• Wanderlust

  • A History of Walking
  • By: Rebecca Solnit
  • Narrated by: Liisa Ivary
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (357 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Drawing together many histories - of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores - Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction - from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja - finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

©2000 Rebecca Solnit (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Wanderlust

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Must read for all interested in human condition

I cannot say enough good things about this book. I took 2 years to devour it slowly, chapter by chapter & it is a constant reference. A cross-section of art, history, nature, politics via the idea of walking.

10 people found this helpful

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Not bad at all

I typically would avoid a book by someone such as Solnit, who comes across as one of those “always ready to be triggered” types but, this was a good rundown of walking with a bit of entertainment thrown in for good measure.

2 people found this helpful

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I fell in love again with walking

I’m now a big fan of Solnit. She goes through much of the social history of walking, the political power of pedestrians, and even touches on the evolutionary history of walking upright. If you ever needed some motivation to walk in the countryside, hike through your city’s streets, or even ditch the internal combustion, this is a great place to go.

5 people found this helpful

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Exhaustive treatment of walking with an agenda

I walk. So this tome really does explore walking in almost too precise detail. Way too much detail. But if you are walking and listening it is almost symbiotic. Now the endless literal references are interesting but a bit too much. The treatment of walking or rather protest walking as a vehicle for the hidden agenda of the book which is to detail walking as a form of protest. It left me a bit off... I read the entire book. It was not that bad. But I waste time as a profession. "Retired"

11 people found this helpful

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A marathon listen

I found this book on a list for walkers so I went to Audible and it was a free selection! It is a collection of stories the author thinks relate to walking. Some are good some far fetched and I think she could have gone on for another 13 hrs. Some of it’s good but there was a lot of wanderlust in my mind during the listen, while walking of course.

1 person found this helpful

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a walk through many pieces of history

This book is packed with historical facts. I happened to listen to it while taking my morning walks and I feel that greatly impacted the way I received the information. I recommend this book to anyone especially those looking for a listen while they walk, especially if you enjoy walking outdoors.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Overview Of The Topic

I enjoyed the vastness of examples that were found in the book. At times, it felt like there was too much of nothing. Meaning, this book might have a greater impact if it were 40% of its size. Sometimes I was wondering why I was presented with certain information before connecting it to the nucleus message of the book.

I found a great amount of jewels while reading this book.
This book has only inspired me to look deeper into the practice of walking in nature.

1 person found this helpful

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Walking as politics

This is not the book I was expecting. If you want a feminist from SF to explain how walking relates to protest marches, women's suffrage , and gay rights, this is the book for you. If you want to read about walking while traveling or walking tours, skip it.

14 people found this helpful

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Rebecca Solnit Tells Us Things

She used all her note cards but point of view more snobby than scholarly. Narrator may have aggravated the superior tone of the writing.

6 people found this helpful

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Not so much a history of walking . . .

as an evaluation of walking controlled by a political viewpoint so narrow and persuaded of its own righteousness that it interferes with enjoyment of anyone but a deeply committed fellow traveler. I was underwhelmed.

5 people found this helpful