Listen free for 30 days

The January Man

A Year of Walking Britain
Narrated by: Christopher Somerville
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The January Man by Christopher Somerville, read by Christopher Somerville.

In January 2006, a month or two after my father died, I thought I saw him again - a momentary impression of an old man, a little stooped, setting off for a walk in his characteristic fawn corduroys and shabby quilted jacket. After teenage rifts it was walking that brought us closer as father and son, and this ghost of Dad has been walking at my elbow since his death, as I have ruminated on his great love of walking, his prodigious need to do it - and how and why I walk myself.

The January Man is the story of a year of walks that was inspired by a song, Dave Goulder's 'The January Man'. Month by month, season by season and region by region, Christopher Somerville walks the British Isles, following routes that continually bring his father to mind. As he travels the country - from the winter floodlands of the River Severn to the lambing pastures of Nidderdale, the towering seabird cliffs on the Shetland Isle of Foula in June and the ancient oaks of Sherwood Forest in autumn - he describes the history, wildlife, landscapes and people he encounters, down back lanes and old paths, in rain and fair weather.

This exquisitely written account of the British countryside not only inspires us to don our boots and explore the 140,000 miles of footpaths across the British Isles but also illustrates how, on long-distance walks, we can come to an understanding of ourselves and our fellow walkers. Over the hills and along the byways, Christopher Somerville examines what moulded the men of his father's generation - so reticent about their wartime experiences, so self-effacing, upright and dutiful - as he searches for the man inside the man that his own father really was.

©2017 Christopher Somerville (P)2017 Random House AudioBooks

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!

This is a book to savour and cherish, to return to many times. It's really wonderful.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Listened 3 times in a row, loved how it made me feel & appreciate countryside & simple things

Loved it

Full with so much meaning, and extreme well spoken feeding emotion into each chapter

Can't recommend enough

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Heartfelt, intensely personal and often beautiful

More of a memoir and nature documentary than the walking travelogue that I had expected, but none the worse for that.

The author's heartfelt, intensely personal and often beautiful writing and narration make for a rewarding listen.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nike
  • Devon
  • 20-05-19

Fascinating

Good listening. Thanks I found the personal observations very sympathetic The writer's background very interesting

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

personal and moving

beautifully read. interesting walks and landscapes. poignant story of a son's reflections on his father through his journeys.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very impressive book

A cliche then to begin this review. A book that has everything. There is humour here and pathos. Some interesting walks well described and with a touch of family life as well. Actuallly there is one thing missing. No spying on nature by capture and ring which is a good thing in a world continuually more obsessed with the invasion of privacy of that which can’t say no. There is history too in this book and you get to see the British Isles as you’ve never seen them before or at least you might not have. On an island often accused of being overcrowding it’s noce to know there are still some places you can waalk that are truly right away from busy motoreays and the invasion of life. I’d recommend it to all purist nature lovers not wanting to be crushed by a world of curiosity and name dropping.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Loved it, read it many times..I felt I was with the narrator on his walks.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • H
  • 19-04-18

Charming

Would you listen to The January Man again? Why?

Yes once finished I went straight back and read it again.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The January Man?

Wit and wry humour

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating

I was expecting to enjoy this, but I loved it. More please from this author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspires me to hike England & treasure loved ones.

A lovely earthy composition of richly detailed walks, taking in the flora, fauna, geography and anthropology of England. Nicely woven into this are the stories of Christopher's family, especially father. A truly enjoyable collection of experiences that invoke reflection and exploration in equal measure.