In this deeply pleasurable book, Erling Kagge discusses the magic of walking.
Erling Kagge is a Norwegian explorer and publisher, with a background in the study of philosophy. He's the first person to have travelled to the South Pole, the North Pole and Mount Everest. As can be imagined, he's done a lot of walking in his time.
In Walking: One Step at a Time, Kagge takes us through a series of meditations on walking. It's a short, pleasantly meandering book that is personal in tone. It discusses many of Kagge's journeys by foot through snow and forest, but also odd urban odysseys, such as several days spent walking through pedestrian hostile Los Angeles and a trip through New York's sewer system. The personal is interwoven with references to writers and philosophers - from Dickens and Schopenhauer to James Joyce and Knut Hamsun. There are also discussions of new research into the psychological benefits of walking, giving the text a deeper and more resonant feel.
Walking is a deeply enjoyable reading experience. With its evocative, impressionistic style and loose organisation – like a series of very short essays – the text can be enjoyed as a light escape or for the more introspective, a journey into the soul.
Walking: One Step at a Time, by Erling Kagge. Published by Viking. $24.99
Book review by Chris Saliba
North Melbourne Books