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In this collection of profiles, essays and travel stories, Chatwin takes us to Benin, where he is arrested as a mercenary during a coup; to Boston to meet an LSD guru who believes he is Christ; to India with Indira Ghandi when she attempted a political comeback in 1978; and to Nepal where he reminds us that 'Man's real home is not a house, but the Road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot'

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099769811
ISBN-10: 0099769816
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 24mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Vintage Classics
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 28-Nov-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » One of the greatest travellers and travel writers, who, sadly, died in 1989, recorded some of his journeys through life in this last book. He writes memorably of Malraux, Mrs Gandhi and Werner Herzog in action as he directs The Viceroy of Ouidah. His manner of observing is unique. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A vibrant, mischievous collection of 35 profiles, stories, and travelogues by the author of The Songlines and In Patagonia, these impressively idiosyncratic pieces acquire a terrible poignancy in light of Chatwin's untimely death last January. Chatwin's predilection for the bizarre runs riot here ("my whole life has been a search for the miraculous," he admits), as his wanderings to weird corners of the world bring him up against some exceptional - and exceptionally strange - characters and events. In Benin, he is arrested as a mercenary; in Boston, he meets self-proclaimed avatar Mel Lyman, who idolizes Charles Manson and draws cosmic meaning from the Super Bowl; in Hong Kong, he learns the tricks of the geomancer's trade. The best pieces profile Arthur Koestler and Werner Herzog ("the only person with whom I could have a one-to-one conversation on what I would call the sacramental aspect of walking"), both experts at living on the fringes. Chatwin himself tweaks the reader at times with queer opinions ("Russia's revolution is the outstanding intellectual event of the century"), but most often he lets his varied oddballs speak for themselves. A flamboyant early Chinese Emperor obsessed with horses, an Indian wolf-boy, an expatriate American who paints nothing but postage stamps - on and on, the cavalcade dazzles, and Chatwin clearly delights in the telling. Irresistible, for those who like the offbeat - and a reminder of how it hurts when a novel literary voice is lost forever. (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.

Books By Author Bruce Chatwin

Songlines: Moleskine Special Edition by Bruce Chatwin

The Songlines: Moleskine Special Edition

Hardback, June 2017
Visit to Don Otavio by Bruce Chatwin

A Visit to Don Otavio

Paperback / softback, June 2016
Under The Sun by Bruce Chatwin

Under The Sun

Paperback, September 2011
Songlines by Bruce Chatwin

The Songlines

Paperback, May 2001