I had browsed around Terry Cudbird's website a number of times in the past (oh, look at that: a prominent link to this book on the home page; perhaps I saw it there first?) but I didn't make the connection until I was half way through the book.
Cudbird is a fairly good observer and writes down his observations well. He speaks French which, as he himself notes in the acknowledgements, probably made the difference between having a large number of encounters to recount and not having enough material for an entire book. He has also studied French history in the past so a number of anecdotes of a historical nature find their way into the book.
Despite all this, I found it a very frustrating book to read and never really got into it. I think that this has much to do with his writing style. The book is divided into regional sections - Pyrenees, Languedoc etc - but within each section his comments are not geographically sequential. Rather he will start talking about the food and relay a number of stories and experiences about that and then somehow segue into geology and back he goes 500km and forward a month. This sort of thing would probably work fairly well as a series of blog posts read over several months but somehow grated with me as I read the whole thing over the course of a week. It was, I reflected after finishing it, the sort of book that I would be likely to write after my long walk so I took the precaution of telling my wife so that she could remind me if delusions of grandeur ever came over me.
I'm glad I read it and I learnt quite a bit from it but it was the first book ever to get only two stars from me on Goodreads and I really can't recommend it to anyone else unless you are, like me, obsessed with long distance walking and a fan of France.