... a remarkable book on language and landscape by the British academic, nature writer and word lover ... For a book so self-effacing and respectful of the words of others, Landmarks is wildly ambitious, part outdoor adventure story, part literary criticism, part philosophical disquisition, part linguistic excavation project, part mash note — a celebration of nature, of reading, of writing, of language and of people who love those things as much as the author does ... This book feels like an antidote to [ugly language], as startling and interesting and fizzy as the word 'zugs,' which in Exmoor refers to 'little bog islands, about the size of a bucket,' and is one of dozens of unexpected terms compiled in the glossaries that punctuate this book. They read like poetry ... [Macfarlane's] book had such a strong effect on me, and it was more visceral than cerebral.
... compelling ... Landmarks covers a good deal of ground, from the Arctic north to the Sierra Nevada, while homing in on distinctive British chosen grounds, all abundant in imagery and implications, social, moral and regenerative implications ... Keeping the country in good heart by celebrating the countryside in all its aspects: this is one of Macfarlane’s aims, and one that is wonderfully achieved.
Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks... is much more than a harrowing elegy for the British rural scene, with which up until recently we were intimately connected. The book is an apocalyptic vision ... [Macfarlane's] glossary contains... jewels ... Macfarlane provides enough evidence to show how language has both shaped our sense of place and terrain... and also how it embodies our national (and regional) personalities and temperaments.