Inspired Traveller’s Guide
Illustrated by Amy Grimes
Blurb: Inspired Traveller’s Guides: Literary Places takes you on an enlightening journey through the key locations of literature’s best and brightest authors, movements, and moments—brought to life through comprehensively researched text and stunning hand-drawn artwork.
Travel journalist Sarah Baxter provides comprehensive and atmospheric outlines of the history and culture of 25 literary places around the globe, as well as how they intersect with the lives of the authors and the works that make them significant. Full-page color illustrations instantly transport you to each location. You’ll find that these places are not just backdrops to the tales told, but characters in their own right.
Travel to the sun-scorched plains of Don Quixote’s La Mancha, roam the wild Yorkshire moors with Cathy and Heathcliff, or view Central Park through the eyes of J.D. Salinger’s antihero. Explore the lush and languid backwaters of Arundhati Roy’s Kerala, the imposing precipice of Joan Lindsay’s Hanging Rock, and the labyrinthine streets and sewers of Victor Hugo’s Paris.
Delve into this book to discover some of the world’s most fascinating literary places and the novels that celebrate them.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
I feel that I must make a confession. To many, a true book-lover is a person who is lifted to nirvana by holding a book made with real paper and a cover, who breathes in deeply the scent of ink on paper, whose fingers long to delicately turn page after page. That isn’t me. Ooops. Perhaps I belong to the age-old land of storytellers who spoke words over a fire, who didn’t need a book. I don’t know. Essentially the point is: I love books regardless of their format and mostly I don’t care about the format. Until now.
My issue with reading Literary Places by Sarah Baxter with captivating illustrations by Amy Grimes via my electronic reader is that I feel like I’ve missed out a bit on something magical that an e-reader can only minimally convey. First off, Amy Grimes’ illustrations fascinate me. At first glance, they look minimalistic, but there’s something about them, some magical quality that makes me want to continue looking at them.
These illustrations offer a viewpoint of Sarah Baxter’s frequently poetic descriptions of novel settings.
“The Crescent’s honeyed stone glows in the afternoon sunlight, a radiant architectural swoosh between the neat green lawn and cloudless blue sky. A long procession of Ionic columns and sash windows sweeps away in perfect symmetry, while the footsteps of the slowly strolling curious–faces up-turned, mouths agape–slap on worn-smooth slabs.”
The “places” referred to in the title range from the Paris of Les Miserables to Chile from The House of Spirits with stops in Kabul (The Kite Runner) and the Mississippi River (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn).
You can view more illustrations on the Amazon page for Literary Places.
Literary Places is not the kind of book that you would want to read in one sitting. I would read one or two entries, savor them, imagine the places as they once were as they are now, before moving on.
The passages also lend themselves extremely well to giving a taste of novels that haven’t been read yet, which I found, in my case, to be far too many than I would have liked. However, if you’ve read the novel, the present-day descriptions of the settings may just result in your wanting to enjoy them yourself in person.
I received an ARC from Netgalley and the Quarto Group in exchange for an honest review.