Tinker's Reviews > A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful

A Sense of Direction by Gideon Lewis-Kraus
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's review
Jul 02, 2012

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Read in June, 2012

i was lent this book by a friend because of its relevance to my recent experiences on the pacific crest trail. after i read it i found online a rather brutal but accurate review of this by choire sicha in slate magazine, to which i have very little to add. pretty transparently, he went on the pilgrimages desperate to generate a book. the second pilgrimage, in japan, was a mistake because he didnt know the language and went alone. the third, a hasidic outing (and not really a pilgrimage), was the most successful for him, because it was thick with people to write about, there was family drama (hes still all caught up in that), and it was a culture he somewhat understood. he shows off "good writing" in a way that i find unbecoming in an artist. but mainly, he finally turns out to be his rabbi father's son: the point of writing books, it seems to him, is to analyze and draw morals and articulate complex conclusions from his experiences, which in the last few pages he does: the sumup sermon. well, he's young.
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