In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born.
Travelling as a "modern troubadour" without a penny in his pocket, he stopped along the way to give poetry readings in village halls, churches, pubs, and living rooms. His audiences varied from the passionate to the indifferent, and his readings were accompanied by the clacking of pool balls, the drumming of rain and the bleating of sheep.
Walking Home describes this extraordinary, yet ordinary, journey. It's a story about Britain's remote and overlooked interior - the wildness of its landscape and the generosity of the locals who sustained him on his way. It's about facing emotional and physical challenges, and sometimes overcoming them. It's nature writing, but with people at heart. Contemplative, moving, and droll, it is a unique narrative from one of our most beloved writers.
"He is diligent, prolific and wide-ranging. By balancing humour and gravitas, he generates great affection in his readers. If he is not careful, Simon Armitage will end up becoming a national treasure." (
Mail on Sunday)
"Armitage has always been a wonderfully fluent writer, able to riff on almost any subject in either prose or poetry ... The result is a homage to an oddly old-fashioned Britain, full of glorious eccentrics and hearts of gold, but vividly believable for all that." ( Financial Times)
"Armitage's great gift is his voice. He is able to make his walk talk as he does and I have never read a more fully inhabited book of walking. It is funny but moving, quiet but strong." ( The Observer)
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A relaxing and enjoyable read
- Sue McW
A poet in his element
Yes I would. It takes a while to get used to Simons voice as it is a little whiny. But it works well with words he uses that have a rhythmn and almost rhyme you would expect from a poet.
Towards the end he wonders if he can ever do another live performance again as he has done so many during the walk. You get a real feeling for the dedication he has to his work, his craft and art and how much it can take out of him.
I have seen him on TV documentaries and he lacks a bit of passion as a presenter. But as an audiobook narrator he works much better.
No it is good to follow his journey in episodes as the walk was punctuated by his performances. A few days of his journey at a time is best.
A good insight into the pennine way and the character of a fine poet and social commentator.
- Amazon Customer