Holloway - Robert Macfarlane

Wednesday 14 March 2018



Genre: Nature writing (36 pages)
Published: 1st May 2014
How long did it take me to read: 1 hour

If you couldn't guess from the title of the book, this novel (if you could call it that, its only 36 pages) is about Holloways. Holloways is a sunken road which was man-made a long time ago. This path allowed people to get places faster and could have been used for a quicker route for traders.

Okay, so two hearts is a rather low rating from me. 

What I think was my main problem with this book was the price. I had to buy this book for university course because I was studying nature writing, therefore I had no choice but to purchase this book. I bought it second hand on Amazon (thank you Amazon for always helping out poor students) for £5.99. When I got the book, I thought it was gorgeous. The cover was flawless. The illustrations were adorable and I know, for a fact, that I would at least of picked it up in my local Waterstones.

However, I was still disappointed when I received this book. Don't get me wrong, it was...interesting. But was it £5.99 interesting? It was only 36 pages. Lets some simple maths, £5.99÷36= 16.6388. That means that each page is worth around 16p. I understand that a lot of the budget for this book would be spent on the fantastic illustrations. But I wouldn't have spent that much money on this book if I didn't have too.

Nevertheless, I had so much fun taking these flat lay photos of it because, at the end of the day, this novel is extremely photogenic. Holloway was written by Robert Macfarlane and was dedicated to Roger Deakin as he wrote the nature book, The Wild Places. Robert Macfarlane goes and visits the Holloway in South Dorset and repeat's the journey he had once done with Roger Deakin. It comes across as a wonderful gesture. However, for the most part, I wasn't overly impressed with the book. I found myself skimming through it rather than pondering every line, which I think is what this book needs. And I felt that the author was reliving something because they felt like they should and the idea of going back to Holloway where he visited with his friend, Roger Deakin. However, as a reader, I didn't get the emotional connection too it as I think the narrator wanted there to be. I didn't feel much at all when reading it apart from 'Wow, I love these drawings'.

When I read the blurb of this book. I got really excited because it is based in South Dorset and I am originally from Dorset. I did learn things from this book as well, I had no idea what a Holloway was. When reading it, I kept thinking back to my hometown and remembering little paths that I used to walk down as a child and wondering if they would be considered a 'Holloway'. I did find this aspect interesting and I think that especially for people who live in the UK, that this would be a common theme. 

Overall, I was disappointed by this book. I liked the creative ways that a Holloway was described and I think Robert Macfarlane did a good job. I was really inspired by this book to write something similar myself but this book didn't stick with me. I didn't know what I was expecting from this book. However, it still will be on my favourites page because although my cynical self-didn't enjoy it, so many of my friends told me I was crazy, as they really really loved it. So many people have told what an enchanting read it was!
I don't know if it's just the fact that I don't read a lot of nature writing and haven't ever really ventured into that genre. But if you would like a copy and the photos of my illustrations have captured your heart, then head on over to 'my favourites' page. 

For now, keep on reading. 

Join the conversation!

  1. I actually really loved this book! I'm so surprised you didn't like it but I love how honest you are about it!

  2. Good post, love the illustrations for this book

    1. Yeah me too! It was what made the book bearable! x

  3. These flatlays are so cute omg and the cover of that book is an actual work of art!!!!

  4. AS always good post& I’m really loving the flatlays!

  5. So good! Well done!

  6. I would probably of cover bought this but now not so much. Thank you for another honest, lovely review.

  7. You’re awesome well done girl


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