The writer and hiker John Dexter Jones has written a book called Mountain Punk, which focuses on his passion for the mountains of Eryri (Snowdonia) in Wales.
John is a local. He grew up in Bangor and his family worked in the quarries, on the farms and in the ports. He has been Eryri for nearly 50 years and, for the first 20 years of his life, he opened the curtains on a view that stretched from Foel Fras in the east to Yr Wyddfa in the west.
Juan says: “I know Eryri. I am part of the place and he is part of me. »
What is Mountain Punk?
Mountain Punk relates primarily, though not exclusively, to John’s relationship with the Eryri Mountains. It is a collection of short stories and poems that invites the reader to consider a less conventional approach to visiting the hills and mountains. It is not a guide but an emotional reflection, less material, on the high places and what they mean to him.
John hopes that readers will be immersed in and out of the book. He says: “There is no particular structure in the book. Readers can come and go at will.
He adds: “When I completed this collection of stories, I wondered who might really want to read it. Perhaps they would be people who have experience in the mountains but are looking to get off the beaten path?
“Perhaps it would be those curious about exploring the mountains and hills of Wales for the first time, but who don’t have the stomach for crowds.
“Are there people who love to read about the high places, whether they have walked them all or have never set foot on a mountain in Wales or anywhere else?
“Many books about mountains convey excitement and adventure that are beyond the reach of mere mortals, they are a great read, but I was looking for something more achievable.”
Mountain Punk is illustrated with paintings by John’s friend Pete Jones, a Welsh artist whose work appears in the National Gallery of Wales and the National Library of Wales.
Says John: “There are so many wonderful digital images gracing the pages of thousands of books, everyone has a good camera these days, but not everyone has a brilliant artist’s eye with which to capture the feeling of Eryri.
In another world, this would be a coffee table book with attitude, but as it is, it’s a true-to-the-money DIY effort. I’m grateful to Steph at Sound Marketing Press for her help putting it together.”
My Thoughts: Mountain Punk
The book is attractive in its simplicity. It’s been sitting on my office desk for a couple of months now and every now and then I take it for a look. It is divided into sections of short stories and poems and these can be read one at a time.
I don’t have a lot of time and I don’t have a long attention span either. I spend so much time staring at a screen and reading or writing all day that I like a book I can dive in and pull out.
The stories are very well composed and engaging. I wish there were more illustrations or bigger headings to break up the text pages, but it’s not a major problem because there’s a lot of white space around the words and paragraphs.
The works of art are also beautiful. They seem inconspicuous at first, but the more you look at the paintings, the greater the depth.
I can see this book as a nice gift for a friend, or the kind of item you could buy for yourself and have lying around the house for a quick perusal whenever you feel like you want to be in the mountains, but you’re sitting at home.
John clearly has a lifelong love and intimate knowledge of Snowdonia and takes readers off the beaten path.
I like this post and have now left it on our living room table for our house guests to enjoy.