Walking With Plato has been one of the most pleasant non-fiction books I’ve read recently. It is the story of a person who walks across an entire country and turns inside himself. It impressed and excited me so much that I am already after various tricks to persuade my husband. After all, walking every day for three months is not something everyone can do.
The walking paths between Scotland’s furthest John o ‘Groats and the southernmost Land’s End add up to about 1200 miles (1931 km). Gary Hayden and his wife set out from the northernmost point John o ‘Groats to complete this distance in three months, and the book begins. Gary Hayden is a contemporary philosopher, and he exquisitely describes the change in himself as he walks. It also includes the world’s greatest thinkers’ views on walking, beauty, happiness, and many more. Of course, he depicts the beautiful countryside of Scotland and England as well as he can.
As with any good non-fiction book, I learned a lot from this book. It offered me new topics to research, new authors to read, and many ideas to ponder over. While it also persuaded me to walk more, it made me remember that the important things in life aren’t really “things”. I fondly read this book in a short time, and I was sad when I finished it. You’ll be too. I recommend it to everyone!
Walking With Plato
“If one keeps on walking, everything will be alright.” So said Danish writer Søren Kierkegaard, and so thought philosophy buff Gary Hayden as he set off on Britain’s most challenging trek: to walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End. But it wasn’t all quaint country lanes, picture-postcard villages and cosy bed and breakfasts.
In this humorous, inspiring and delightfully British tale, Gary finds solitude and weary limbs bring him closer to the wisdom of the world’s greatest thinkers. Recalling Rousseau’s reverie, Bertrand Russell’s misery, Plato’s love of beauty and Epicurus’ joy in simplicity, Walking with Plato offers a breath of fresh, country air and clarity for anyone craving an escape from the humdrum of everyday life.
Gary Hayden is a journalist and popular philosopher. He has a master’s degree in philosophy and has written for The Times Educational Supplement, Scotsman, Church Times, and a selection of magazines. Also he is the author of This Book Does Not Exist: Adventures in the Paradoxical. He lives in the UK.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: