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Broke Through Britain: One Man's…
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Broke Through Britain: One Man's Penniless Odyssey

by Peter Mortimer

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I had high hopes for this book. To read how someone fared with facing their own challenge of an arduous walk with no money and no prospect of lodgings. However, the author disappointed me on so many counts; the lifts he accepted (surely cheating), the food he stole, his attitude to the sensible folk who wouldn't let a stranger into their home, the list goes on. He seemed to have luck on his side with the amount of chiropodists who happily treated his feet for free! Hmmm, maybe the possibility of a mention in his book snaffled him these kindnesses? I got the strong feeling that this book was set up from the word go. He got too lucky with all the charitable folk he met along the way, I for one would definitely not let a stranger into my home - especially if there were young children in it. No, it all seemed a tad fake to me, not to mention tedious. In many parts the guy came across as ungrateful and selfish, thinking only of himself and not understanding why some people chose to turn him away. ( )
  kehs | Aug 6, 2013 |
This is flat out my favourite travel book. Mortimer and his dog set out to walk from London to Edinburough without a plan and without a dime. He has no idea where his next meal is going to come from, or where he's going to sleep that night. Every day he has to find a helpful soul who will lend him a hand. That leads to a bit of built-in suspense, which combined with his descriptions of the characters he meets, makes the book a whole lot of fun. This is a thoughtful and fascinating piece of travel literature. ( )
  daviddunbar | Jan 31, 2011 |
The book reminded me a little bit about Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Country, though it's more focused on the experience of traveling itself, and less on Britain. It's more spiritual, too. I was very surpised how badly prepared he was mentally and equipment-wise. He didn't train, he didn't bring an adequate map, shoes, water bottle and had no strategy whatsoever in case he wouldn't find food and shelter one day. It wasinteresting to read how people's reactions varied and I wasn't surprised that the more people had the less likely they were to help. Little old ladies opening up their homes to men traveling alone surprised me. I wonder what would be different now, almost ten years later.
  verenka | Jun 15, 2010 |
During the summer of 1998, Peter Mortimer set off on the 500-mile journey from Plymouth to Edinburgh, with no money, transport or accommodation. This book tells of his experiences on the road, the physical demands placed on him, and the problems of life lived on the fringes of society.

Although the author presents this as a personal journey one wonders about the cost of this journey to others and the effect of, what is in effect, his emotional manipulation of others.
2 vote antimuzak | Aug 22, 2006 |
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For Kitty
who always keeps me going
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When preparing for my penniless odyssey, I came across an Indian custom of going on pilgrimage at the age of 50.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184018163X, Paperback)

During the summer of 1998, Peter Mortimer set off on the 500-mile journey from Plymouth to Edinburgh, with no money, transport, or accommodation. This book tells of his experiences on the road, the physical demands placed on him, and the problems of life lived on the fringes of society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:25 -0400)

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