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(audio) Book Thoughts: Waterlog (Roger Deakin)

A Swimmer’s Journey through Britain


Title: Waterlog
Author: Roger Deakin
Roy McMillan
 Non-Fiction / Travel / Memoir
First published: 1999
Edition: Audio & Paperback, published by Vintage in 2000

In 1996 Roger Deakin, the late, great nature writer, set out to swim through the British Isles. From the sea, from rock pools, from rivers and streams, tarns, lakes, lochs, ponds, lidos, swimming pools and spas, from fens, dykes, moats, aqueducts, waterfalls, flooded quarries, even canals, Deakin gains a fascinating perspective on modern Britain.


First line(s)

The warm rain tumbled from the gutter in one of those midsummer downpours as I hastened across the lawn behind my house in Suffolk and took shelter in the moat.


Going into this one I already knew I enjoyed the author’s writing style, as I had read/listened to Wildwood earlier this year. That was actually what prompted me to pick up this one. It is therefore no surprised that I really enjoyed this one as well.

Maybe I did not quite love it as much as Wildwood, but I think I simply preferred the subject matter of that one. Still, this was a joy to listen to and I really enjoyed being taken across Britain whilst the author swam in all sorts of (mainly cold!) places and tells the reader all about these places.

The author has a wonderful way of choosing a subject and then delving into history and little tidbits of information. I really enjoy that style of storytelling and is very well done. It feels very easy and conversational. Do I need to know any of it? Noooooo, but I enjoy hearing all about it for sure.

This is one of those non-fiction books that you just need to enjoy for what it is. It is oddly specific, but such a treat.

6 out of 7 stars