Launch date: 1st May 2014,
Blackwell's, 53-59 South Bridge, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 1YS
Published by: Ultima Thule Press
ISBN: 978 0 95584 481 2
Using memoir as a vehicle, In Search of Landfall is about one man's search for answers to some of the most important questions we are all faced with: who are we, what are we doing here, and where are we going?
It is also a fascinating portrait of two very different worlds: the author's childhood in 1950s Edinburgh and his time there at university as a radical student in the late 1960s, and his life in the exhilarating counterculture of Amsterdam during the 1970s and 1980s. As he travels through life and the remotest parts of the globe, he describes both his inner and outer journeys and the extraordinary characters he encounters along the way, inlcuding Norman McCaig, Indira Gandhi, Robin Cook, Rudi Dutschke and Jorge Luis Borges.
Loosely structured on Homer's Odyssey, this book is an almost mythical meditation on childhood, the loss of innocence, love and the passing of time.
Socrates thought the unexamined life wasn't worth living. Doris Lessing countered that the unlived life isn't worth examining. Patrick Richardson's wonderful memoir fits neither scenario. It is a rich rendering of a life lived to the full, and tells the tale of his own travels, inner and outer. It is full of insight and incident, and fascinating accounts of his own meetings with remarkable men and women along the way. An altogether engaging piece of work.
After his outstanding travel writing, we now have Patrick Richardson's account of the most important journey of all – his life. And it's not for the faint-hearted: a gutsy, rollicking, roller coaster of a life story which reminded me more than anything of a racy picaresque novel by one of the eighteenth-century masters. Except that this isn't fiction, it's true. The book is teeming with the fascinating characters and even more fascinating encounters that have contributed to a very rich life. So hold tight and prepare for a splendid romp of an autobiography, bubbling over with exuberance and life-enhancing eccentricity, but balanced by insights that are always interesting and sometimes profound.
Patrick Richardson has done it all, and been everywhere. He now invites us on a very personal journey through his colourful past. At times illuminating, moving, cultured and picaresque, this book is always engaging. It'll almost certainly be the best observed and most entertaining autobiography cum social commentary cum travelogue you'll ever read.