Literature, Reviews

Review: Attlee, Isolarion

jacket imageFrom the UK comes another review of Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey by James Attlee, this one in the Times. The review praises Attlee’s unconventional travelogue for turning his observations about Oxford’s Cowley Road—an unexplored side-street just minutes from the author’s home—into a fascinating journey across space and time. From Elizabeth Garner’s review:

On the surface, Isolarion plays with the thrill of voyeurism. We follow Attlee behind closed doors into unknown worlds: from New Age immersion in a flotation tank to the brash neon-lit world of the porn shop, to the smoky, hypnotic experience of a reggae concert. …
But Isolarion is more than a piece of observational journalism. Attlee’s encounters lead to thoughtful investigations of the human condition. A visit to a jewellers allows a digression on love and love tokens. A vivid, sensual description of a street carnival becomes an insight into multiculturalism, and blends into a meditation on the nature of family. …
Ultimately, [Attlee] weaves together a subtle, understated tale of spiritual survival: peace and understanding come from an investigation of where we are. In an age in which air travel opens up the world, and holidays are to escape the mundane, Attlee encourages us to look at the riches on our doorstep.

Another piece about Attlee and Isolarion was published in the Oxford Times.
Read an excerpt from the book.