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Voyager: Travel Writings by Russell Banks

Voyager: Travel Writings (edition 2016)

by Russell Banks (Author)

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Title:Voyager: Travel Writings
Authors:Russell Banks (Author)
Info:Ecco (2016), 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Voyager: Travel Writings by Russell Banks



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This first part of this book (Part 1) details a reflective trip Banks and his fourth wife-to-be take to the Caribbean. It is more of an odyssey in which Banks analyzes his three previous failed marriages as he travels about the various subtropical islands. The most interesting parts of the book come later, with a weird encounter with Fidel Castro, and a delightful chapter on a trip to the Seychelles. Banks seems to find his true travel writing voice in the final chapters, which deal with high altitude trekking and mountain climbing in Ecuador and Nepal. I particularly enjoyed Banks' insight into his inner thoughts as he plods up high mountain passes. He also has a keen sense for describing his physical surroundings. ( )
  ArtRodrigues | Nov 20, 2016 |
Second half better than the first, which is why I gave 2 stars rather than one. The author spends the first half on a trip to the Caribbean with his now wife. The Caribbean part was great, but you have to endure endless navel gazing as to why his first three marriages failed. He puts the lion's share of blame on the wives, repeating several times that one should not marry someone who loves you more than you love them. My suggestion, perhaps the marriages failed because the author comes across like a self absorbed jerk. Second half better, more about travels and locations, less about Russell's bellybutton. ( )
  cookierooks | Nov 16, 2016 |
Well-written, with the ability to transport the reader to the place described, even if said place is a bit, meh. The first half of the book was cursed with a smidge of pretension and an almost more than tolerable amount of angsty hand-wringing. The back section was worth the wait, but I will confess to skipping out on the last 20 pages or so, feeling as though I had already been and done. ( )
  Pamici | Jul 12, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006185767X, Hardcover)

The acclaimed, award-winning novelist takes us on some of his most memorable journeys in this revelatory collection of travel essays that spans the globe, from the Caribbean to Scotland to the Himalayas.

Now in his mid-seventies, Russell Banks has indulged his wanderlust for more than half a century. “Since childhood, I’ve longed for escape, for rejuvenation, for wealth untold, for erotic and narcotic and sybaritic fresh starts, for high romance, mystery, and intrigue,” he writes in this compelling anthology. The longing for escape has taken him from the “bright green islands and turquoise seas” of the Caribbean islands to peaks in the Himalayas, the Andes, and beyond.

In Voyager, Russell Banks, a lifelong explorer, shares highlights from his travels: interviewing Fidel Castro in Cuba; motoring to a hippie reunion with college friends in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; eloping to Edinburgh, with his fourth wife, Chase; driving a sunset orange metallic Hummer down Alaska’s Seward Highway.

In each of these remarkable essays, Banks considers his life and the world. In Everglades National Park this “perfect place to time-travel,” he traces his own timeline. “I keep going back, and with increasingly clarity I see more of the place and more of my past selves. And more of the past of the planet as well.” Recalling his trips to the Caribbean in the title essay, “Voyager,” Banks dissects his relationships with the four women who would become his wives. In the Himalayas, he embarks on a different quest of self-discovery. “One climbs a mountain not to conquer it, but to be lifted like this away from the earth up into the sky,” he explains.

Pensive, frank, beautiful, and engaging, Voyager brings together the social, the personal, and the historical, opening a path into the heart and soul of this revered writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 08 Apr 2016 13:46:21 -0400)

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