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Pass the Butterworms: Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered
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Pass the Butterworms: Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  498 ratings  ·  34 reviews
In Pass the Butterworms Cahill takes us to the steppes of Mongolia, where he spends weeks on horseback alongside the descendants of Genghis Khan and masters the "Mongolian death trot"; to the North Pole, where he goes for a pleasure dip in 36-degree water; to Irian Jaya New Guinea, where he spends a companionable evening with members of one of the last head-hunting tribes....more
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 30th 2011 by Vintage (first published February 25th 1997)
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Jrobertus
I have read a number of Tim Cahill’s books, and enjoyed them all. This one is no exception. Cahill is a travel writer who actually goes places and tells you what he sees, as well as what he feels about; he writes well and persuasively to boot. This is a compilation of articles, largely from travel and adventure magazines. A number of pieces deal with a trip to Irian Jaya (New Guinea); these include a horrific trek through the swamps to the homes of recent cannibals. These folks live on platforms...more
Marsha
I enjoyed these travel stories. I decided that Tim Cahill is a master of the opening sentence. Just a few from this collection:

"'I think I ate some bad fish last night,' your pilot says."
"Irritation, it seemed, had become the central fact of my life."
"It was, I suppose, a single piece of inexpertly executed and cynically fashioned art that sent me fleeing five hundred miles upriver, back into time, and deep into the malarial heart of the swamp."

How can you not want to keep reading after opening...more
John Orman
Mr. Cahill, described as an "intrepid voyager", has collected stories about his visits to exotic locations.

These essays are full of arcane information, such as the description of sampling delicacies like "sauteed sago beetle." Yummy!

I especially like his tale of kayaking Glacier Bay, and getting too close to the calving glaciers. He did survive, though!

Since I have recently visited Yellowstone Park, I also enjoyed the "Geysers" essay, which described the geyser plumes viewed at sunset as "crims...more
Mads
The title of one of the pieces in this collection: "Help, My Pilot Just Had a Heart Attack and I Can't Fly a Plane" pretty much sums up the typical Cahil modus operandi. Perhaps one of the reasons for Cahill's popularity is how he cultivates an image of himself as an ordinary bloke that goes on remote places and just tries to get along with the natives and get out alive. But Cahill's jocular take on the mishaps and difficulties of remote travel sometimes wears thin, which is probably why sometim...more
Rex Fuller
Tim Cahill at his best. Riding the Mongolian horse in its interminable trot across the interminable steppe dispensing the pucks of hard cheese received as gifts, kayaking the Queen Charlotte Islands searching out Haida funerary totems, eating roasted sago pulp in a Karowai tree house in Papua New Guinea, searching for the explanation of the death of a friend's son among the never-defeated Aguaruna people along the Maranon in Peru, he's down-to-earth and uplifting all at once.
Jessica
My cousin picked this up for me at a garage sale because the description on the back mentions Mongolia. This book is a collection of travel stories in places most people wouldn't get to, often because they can only be reached by kayaking for several days. Reading his adventure in Mongolia gave a good reference point because I could see he was culturally aware and saw the non-touristy aspects. He adds humor into disgusting and dangerous situations, the only way to really deal with them. I will ne...more
Lara
Not my favorite of Cahill's, but still most definitely an entertaining read. This one actually contains a couple of serious pieces, most notably the essay "Darkness on the River," where Cahill joins his friend Paul Dix on the Maranon River in Peru's Amazonas state and they try to find out what happened to Dix's son and his friend, who were attacked in Aguaruna territory; it's a terribly sad story, but also, the way Cahill tells it, an unexpectedly beautiful one. I always really enjoy the time I...more
David R.
A droll set of short essays (some very short!) from Cahill's travel experiences in generally dangerous or difficult places. Some are engaging, and the writing is consistently top notch.
Perrin Lindelauf
I enjoyed the stories that were truly remote or astonishing; the ones with a cheesy eye-catching title less so.
Richard
Not quite up to the lofty standards of Jaguars Ripped My Flesh or A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg, but that's largely because it doesn't have the one knockout piece that the other books boast - Jonestown, for example, or St. Helens. But Cahill remains warm, accessible and frequently hilarious, the sort of travel writer who welcomes readers less adventurous than himself instead of disdaining them behind a wall of jargon and chest-thumping.
Vanessa
great. see more on Jaguars Ate my Flesh by same author
L.J.
Jan 08, 2008 L.J. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travel, adventure
Shelves: take-or-leave
Some good stories and some not so entertaining but overall a better book that maybe the rating I gave it. Cahill likes to write about far flung adventures and close calls but he also can be reflective, insightful and not preachy at the same time, so adventure readers will enjoy this but it is not as whimsical and gut busting as the title sells it to be. Still a fun read though.
Marguerite
Great travel writing for inhabitants of an imperfect planet. Tim Cahill passes the airplane test, being (I imagine) a superb seatmate on a long flight. His destinations are off the beaten path; his observations are spot-on. He surprises, delights and confounds, sometimes on the same page. Bottom line: He helps me know and love the world more whenever I read him.
Wayne Wilson
A hugely entertaining read by the Everyman of Adventure Travel. Cahill has a keen eye for detail, a respect for divergent cultures, and a humorous style that will have you chuckling in your favorite chair. I think this one may inspire you to get out of the chair when you've finished, and DO something.
Mo
Not really a story per se but a collection of essays recalling his different adventures. This was my first read of this author; I have all of his books on my wishlist. He has a great writing style and really covers dialogue well. Perhaps not the best book to start with, but it was alright.
John
My first Tim Cahill book; starting another soon. Terrific light travel writing from a former editor of OUTSIDE magazine. He is at times touching, informative, always funny, and occasionally becomes hilariously Twainian. Recommend this....take it on your next vacation.
Rachlitt
The stories are well written and entertaining. Cahill beautifully renders the scenery of each place he visits and has a knack for characterizing people succinctly yet thoroughly. I will definitely be reading other stories and collections by him.
Steve
What a life this guy lives. He comes across as the fat guy we all like who lives next door but his accounts are of the guy I want to be - out there living it up! His truly funny stores show he can get the most out of any situation.
Alisa
Tim Cahill has a way of taking a most-likely mundane story and making it funny and interesting. His books are compiled of entertaining and sometimes politically relevant stories. Many of them made me think "I can relate to that!".
Nico
Tim Cahill is a master storyteller. Witty, engaging and you sit in awe as to what he's done. The kind of travel writer that does not flaunt his travels or hand them above you, but just makes you want to hear more about them.
Rebecca
I love the stories and humor in Cahill's books. And I particularly enjoy the physical challenges and end of the world locations he goes to. The best book to be reading when I'm traveling on a plane to/from a business meeting.
Cheryl
Very nice...unfortunately I thought the last few essays were getting a bit old, though it picked up again towards the butterworms part. Maybe it was just me.
Corbett
I had a hard time putting this one down (especially when on vacation). I find some travel writers can be humorless, but not here.
Autumn
Fun essays about all the crazy places this guy has been, with an outdoorsy/gear-y angle. Super entertaining!
B
910.4 Well written and funny accounts of wild travels in unusual places. Adventurous.
Niclas Thorsteinsson
Too much swagger and too few intimate moments, but still quite entertaining.
Valerie
I've always enjoyed his essays, since first reading them in Outside magazine.
Cathee
I love cahill's humor, bring it on!
Tina
More adventure travel stories.
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Tim Cahill (born 1944 in Nashville, Tennessee) is a travel writer who lives in Livingston, Montana, United States. He is a founding editor of Outside magazine and currently serves as an "Editor at Large" for the magazine.
More about Tim Cahill...
Road Fever Jaguars Ripped My Flesh Pecked To Death By Ducks A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park

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