Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Path to Odin's Lake - ebook offer

I am happy to report that my new book The Path to Odin's Lake is now available on Amazon as an ebook for Kindles, as well as in paperback format. For both of them I have created a second edition, having ironed out the remaining bugs in the formatting and text - so this is the version I am most proud of. Furthermore, my book will be featured in the Dark Mountain Project this summer, and several other publications have expressed an interest in reviewing it.

So, to celebrate this I'm dropping the price of the ebook until the end of May. For only $4.99 or  £3.99 you can get instant access and be reading it in moments.

Download a Kindle version from here

Download a Kindle version from here

Download Kindle and other popular ebook formats here from Smashwords

(Author's note: if you would like to help me out and it doesn't cause you any extra pain, the royalties I get from Smashwords are x4 what Amazon gives)

It has taken me nine months to write The Path to Odin's Lake and, as such, I have found the hardest thing to write being a description of what to expect from the book. Usually I describe it as a 'Peak oil, spiritual travelogue' in the same vein as, say, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or The Rings of Saturn. Luckily for me some early readers have left reviews and five-star recommendations on Amazon, and I think the first one below sums up best for me how I would put it:

 Great book, strongly recommended 
By Mark Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. There seem to be three stories woven into one: Heppenstall’s account of a late-summer backpacking trip through Scandanavia; his immersion back into nature and the surprises and synchronicities that arose along the way; and a wider meditation on the great challenges of our age and how we can respond to them as individuals. The main challenges the author sees are climate change, the increasing stresses and strains in the global economy, our addiction to gadgets and consumerism and our unrealistic expectations for never-ending economic growth on a finite planet. Serious stuff, and for those with ears to hear the book will grab the attention.

But instead of another doomer diatribe, or bunch of earnest policy proposals and to-do lists, the author gently points us back to a simple truth: we don’t really need to save the earth, since the earth will save itself (although it will take a bit of time for nature to clear up some of our messes). What we need to do is save ourselves from the consequences of our, often unconscious, behavior on this planet. And the best paths along which we can stumble towards some sort of salvation are those that take us back into a much closer relationship with nature.

For those who are aware of these great challenges, the book offers inspiration, humor and encouragement. For those who are new to them, the book offers an accessible and uplifting introduction to some heavy topics. Heppenstall also shares some of his own experiences as one who has clearly been walking this walk in his own life. And underneath it all is great travelogue.

Here's another one:

 Jason Heppenstall goes camping in the rain and contemplates the rebirth of his soul 
By nativewater Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The narrative portion of this book might be subtitled Jason Heppenstall goes camping in the rain. But the account of his camping trip is not all you get. The author took along two books of philosophy in his backpack, Marcus Aurelius's Meditation and Bill Plotkin's Soulcraft and quotes them widely throughout the book to give a philosophic foundation to his camping trip. Camping is not merely camping, but also a way to recover your soul which has been shriveled by too much civilization. The third part of the book consists of musings by the author on the fate of industrial civilization which he believes to be entering into decline and what our response to this decline should be. For people who have not read blogs of writers like Jim Kunstler, Dmitry Orlov, and John Michael Greer, this might be as good an introduction to the notion that our civilization is in decline as any. Though not the main focus of the book, the question of how to live in the face of industrial civilization's decline is central to the author's thesis that what needs fixing is not the earth but our own souls to allow the natural world to heal. I think I got that right.
Being familiar with the author's blog on matters related to industrial civilization's decline, the philosophical parts of the book were not as interesting to me as his account of his solo camping trip to National Park in Sweden which had Odin's lake at its center. Having done a considerable amount of solo camping in North America, some of it in the rain, I was of course curious how the author fared at the same sort of adventure in Sweden. The author's campsite offered a communal kitchen, coffee, showers and a sauna, probably necessities in a place with much rain. How very sensible of the Swedes. I imagine that if you didn't offer some shelter in a place that gets a lot of rain you wouldn't have a whole lot of people using the campgrounds. Tents after all do tend to leak if rained on long enough and it doesn't take more than a day of that to send you packing.
So buy the book. If you never heard of global warming before or peak oil or the concept that all civilizations have an ascending and a descending phase and that we might be in the descending phase of our own civilization and that that might not be such a bad thing, given that industrial civilization inadvertently seemed to be ruining the planet we live on in order to make our extravagant lifestyle possible while at the same time killing our souls this book might be an eye opener. If you already heard of all this stuff, and reading the author's version might sound like preaching to the choir, then perhaps you can just shout out Amen and stuff ten dollars into the donation box. Or maybe you might just want to find out what camping in Sweden is like.

And another:

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This book is enjoyable. For me, the several layers present will make it worth reading more than once and the early signs are that it will become something of a way marker.


So, if you want to find out what it was they found so enjoyable and noteworthy then take up my offer and download your copy. If you don't like ebooks (and many don't!) then you can order a paperback version by clicking on the icon in the top right side of this screen.

Thank you for reading - here ends this commercial message ;-)


  1. Hullo Jason,

    I really, really liked your book. Your encounter with the beech tree, and the answer it gave you, brought tears to my eyes. Your book has changed my attitude to nature. Thank you very much.


    1. Thank you Madeline - I'm glad you found it useful.

  2. I got the smashwords version for my Nook and really enjoyed it. It reminds me that it is often in the hidden places that are not actually all that far from 'civilisation' in distance that it is possible to step out of the urban/suburban world.
    Sometimes the slightly more remote places are actually quite domesticated in the way that we already have a preconceived idea of what they are laid upon them before we reach them and have been branded and commercialised for tourism.

    1. Thanks - I'm glad you enjoyed it. The irony was that it was the really 'wild' places that I craved, and yet I ended up in a tiny national park not much bigger than a pocket handkerchief. Perhaps the concept of 'the wild' is no longer meaningful, in the way it used to be.

  3. Buying e-books sounds so easy, and using them seems so effortless. The buy ebook are a breeze to purchase, and you can easily store great numbers of them, especially if your e-reader has a removable storage card.


I'll try to reply to comments as time permits.