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In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin
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In Patagonia (1977)

by Bruce Chatwin

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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Bruce Chatwin wrote this book about 1977, and I have been aware of it for years, seeing it praised as the best travel story in many years. It begins with his boyhood fascination with a piece of skin that his uncle told him was from a dinosaur. He set out as a young man to follow his uncles travels in Patagonia. He walked and hitched rides, took the trains, throughout Patagonia, ending up in Tierra del Fuego and finally in Chile. The skin probably came from a giant sloth, found in a cave in southern Chile. He tells the story of Butch Cassidy, trying to separate the facts from the fiction. He is very familiar with obscure revolutionaries and histories in the region, and with the occasional Nazi still living at that time. He describes a place, recounts a story, furnishes some history, in chapters of varying length, sometimes only a paragraph of less than a page. Fascinating and easily read. Finished in a few evenings in January 2017. ( )
  neurodrew | Feb 7, 2017 |
I love the subject and the window into the time period. On the other hand, it was a chore to keep going. Not a big fan of his style, humor, or pacing. ( )
  ProfH | Jan 15, 2017 |
"Patagonia" is such an evocative name; just the sort of name to compel you to travel there. Chatwin has a similar thought process and "In Patagonia" is the resulting travelogue of his trip there.

Rather than doing it in style, Chatwin hitchhikes throughout the enormous area of southern Argentina, meeting the locals and sharing their stories. He starts "In Patagonia" by referencing the hide of a long-extinct Patagonian mammal that just happened to be in his family's possession and how an old lady said he should go to Patagonia for her and then entertainingly meanders around.

Sadly Chatwin is no longer around to tell us tales from evocative places and that should sadden us all. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Oct 5, 2016 |
A classic in travel literature. If not for a weak ending a certain 4.5 and maybe a r. New place and history, vignettes on peoples lives, great writing that wasn't focused on himself.

Loved the Charley Milward story.

Looking forwrd to Songlines. ( )
  JBreedlove | Aug 14, 2016 |
'In Patagonia' is said to have revolutionised the travel writing genre, and I can well believe it. Chatwin's book is the ideal combination of historical research and present-day exploration; personal yet unsentimental, Chatwin's writing takes you on a journey through all of Patagonia, both past and present. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
If the book were nothing more than a study of how the English maintain quaint customs in remote environments, its appeal would be limited. Fortunately, Mr. Chatwin has an inquiring mind, and part of the pleasure lies in his digressions. Not for him the straight line and the urgent destination. He detours and meanders and circles back, and before we know it we are being told tales of the early navigators, or given an account of an anarchist revolution, or hearing the true story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, who went to Patagonia in 1901 on the run from the Pinkertons, started a sheep farm and stayed for five years. Mr. Chatwin's mind, like a crowded attic without cobwebs, produces curios and discontinued models, presented in a manner that is laconic without being listless, literate without being pedantic, and intent without being breathless
added by John_Vaughan | editNY Times, Ted Morgan (Jul 12, 1978)
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bruce Chatwinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kamp, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shakespeare, NicholasIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In my grandmother's dining-room there was a glass-fronted cabinet and in the cabinet a piece of skin.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142437190, Paperback)

An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin’s exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through “the uttermost part of the earth”— that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome—in search of almost forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy. An instant classic upon publication in 1977, In Patagonia is a masterpiece that has cast a long shadow upon the literary world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:08 -0400)

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"An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin's exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through "the uttermost part of the earth" - that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome - in search of almost-forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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