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The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Landscapes) Paperback – Illustrated, September 24, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,179 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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, themillions.com

"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

About the Author

Robert Macfarlane is the author of a prizewinning quartet of books about landscape and the human heart: Mountains of the MindThe Wild PlacesThe Old Ways, and Landmarks. He has contributed to Harper’sGrantaThe New Yorker, the Observer (London), the Times Literary Supplement (London), and the London Review of Books. He is a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books; Illustrated edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0147509793
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0147509796
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 0.86 x 5.25 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,179 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,179 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2012
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Mrs Beetle
3.0 out of 5 stars It depends on your worldview
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2020
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Brier
1.0 out of 5 stars Elitist clap trap
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2020
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Pete Cowell
5.0 out of 5 stars Numinous Brilliance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2016
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H. Drouin
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the few books I've ever given up on. Full of self indulgent waffle.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars A circular journey
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2018
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