Andrew Terrill

The outdoor diary of a writer, photographer, and wilderness wanderer

Early Praise for ‘The Earth Beneath My Feet’

The Earth Beneath My Feet hasn’t been out for long, but it has received some great early reviews. If you are still on the fence, uncertain whether or not the book is worth your time, please see the reviews and endorsements below. And if you have read the book already – please DO let me know what you think of it!

 

on the summit of Corno Grande Gran Sasso d Italia Apennines
The summit of the Apennines – Corno Grande in the Gran Sasso d’Italia, July 21, 1997.

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“There’s a classic of outdoor literature in the making here… If this and its not-yet-published sequel (On Sacred Ground) don’t cream off every outdoor writing award going, then there’s no justice.”

—Jim Perrin, Two-time winner of The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, and winner of the Mountaineering History Prize at Banff Mountain Book Festival.

(For full review, please see below)

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“Twenty years ago when I published some of Andrew’s early articles in The Great Outdoors magazine I said he was going to become one of the truly great outdoor writers. The Earth Beneath My Feet has proved me correct.”

—Cameron McNeish, Author and television presenter.

(For full review, please see below)

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“The writing is direct, descriptive, and subtle. There’s a great deal of depth to the words and many passages repay rereading. This is far more than the account of a long walk.”

 —Chris Townsend, Author of The Backpacker’s Handbook, Along The Divide, and many other hiking books.

1st review by Chris Townsend, June 1, 2021, click HERE. Full review by Chris Townsend, August 8, 2021, click HERE.

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“It bursts onto the page with the freshness of youth, full of energy, excitement, anticipation and innocence.”

—Ian R. Mitchell, Winner of The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, and author of Mountain Days and Bothy Nights, Encounters in the American Mountain West, and other titles.

(For full review, please see below)

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“The more you read the more you don’t want it to end. It’s the first book in years that I’ve set 30-45 minutes aside for each evening, knowing that within a paragraph the worries of the everyday world would fade away.”

—Dave Mycroft, MyOutdoors.co.uk

For full review, please click HERE.

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“The grinding lows and euphoric highs are recounted in an engaging and conversational style that puts the reader in the heart of the narrative. Anyone who recalls the wanderings of their own youth, the sense of limitless possibility, that glorious detachment, will find something to relate to here. The Earth Beneath My Feet is an engaging and inspiring read.”

—Dan Bailey, UKHillwalking.com

For full review, please click HERE.

wilderness camp in la sila mountains calabria
Wilderness Camp in La Sila, Calabria, May 21, 1997.

 

Here’s a book I thoroughly recommend to you. It’s an account of a solo walk from Calabria (at the toe of Italy) to Salzburg and it’s one of the best accounts of a long-distance walk I’ve ever read. What’s crucial in accounts of long journeys, whether on foot, by bicycle or on horseback is the personality of the author. Terrill – a Pinner boy making his break for freedom by a walk that will end up at the Nordkapp – is as endearing a companion as you could hope to meet between the covers of a book. He’s resourceful, funny, unshowily knowledgable, attentive to the people he meets along the way, writes in a simple, modest, informed, engaging style and at the end of this volume he’s left me aching for the next instalment.

There’s a classic of outdoor literature in the making here. Touching the Void? Macfarlane? Forget them. This is writing devoid of ego and done for the pure love of being out alone in wild nature. Its simple, celebratory, dauntless honesty is the rarest and loveliest of things. If this and its not-yet-published sequel (On Sacred Ground) don’t cream off every outdoor writing award going, then there’s no justice. And I hope in this case that for once there is. I know that if I was on any of the judging panels, this would be straight on my short lists.

Terrill’s also published and designed it himself. Top marks all round! The boy’s done well. It arrived in the post this morning and since then I’ve not been able to put it down. Can’t remember when 350 pages of walking narrative last flew by so pleasantly and easily. We have a new star in our midst, outdoor lovers – he’s the real deal and deserves a place on all our outdoor bookshelves! Well done, Andrew Terrill! And I should mention another thing about this wonderful book. Part of the purpose behind his walk was to raise money for two London homeless charities. That’s the kind of decency that quietly underpins this whole enterprise.

—Jim Perrin

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This is the book that almost got away, the account of a very long walk that has been brewing in the author’s psyche for over twenty years. And like the distillation of a good malt whisky it’s been worth the wait. In these social media days of the quick fix and the selfie I’m delighted Andrew Terrill has given his story a long gestation period because the resulting narrative is matured and considered, a hugely exhilarating story of a long, solo hike between two edges of Europe: the tip of Italy’s toe to the edge of the Arctic in northern Norway. This is a story of youthful optimism, a life-changing journey, written from the perspective of a man who has found his place in the world. Twenty years ago when I published some of Andrew’s early articles in The Great Outdoors magazine I said he was going to become one of the truly great outdoor writers. The Earth Beneath My Feet has proved me correct.

—Cameron McNeish

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This marvellous book is a tale of physical and mental courage, of a young man testing himself and gaining self-reliance and confidence over the course of an eighteen-month solo walk of 7,000 miles. The Earth Beneath My Feet covers the first part of this walk, from Reggio di Calabria at the foot of Italy to Salzburg in Austria, during which he learns the skills of engagement with the wild and with people, and overcomes his youthful demons.

It is a mountain walk, that goes from the  Aspromonte range in Calabria, along the Apennine chain through areas such the Abruzzo and Tuscany, crosses the plain of the Po, then traverses the Alps by further mountain areas such as the  Sud Tyrol, the Dolomites, Zillertal and the Hohe Tauern. This resonated with me as I have visited most of these areas, from the highly-frequented Tauern to the almost unknown Aspromonte, and it brought back many grand memories. But I did this over 20 years, on two week summer holidays, in the comfort of Alpine huts!

Terrill completed the journey almost 25 years ago and has very wisely resisted writing it up from the standpoint of now middle age, which would have given it a sad, valedictory resonance, even though he could have brought later insights to bear. No, clearly created from the detailed log he kept at the time, it bursts onto the page with the freshness of youth, full of energy, excitement, anticipation and innocence.

I had to suppress a smile reading about his adventures in Calabria, run by the ’Ndrangheta more ruthlessly than the Mafia control Sicily, and his encounters with men in dark glasses, in SUVs with guns in the mountains where they dump the bodies of their victims. Being the only other person I know who has hiked those mountains, I think he was little aware then that he was in more danger from the men in dark glasses, than from any avalanche or bear. It was adventurous country to cross alone and on foot, and not the Europe that most people know.

A subsequent volume is promised dealing with the second half of the walk through Norway to the North Cape, and I look forward to it eagerly. Even if it is half as absorbing as this first volume, it will be worth reading.

—Ian R. Mitchell.

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For reader reviews, please see Amazon. Visitors in the U.S. should click HERE, and in the U.K. HERE.
As of August 8, 2021, The Earth Beneath My Feet has a 4.9-star reader-rating on Amazon.co.uk. Every single written review has been five stars.

 

Winter evening sunset in the Austrian Alps December 4 1997
Winter evening in the Austrian Alps, December 4, 1997.
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