A light poetic book. A translation from French to English by the excellent John Howe. The book abounds with metaphor and simile which some won’t like. Once you immerse yourself in the style thought the book has a lot to offer.
The book is ultimately concerned with the question, “should life be lived inside sitting?” or, “should life be lived outside walking?”
It’s an interesting question. Walking has a lot to offer and research study after research study seems to indicate the benefit of being immersed in Nature. Gros approaches the subject using his own walks coupled with research into historical thinkers who were renowned walkers. Gros seeks to showcase that our very thinking is more dynamic when we walk, versus when we sit.
Stylistically, Gros meanders, like walking through a country meadow, in his writing. Their are detours, dead ends, sections without a point, just like how Gros explains walking to be. For walking “is not a sport”, it isn’t a competition though we sometimes seem to do our best to make it one. Walking can just be something that we do without having any particular goal or objective in mind. It is the epitome of “journey over destination”.
Looking more deeply. Gros is a forebear of the simpler life. The kind of traditionalism that is espoused on twitter feeds like Wrath of Gnon or the writings of the self proclaimed “Lindy Man” Paul Skallas. A slower life where we focus on the beauty that exists in the world versus our non stop rush to exploit parts of it. To that end, it’s a good read.
Rather than a numerical review perhaps the best review I can give of the book is that it inspired me to go for a few more walks in my life.