The January Man

The January Man

A Year of Walking Britain

Book - 2017
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In January 2006, a month or two after my father died, I thought I saw him again - a momentary impression of an old man, a little stooped, setting off for a walk in his characteristic fawn corduroys and shabby quilted jacket. After teenage rifts it was walking that brought us closer as father and son; and this 'ghost' of Dad has been walking at my elbow since his death, as I have ruminated on his great love of walking, his prodigious need to do it - and how and why I walk myself. The January Man is the story of a year of walks that was inspired by a song, Dave Goulder's 'The January Man'. Month by month, season by season and region by region, Christopher Somerville walks the British Isles, following routes that continually bring his father to mind.
Publisher: London :, Doubleday,, 2017
Description: 377 pages : illustrations, map ; 23 cm
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780857523631
Branch Call Number: 914.1 Som


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Dec 04, 2017

I picked up this book thinking it would be about walking in the UK, and in a way it is, but it is mostly a memoir told by connecting to selected walking paths. I like the way the author connects to culture by linking the stories to "The January Man" folk song, but I found the writing oddly opaque at times, especially given the copious detail he incorporates about wildlife and plantlife he encounters on his journeys. An interesting and unique book, but I could not totally resonate with the narrative and in the end it did not hold my interest.

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