Where the Wild Winds Are
SHORTLISTED FOR THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
A Financial Times Book of the Year
A Spectator Book of the Year
A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year
‘Travel writing in excelsis’ -Jan Morris, author of Venice
‘A thrilling and gorgeous tale, packed with meteorological wonder’ -Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun
Nick Hunt sets off on an unlikely quest: to follow four of Europe’s winds across the continent…
His wind-walks begin on Cross Fell, the highest point of the Pennines, as he chases the roaring Helm – the only named wind in Britain. In southern Europe he follows the Bora – a bitter northerly that blows from Trieste through Slovenia and down the Croatian coast. His hunt for the ‘snow-eating’ Foehn becomes a meandering journey of exhilaration and despair through the Alpine valleys of Switzerland, and his final walk traces an ancient pilgrims’ path in the south of France on the trail of the Mistral – the ‘wind of madness’ which animated and tormented Vincent Van Gogh.
These are journeys into wild wind, but also into wild landscapes and the people who inhabit them – a cast of meteorologists, storm chasers, mountain men, eccentric wind enthusiasts, sailors and shepherds. Soon Nick finds himself borne along by the very forces he is pursuing, through rain, blizzards, howling gales, and back through time itself. For, where the wild winds are, there are also myths and legends, history and hearsay, science and superstition – and occasionally remote mountain cabins packed with pickles, cured meats and homemade alcohol.
Where the Wild Winds Are is a beautiful, unconventional travelogue that makes the invisible visible.
A good old-fashioned adventure * Geographical * Hunt's narrative mixes description elegantly with reportage * New Statesman * This moving and profoundly honest book sometimes brings a sense of unlimited freedom, sometimes joy, sometimes an extraordinary, dream-like dislocation: always accompanied by a dazzling sharpness of hearing and vision. -- Artemis Cooper Illuminating * Wall Street Journal * A glorious book, rich with insight and wit, about walking his way both across and into contemporary Europe. A book about gifts, modernity, endurance and landscape, it represents a fine addition to the literature of the leg. -- Robert Macfarlane Praise for Nick Hunt * - * Nick Hunt's writing is powerful, playful, searching and often strikingly original. As he walks through the world, his journeys always reveal more than they set out to find. -- Paul Kingsnorth, author of 'The Wake' An ingenious idea that [Hunt] carries off with panache and aplomb. An extremely gifted writer . . . his writing here has agreeable echoes of Leigh Fermor's evocative prose. * New European * A wonderful book; reading it is like being introduced to a gang of complex characters by an entertaining and erudite host. It has been a joy getting to know them better and in all their moods. -- Tristan Gooley, author of 'The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs' A thrilling and gorgeous tale, packed with meteorological wonder. -- Amy Liptrot, author of 'The Outrun'