John's Reviews > The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan

The Roads to Sata by Alan Booth
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's review
May 15, 10

bookshelves: japan, travelogue, autobiography
Read in July, 2008

Alan Booth’s sadly premature death from cancer in his 40s remains a tragedy, for one of the best travel writers of the English language will neither write nor travel again.

A must-read for anyone interested in Japan, and a must-read for one devoted to superlative writing, for Booth transcends the mundane and ordinary while simultaneously revelling in both, and embodies with ease the Japanese aesthetic of “mono-no-aware”: delight in the beauty and pathos of ephemeral things.

It is no exaggeration that on the basis of this book alone Alan Booth was pronounced as “not only the best travel writer on Japan, but one of the best travel writers in the English language" (Ian Burma)—with his humour, insight, empathy and keen intellect, Booth is a writer who whets the appetite for a greatness that can seldom be found elsewhere.
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