it is clear that the author is trying his damnedest to sound profound. Well, he failed for me (but I see not for everyone, sadly). I lost interest in this book quickly. I don't see the point of it.
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