cover image Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey

Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey

Bruce Feiler. William Morrow & Company, $32.5 (154pp) ISBN 978-0-06-079904-5

When Walking the Bible was first published in 2001, Feiler set up a Web site where readers could respond to the book. The most frequently-asked question was, ""Do you have any pictures?"" Now the answer is yes. This coffeetable companion volume features 150 color and black-and-white images (many of them taken by Feiler himself, who comes from a family of amateur photographers), paired with snippets from the original book's text. The highly visual nature of Feiler's project-to revisit the sites and locations mentioned in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, and discover their meaning for Jews, Christians and Muslims today-lends itself perfectly to a photographic rendering, and these images do not disappoint. As well, Feiler has an enviable talent for helping modern readers visualize large-scale landscapes that can't be easily captured with a camera (""The Fertile Crescent was structured like a modern American shopping mall, with an anchor store at either end-Mesopotamia and Egypt-and more vulnerable boutique stores in the middle""). He also suggests the sights and sounds of these places, remarking, for example, that the Sinai desert is unexpectedly loud, with whining wind and ""tinkling"" sand. With its journeys to Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Turkey, Feiler's photographic pilgrimage is a rare treat. Readers will be delighted to learn that in 2006, his travels will also be the subject of a three-hour PBS miniseries.