The essays in this mischievously titled collection, How to Proceed, are, in the author’s own words, ‘apparently offhand, informal, digressive and unashamedly personal’. Perhaps, he suggests in the introduction, they are not really essays at all. They explore
subjects ranging from the nature of time to the pleasures (and pitfalls) of walking, the mysteries of marriage, to the matter of taking risks. Trust is scrutinized and the gaining of self-knowledge tested. Always lively, often amusing, sometimes poignant, these
verbal excursions make clear that, in most circumstances, discovering how to proceed is rarely less than tricky. Written with a poet’s eye for detail—the author is a distinguished poet—this collection, whether focusing on the perils of modern transport or
the potential satisfactions of curiosity, contains many surprising departures.