Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Antipodes: irresistible domestic travelogue

Antipodes by Mark Price.

Maybe you noticed an old lady gently colliding with a magnolia tree and a concrete power pole today. Maybe you noticed those orange-clad hole-diggers leaping away from her trajectory in alarm. Maybe you wondered what book had her so fixated that she was blind and deaf to her surroundings. She was not living in the moment but in a new book.

OK, that was me, and the book was Antipodes: the Ingenious and Exhilarating Expedition of El Lider and La Campana by Mark Price. (Sorry, I can't do macrons or squiggles over the n of Campana. I hope I haven't ruined the effect.)

The premise: A "modestly capable man" plans a modestly capable adventure, exploring the antipodes of 20 "Perfect Places" in his own antipodes, namely New Zealand.

The execution: Perfect Prose. Darling Deadpan. Magnificently ego-free travel writing, with happy whiffs of Toad Hall, Three Men in a Boat and Louis de Bernière's recent charmer, Nothwithstanding.

As I read and walked simultaneously, proving yet again that I'm a woman of many talents, I noticed my stride had a floating, lolloping quality, echoing the rhythm of Mark Price's good plain English.

Sheer pleasure inside a satisfying cardboard cover.

1 comment:

  1. I'm just loving every minute of your blog and your living attitude. :) Thanks for sharing.