Saturday, 26 March 2016

Book Review: A Place Elsewhere

If you like internal monologue, stream-of-consciousness type writing, this is the book for you.

Nigel Joslin is an adventurous hiker whose wanderings take him through the Scottish moors, as well as through many topics of speculation in this book.  I found it a really interesting read.  The only drawback I found was that I couldn't focus on his words for a long time - the deep thoughts required breaks for mental digestion.

With a fiction story I can usually gobble up the chapters and I often have a hard time putting the books down.  This book didn't work that way for me.  I did feel the drive to read it, but it wasn't a story I could get lost in.  Too much philosophizing for me to concentrate on for a big chunk of time!

The topics Nigel discusses are hugely varied, and he approaches and explains his thoughts quite clearly.  Even though he delves into a lot of science, introspection, and even the meaning of life, he doesn't lose the reader (unless they're like me and just need to step away for a few minutes to assimilate all the information he's presenting.)

I didn't know what to expect from this book.  I opened it only knowing it wasn't a work of fiction like most of my other reads lately have been.  The layout is a year in Nigel's life, and each chapter is a month.  The book opens with - you guessed it - a new beginning.  He does reach back through the months as the year flows along to return us to ideas mentioned earlier that he then delves deeper into.

For those of you who like to get inside other people's heads, I'd recommend this read.  Some of the topics and ideas Nigel pulls up and explains do sort of blow your mind.  While this wasn't my most favourite book of the last year or so, it does have the distinction of being the most thought provoking.

Until next time!

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