In modern American culture, speed and convenience rule supreme. Explorer Erling Kagge provides a dissenting voice in this slim volume, arguing that slowing down and unplugging are vital for remaining, well, human. He should know: he has walked to both the North and the South Poles on foot. He writes poetically and convincingly that humanity must protect the slowness and stillness of the idle walk in an increasingly frenetic world. Recommended By Mary S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A lyrical account of an activity that is essential for our sanity, equilibrium, and well-being, from the author of Silence ("A book to be handled and savored." — The Wall Street Journal)
Placing one foot in front of the other, embarking on the journey of discovery, and experiencing the joy of exploration — these activities are intrinsic to our nature. Our ancestors traveled long distances on foot, gaining new experiences and learning from them. But as universal as walking is, each of us will experience it differently. For Erling Kagge, it is the gateway to the questions that fascinate him — Why do we walk? Where do we walk from? What is our destination? — and in this book he invites us to investigate them along with him.
Language reflects the idea that life is one single walk; the word "journey" comes from the distance we travel in the course of a day. Walking for Kagge is a natural accompaniment to creativity: the occasion for the unspoken dialogue of thinking. Walking is also the antidote to the speed at which we conduct our lives, to our insistence on rushing, on doing everything in a precipitous manner — walking is among the most radical things we can do.
“Candid…lyrical and sometimes philosophical…His awe and wonder are contagious…a perfect companion for those who seek mindfulness and meditation in their everyday lives.” Booklist
“An homage to walking…Throughout this brief but eloquent meditation, the author makes a convincing case for the importance of walking. For him, walking is not simply taking a series of steps; it is something thrilling and amazing… A thoughtful book-length essay on a taken-for-granted human activity…Fascinating.” Kirkus Reviews
“It is much more subtle than a typical self-help tome…he uses his acquaintance with extreme environments to reflect on the mental and physical benefits of walking.” The Economist
“[Kagge] challenges readers to take steps toward a better understanding of one’s self and finding a peaceful place in the scheme of life. Recommended for all libraries, especially collections on the environment. The poetic and inspirational words will remind readers of Henry David Thoreau’s work by the same name.” Library Journal (Starred Review)
About the Author
Explorer, art collector, publisher, and author, ERLING KAGGE is the first person to have completed the Three Poles Challenge on foot — the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Mount Everest. He has written six books on exploration, philosophy, and art collecting, and runs Kagge Forlag, a publishing company based in Oslo, where he lives.