Waterlog

Waterlog : A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain

  • Hardback
By (author)

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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 158 x 216 x 38mm | 680.39g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • CHATTO & WINDUS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0701166525
  • 9780701166526

Review quote

"The chapters unfurl like a warm tide of pleasant anecdotage." - "Daily Telegraph "A wonderful and romantic tale told by a true English eccentric...think Ratty, think Mole--enchanting." - Michele Roberts, "Financial Times "From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review Text

This book deserves to become a classic. Waterlog is a vivid and sensual record of one man's immersion in the looking-glass world of Britain's waters, rivers, seas, lidos and locks; Deakin tastes them all in a private quest born from a daily swim in his Suffolk moat. Reflections on otters, the history of spas, the degradation of our chalk stream or birth of the crawl stroke - this is a brilliant and peculiar compelling catch-all, beaded with the moisture of the author's physical and psychological journey. A solitary as well as a natural subversive, vaulting private fishing fences and arguing with water bailifs in his bid to swim wild in a country devoted to denying such basic rights, Deakin's human encounters nevertheless remain as memorable as his watery ones. In liquid but never gushing prose, he plunges us time and again into icy, galvanizing currents, emerging on the knife-edge between aching and glowing. The book is also a discreetly impassioned plea for a change in our literally poisonous attitude towards Britain's waters, replete with health warning signs, chemical run-offs and sewage. Yet the ecology is never preaching; Deakin is all for the anachic flow and joie de vivre of a tumbling burn, as witnessed in the memorable scene of leather-clad Hell's Angels leaping off a vertiginous bridge into the lovely River Lune. If you don't yet know that the nearest thing to heaven is skinny-dipping in a cold, clean river, then read this book. It's about as invigorating too. Review by ADAM THORPE (Kirkus UK)

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