From Publishers Weekly
Setting foot in a street makes it yours in a way that driving down it never does, says Nicholson (Sex Collectors
), and mundane though walking may be, Nicholson tells us in this leisurely, charmingly obsessive literary stroll, pedestrianism is not without drama, from pratfalls like the one in which he broke his arm on an innocuous Hollywood Hills street to getting lost in the desert of western Australia. Walks, he reminds us, have inspired writers from Thoreau and Emerson to Dickens and Joyce, as well as musicians from Fats Domino to Aerosmith. Nicholson guides readers from the streets of L.A.—where walkers are invariably regarded with suspicion—to New York City and London. He considers the history of eccentric walkers like the competitive pedestrian Capt. Robert Barclay Allardice, whose early 19th-century walking feats gave him the reputation of a show-off. From street photographers to perfect walks—the first at the Poles, the first on the moon—and walks that never happened, Nicholson's genial exploration of this most ordinary, ubiquitous activity is lively and entertaining. (Nov.)
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"A leisurely, entirely delightful ramble through the history and lore of walking."
-Washington Post Book Review
"This book is no mere miscellany, but the story of a man's love affair with the oldest means of locomotion: one foot in front of the other..."
"Perfect for the armchair walker."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Anyone who enjoys excellent nonfiction should enjoy."