Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Landmarks, a fascinating exploration of the relationship between language and landscapes by Robert Macfarlane, read by Roy McMillan.
Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales to describe land, nature, and weather.
Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd, and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape and a vital means of coming to love it.
The audiobook version contains an exclusive bonus chapter - a recording of Finlay MacLeod (novelist, historian, broadcaster, archivist, and one of the dedicatees of Landmarks) reading words and definitions from his Peat Glossary for the Isle of Lewis.
This hoard of rare and evocative terms was one of the inspiring documents for the book.
Finlay's voice is also used as a divider between chapters, and the other glossaries in the text are bracketed with appropriate sound effects.
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Love it, but it's costing me a fortune!
Yes. The author effortlessly takes you into his subjects. His writing is taut, precise and evocative.
Each chapter is dedicated to a different author/topic. Some reviewers didn't like this, but I loved it. It allowed for journeys into particular words and stories associated with the underlying topic that I found fascinating.
He reads beautifully; with him the stories come alive. You are climbing the mountain with him, swimming in icy water alongside him, clambering into caves as he explores. It's a full on sensory experience.
Yes. It made me furious to learn nature related words were being removed from children's dictionaries as they were "no longer deemed relevant". It also created a burning desire to get out there and experience some of the places or things discussed.
I couldn't tear myself away from this recording. The only downside..I became so caught up in the books and authors described in each chapter that I've had to buy many of them AND a hard copy of Landmarks so that I have easy access to the glossaries!
- Coffee snob
- nick day