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Description - In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

Beautifully written and full of wonderful descriptions and intriguing tales, In Patagonia is an account of Bruce Chatwin's travels to a remote country in search of a strange beast and his encounters with the people whose fascinating stories delay him on the road.

Buy In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780099769514
ISBN-10: 0099769514
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 8-Jan-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

UK Kirkus Review » As much a voyage of the imagination as a truthful description of a journey, this extraordinary book, first published in 1978, changed the landscape of travel writing forever. As Paul Theroux discovered, in a later attempt to pursue Chatwin's course, the Patagonia he recorded, was not easily revisited by anyone else, save in this book. Chatwin's encounters with Welsh descended farmers, his tales of Butch Cassidy's Argentine hide out and the general sense of awe at the harsh beauty of Patagonia should fire the imagination of most readers. This is a short but wonderful ramble of people, places and thoutghts. As well as being a writer of magnficent style, Chatwin was a connoisseur of the unusual. None of his characters blend into the surroundings; all are bewitched and multifaceted, shining like a brilliantly cut gem. A jewel amongst travel books. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A scrap of hairy skin once sent home by cousin Charley Millward the Sailor - part of an extinct Giant Sloth - takes Bruce Chatwin On an inquiring journey through Patagonia, land of last refuge and lingering mystery at the tip of South America. An impromptu traveler, he looks in on Welsh colonists with pottery pugs on the mantle and an elderly German who toasts Mad ("In my home? No!") King Ludwig; meets a young pianist who asks "complicated questions" about Liszt; looks up the French pretender to the lost throne of Araucania (a forebear learned of the untamed Araucanian Indians through Voltaire); picks up a would-be miner from Haight-Ashbury; and repeatedly crosses Butch Cassidy's exile trail. The encounters and anecdotes, laconically recounted - Chatwin is a clear, direct, wry observer - lengthen into informed speculations on the origin of The Ancient Mariner and the ancestry of Caliban. Chatwin, like the reconnoitering Naipaul, also catches the political drift - of, for one, a 1920-21 Anarchist rebellion led by a "lanky, red-headed Gallician, with the. . . squinting blue eyes that go with Celtic vagueness and fanaticism" who graduated from prop boy for an acting troupe. But it is when he crosses over into Tierra del Fuego - The Land of Fire - that the account really grabs hold. On hand are an Englishwoman traveling the world with one light suitcase and one long dress ("You never know where you'll end up") in pursuit of her passion for flowering shrubs, shades of Darwin and Poe and the wild Fuegians who appalled them both, and cousin Charley himself - his shipwreck, his picaresque tales, and his cave of skin and bones where "the extinct beast merged with the living beast and the beast of the imagination." An elliptical, insinuating quest and highly imaginative travel writing. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin was born in Sheffield in 1940. After attending Marlborough School he began work as a porter at Sotheby's. Eight years later, having become one of Sotheby's youngest directors, he abandoned his job to pursue his passion for world travel. Between 1972 and 1975 he worked for the Sunday Times, before announcing his next departure in a telegram: 'Gone to Patagonia for six months.' This trip inspired the first of Chatwin's books, In Patagonia, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award and launched his writing career. Two of his books have been made into feature films: The Viceroy of Ouidah (retitled Cobra Verde), directed by Werner Herzog, and Andrew Grieve's On the Black Hill. On publication The Songlines went straight to No.1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list and remained in the top ten for nine months. On the Black Hill won the Whitbread First Novel award while his novel Utz was nominated for the 1988 Booker prize. He died in January 1989, aged forty-eight.

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