Robert MacFarlane: The Wild Places

<p><em>Benedicte Page writes:</em><br />
It's always a good sign for the likely success of a book when you can instantly think of several people you would like to give it to. I keep finding myself saying to friends, &quot;Oh, YOU'd like this,&quot; about Robert MacFarlane's <em>The Wild Places</em>, which has had me wanting to don my walking boots and head off into the heather somewhere in the wilds of Scotland forthwith. <img width="240" height="240" align="right" alt="The Wild Places" src="/documents/UserContributed/The Wild Places.jpg" /><br />
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It's an absolutely lovely book for anyone who cares for the great outdoors and for reading too: the story of Macfarlane's trips around the remaining wildernesses of the British Isles - places like the Lleyn Peninsula on the North Wales coast, the Isle of Skye, Rannoch Moor in Scotland, the Cumbrian hills - together with his ruminations on what wildness is, and what landscapes mean to people, including plenty of good stories about literary figures (he's an English don at Cambridge so knows a lot of these). <br />
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Macfarlane also writes quite a bit about his friendship with Roger Deakin, the author of <em>Waterlog and Wildwood</em>, and very movingly about his death from cancer last year. <br />
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The word &quot;exquisite&quot; tends to be used about Macfarlane's style, and I can see why - he has a feeling for the nuances of language which is quite outstanding, and writes some of the most poetic non-fiction you're likely to encounter. I also particularly like this quote from John Muir, which prefaces the book: &quot;I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.&quot; Isn't that fabulous? <br />
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Anyway, Granta publishes the book in September and no doubt all the lonely moors, mountains and woodlands mentioned in the book will be filled to bursting with literary types staring meaningfully into the middle distance and scribbling in moleskin notebooks for the foreseeable future. I'll probably be one of them.</p>
<p>You can read an interview with Robert <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/books/author-profiles/42460-where-the-wild-...