Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Other Authors Reviewing My Book

I have just been reviewing the reviews on Amazon of my book. I had not realised that 6 or my reviews are from people who are authors themselves. And I know another author is just about to read it during his flight from Australia to Europe.

I don't think I have mentioned this review from R J Askew, who is the writer of "Watching Swift", an excellent book. Ron is also the author of The Million Dollar Poem mentioned in the last post on this blog

 5.0 out of 5 stars A TRULY INSPIRING READ, 3 Aug 2012
By ron - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vic's Big Walk (Kindle Edition)

Vic's Big Walk is an excellent read because of the author's motivation for writing his story and the inspirational nature of the achievment it chronicles, especially, but not exclusively, for anyone approaching their 60s or 70s. VBW is not overtly a self-help book as at no point does it promise to change the reader's life in some wonderful way. Yet this may actually be one of it's secret benefits for some readers because it shows how someone may set themselves an adventurous and difficult goal and then actually knuckle down to work out how to do it and then get on with the achieving of said goal with minimal fuss.

I could not walk some 30 kilometres a day for 70 days on the trot. Something would give, be it physical or mental. The more I got into the read the more I was astonished - a couple of black nails and one or two other wobbles apart - at the author's sheer resilience.

But Vic had a very strong motivation for his feat: charity. The onset of his 70th birthday seemed to become secondary to this more selfless motive. I am sure that Vic's singlemind dedermination to 'do something' for others must have given him great energy on the way.

While VBW chronicles the 70 days of the walk, it also reveals the depth of planning needed over a much longer time, and the indispensible help of Vic's wife Gay at every step. So while the book was about Vic's walk, it is very much the story of a well organised team getting it right. The intelligence and patience required are inspiring.

Vic says himself he did not have any great thoughts on his walk as he was too busy doing the actual walking. As one prone to wallow in sentiment and metaphysical specualtion, this pragmatic approach to a long-term task is very appealing. Vic set out to do something and did it. Simple enough you might say. But in this age of instant pleasures and absurd rush, we often lose sight of the value of taking our time over something worth doing

That said, as Vic's walk neared its conclusion VBW does offer some touching insights into the author's young life in less frantic times. How different we all were then. Life is materially richer for most of us now, but are we the happier for it? Vic the walker notices how fast we drive around, how difficult it is to get away from the sound of traffic, constant traffic in much of England.

And a thousand kilometers back -- the cuckoos of France, endless cuckoos. One of the joys of VBW is the often witty insights into Vic's surroundings. His quest for coffee and blueberry muffins was eternal. His musings on the physical advantage of trees to the walker, on the attitude of the French to their trees, on the vagaries of way often had me chuckling. So, too, his encounters with hostile dogs and coincidental meetings with people were always engaging as were his insights into French history, eepecially in the region in which he now lives.

I felt as if I was on a journey as I read VBW. Perhaps I was measuring myself against Vic, perhaps I was thinking, could I do that, how would I be in that situation. All of which is good. Vic may have strayed from his path a few kilometres here and there, but his moral and compass gave him a true bearing from start to finish from which he did not deviate.

Ron Askew
- author Watching Swifts

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