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The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane

The Wild Places (2007)

by Robert Macfarlane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (17)  Dutch (2)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I enjoyed The Wild Places. It occasionally dragged and at other times I thought he was daft for sleeping out in the cold at places like Ben Hope in Scotland. However, on balance, The Wild Places is a deep and moving account of the UK's and Ireland's wilderness. Macfarlane's prose is often lovely. It is a shame there were so few photographs in the book and I hope at future edition will include more photographs.

I read this as prep for a trip to England and Wales because it was on Road Scholar's recommended reading lists. I found this to be one of the better books and I'm glad they list it. I hope to be able to see some of the marvelous landscapes Macfarlane describes, especially a holloway. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
I read this relatively soon after reading Landmarks (which I enjoyed). I find that this earlier book largely overlaps that content. It is similarly arranged by natural feature and even some of the people are the same. Though the theme of this book is in general "wildness" rather than "place and memory" I didn't get out of it what I was looking for. ( )
  aprille | Mar 3, 2017 |
I very much enjoyed the combination of geography, history and culture that Robert Macfarlane pulls together to describe the wild places that he visits and writes about for this book. Starting and ending in his local beech wood, he suggests a frustration with the lack of wildness around his home town of Cambridge and begins a search for 'the wild', visiting 'unbound forests', 'frost-shattered summits' and 'lochs of great depth'. Robert Macfarlane takes his readers on a journey of beautiful words to find this wildness in extensive and intensive ways and in surprising places. Many of his readers will be ahead of him in this pilgrimage, already appreciating luxuriant wild places, not just the austere and wild places with a history, not just untouched. Robert Macfarlane muses on the unsatisfactory nature of grid maps to describe places and the need to recognise maps that tell stories. An interesting read that will make you want to sleep outside very soon. ( )
  Tifi | Mar 2, 2017 |
"Are there any genuinely wild places left in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales? That is the question that writer Robert Macfarlane poses to himself as he embarks on a series of breathtaking and beautifully described journeys through some of the archipelago's most remarkable landscapes. As he climbs, walks, and swims in all manner of weather -- sleeping on cliff tops and remote beaches, deep in snowy wildwoods and ancient meadows, and bathing in phosphorescent seas or hiking frozen rivers at night -- his understanding of nature is transformed. With lyrical elegance and passion, he entwines history and landscape in a bewitching evocation of wildness and its vital importance."
~~back cover

This is an absolutely exquisite book! The writing itself is intricate and sweet, and the author's love and compulsion for nature in all her faces and moods is compelling. I was overwhelmed to find that the author was close friends with Roger Deakin, with whom he spent many hours journeying through the wild areas of Britain. His recounting of Roger's last illness and death had me in tears as though his dying was news to me -- a heartfelt eulogy for a dear friend.

This book will not only take you to "remarkable landscapes" and lonely beautiful places, it will burnish a love of the natural world and of friends and family. Definitely a keeper!
  Aspenhugger | Feb 19, 2017 |
As I finished this excellent book, I had one overwhelming feeling, envy!
I envied the author for going to places I can only dream of now that I am growing old. I evidence him for his ability to explore these wonderful places so completely, man ability that would always have been beyond me. I envy him his wonderful knowledge of so many things, both in the natural and literary worlds. But most of all I envy him his wonderful skill at writing about all these things and weaving them into this fascinating tale of the wild places in the British Isles. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. ( )
1 vote johnwbeha | Oct 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
It is in the end a deeply stirring book, in being able to find the vivid wild in places that are so trammelled with our sterile banks of knowledge about them. In using the body to step beyond the ironic into an immediacy of a tangible, audible, testable world. In reversing what Macfarlane calls "the retreat from the real". Wildness becomes not some fragmentary thing surviving in scraps and fragments which have to be fenced around with a busy protectiveness. It is much much more than that.
Macfarlane also feels on the outside of things. This is partly because wildness in early 21st-century Britain is a hard thing to find - pushed to the margins (or so he begins by thinking), where it has not been entirely vanquished by pollution and modern farming and population growth. Then there are the difficulties created by the shortcomings of language to express what he feels, and the problems of containing a proper emotional response to a landscape within a more analytic appreciation of its qualities. "I could not explain what it really looked like," he says early in the book, when visiting an island cave, "certainly not what I was doing there, among the red and purple basalts." Later, the same note returns: "Open spaces bring to the mind something which is difficult to express"; "we find it hard to make language grip landscapes that are close-toned".

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Macfarlaneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Groen, NicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. —JOHN MUIR
For my parents and in memory of Roger Deakin (1943- 2006)

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143113933, Paperback)

?An eloquent (and compulsively readable) reminder that, though we?re laying waste the world, nature still holds sway over much of the earth?s surface.?
?Bill McKibben

Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? That is the question that Robert Macfarlane poses to himself as he embarks on a series of breathtaking journeys through some of the archipelago?s most remarkable landscapes. He climbs, walks, and swims by day and spends his nights sleeping on cliff-tops and in ancient meadows and wildwoods. With elegance and passion he entwines history, memory, and landscape in a bewitching evocation of wildness and its vital importance. A unique travelogue that will intrigue readers of natural history and adventure, The Wild Places solidifies Macfarlane?s reputation as a young writer to watch.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:36 -0400)

Explores the changing ideas of the wild in Great Britain and Ireland, from the cliffs of Cape Wrath and the storm-beaches of Norfolk to the saltmarshes and estuaries of Essex and the moors of Rannoch and the Pennines.

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