Book Reviews,  Europe,  NON FICTION,  Travel

Paris to the Pyranees by David Downie * (of 4)

parisSo much promise, so little delivery.  David Downie sets his mind to walking the old pilgrim trail of Saint James.  He’s trying to recover from overeating for a lifetime. He wants to find himself without succumbing to spirituality, which he cynically despises.  He does like Gauls, Caesar, good coffee, and pretty scenery, however.  Only problem is the book sucks.  Mostly he gives us self-important field notes.  Thus, no section is longer than a couple of pages.  He is so intent on dissing pilgrims and their spiritual journeys the reader is left to suspect he is establishing a strawman right from page one.  His recounting of history appears to be coming from a single guidebook he is carrying with him.  I could have read my own guidebook it that was the level of discovery I was hoping for.  He is self-consciously snarky.  Probably served him well has a food writer for magazines, but not here.