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Far Away and Long Ago

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  145 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
[F]or at some period of a manâs lifeâat all events of some livesâin some rare state of the mind, it is all at once revealed to him as by a miracle that nothing is ever blotted out. ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published October 11th 2007 by BiblioLife (first published 1918)
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Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainUlysses by James JoyceA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Hemingway's Recommended reading
19th out of 30 books — 18 voters
Doctor Glas by Hjalmar SöderbergThe Third Policeman by Flann O'BrienBeyond the Pawpaw Trees by Palmer BrownThe Old Wives' Tale by Arnold BennettLost Classics by Michael Ondaatje
The Lost Classics list
40th out of 62 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 974)
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Ann Klefstad
Apr 12, 2012 Ann Klefstad rated it really liked it
The strangeness of the world is never-ending, particularly in the memoirs of those who have long ago left us. Hudson evokes a bird-world in South America that even he laments as lost, from his burrow in the smokey London of his exile. He knew what was happening in his homeland, the spread of efficient agriculture that doomed wetlands and their denizens. And this was over a century ago. The beauty and oddity of this memoir just absolves it of the terrible pain it causes. That seemed to have been ...more
Dec 14, 2007 Sally rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nature lovers
The author grew up in Argentina in the late 1800's and he describes a fantastical natural world, at least to those of us who grew up in the tame North American forests. The ostriches, the vaqueros, the cattle, the birds. As a boy he falls in love with birds and, although he studies and appreciates all of nature, the birds are his first love. Despite having no formal education, a few tutors helping him and his brothers with the basics, he has the most lyrical and moving way of writing. Very excel ...more
Allan Clark
Jan 20, 2016 Allan Clark rated it it was amazing
Far Away and Long Ago is a reminiscence rather than a true autobiography. I'm about halfway through my third or fourth reading of this marvelous book—not to mention the many times I have dipped into it. It has a charm for me that never fades—the charm of a sensitivie, warm, kind-hearted personality who was in love with the natural world around him from the time he first encountered it. Hudson was shy and unhealthy as a child and noticed everything in nature with utter fascination. He became a re ...more
Apr 13, 2015 Wanda rated it really liked it
Wonderful book.
I didn't rate it four stars because of a curious reticence on the author's part about his own family--in a memoir of his childhood. Although he tells us the names of neighbors, their personalities and biographies, he never tells us the names of his brothers and sisters, and doesn't even bother to mention that he has any or how many until well into the narrative, and we learn very little or nothing at all about them. The same for his parents. He scarcely mentions his father and on
Frederic Hunter
Aug 29, 2014 Frederic Hunter rated it liked it
At the age of 15, suffering from a difficult and painful malady at his parents’ estancia on the Argentine pampas, W. H. Hudson did not think he would see 20. Instead he saw 80. LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY is a memoir he wrote of his boyhood. Hudson was a superlative naturalist whose interest in plants and animals, especially birds, started early. According to what he tells us, laid up late in life for a period of weeks, he kept having memories of his childhood. What extraordinary recall! He wrote the ...more
JoséMaría BlancoWhite
Feb 09, 2014 JoséMaría BlancoWhite rated it really liked it
Written in 1918 by this Englishman who tells about his life as a boy in the Argentine Pampas. Filled with intense melancholy -but at the same time joy- that those recollections produce in his memory. Whoever reads this biographical account cannot but adore this man.
He achieves the difficult task of making us readers see nature, wildlife, and human beings with the same eyes as his young and avid ones. He talks a lot about plants and birds, and this to me is the only minus I can find, since I symp
Robbie Manson
Aug 13, 2013 Robbie Manson rated it really liked it
Charming. Quite similar to Durrell's My Family and Other Animals.
Les Dangerfield
May 24, 2016 Les Dangerfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a faint recollection of reading this book, or a shortened version, years ago at school. My only recollection of that was the sense of peace and tranquility that his writing style conveyed and I feel the same now. As Conrad said of him 'He writes as the grass grows'. It is also an interesting insight into settler life in rural Argentina of the 1840s and 50s and has some similarities to Gerald Durrell's 'My family and other animals', being an account of the life of a growing boy who has a p ...more
Dec 28, 2015 brook rated it it was ok
Other reviewers have spoken about the joy of hearing the voice of a young man who would later become a botanist.

I enjoyed the book, which is essentially a collection of connected vignettes, reading about a boy who had an even more "feral" upbringing than my own, lying somewhere near Huck Finn territory. Only occasionally schooled, usually free to roam from sunup to sundown across Argentinian meadows and forests, coming across plants and animals that interested him, and then giving first an infor
Feb 01, 2016 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference  ·  review of another edition un libro nostálgico y romántico que escribió un inglés. La nostalgia sólo debe servirnos para que de aquí en adelante no tengamos que ser nostálgicos.

Manual De Zonceras Argentinas Pág.27
I want to read this because of a review in the Wall Street Journal. It is listed in their 5 recommended books by Alan Lightman. It was written in 1918 about the author's remembrances of his childhood in Argentina in the mid-19th century. The author also wrote "Green Mansions."
Paul Peterson
Oct 15, 2015 Paul Peterson rated it really liked it
VERY well-told story of boyhood in Mesopotamia. Strange characters and interesting events prepare our hero for a broad-ranging, adventurous life. If you enjoy the pioneer setting and the outdoor life, this is an excellent choice for you.

Recommended by one Mr. Ernest Hemingway himself.
May 06, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing
It's a little difficult to expand on my title for this review.

The author suffered an acute illness in later life and, during this time, his childhood memories came back to him with a clarity that is a cause of envy for those of us with the usual hotch potch of muddied memories of our best times.

He then took the opportunity to record these memories.

Mr Hudson gives an insight into a world distant both in geography and time.

Describing many different aspects of his childhood - from the vast pampas t
Aug 21, 2015 A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
¿Es posible mantener fresco en la memoria el asombro y la fascinación que sentimos, siendo niños, la primera vez que vimos un flamenco? ¿Y el miedo reverencial cuando, por vez primera, contemplamos una serpiente? Guillermo Hudson relata con mirada de niño y de sabio (la misma mirada, realmente) su infancia en un área rural de la provincia de Buenos Aires. El futuro naturalista creció entre árboles y pájaros pero también en un período de fuego de la historia argentina, con las batallas entre unit ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it
The author's love for and understanding of nature beutifully undergirds this biography of his boyhood.
Leigh Hall
Jan 23, 2016 Leigh Hall rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable, poetic and poignant. You have to read until the end.
Marcelo Ezagui
May 07, 2015 Marcelo Ezagui added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Marcelo by: A naturlist teacher
Daniel Duarte
Jul 15, 2015 Daniel Duarte rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael de Percy
Aug 28, 2014 Michael de Percy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-reviewed
It took me a while to get into this book but once I started I managed to keep up the momentum. The story about the story was interesting but it is difficult to comprehend Hudson's lot until he deals with Darwinism and his own inclinations as a naturalist. Delivered as the story of one's boyhood, it is not until after finishing the book and reading the preface, one reflects and Hudson's genius comes to light.
Tara Bush
Jun 29, 2013 Tara Bush rated it did not like it
I'm not sure I can actually mark this book as read... it's more like I gave up. This may be the most boring book I've ever attempted to read. I made it about half way through, waiting for something of importance to actually happen, but nothing did. The author is a pompous bigot who tells little snippets of his childhood that mostly focus on naming the tress and birds that he observed. Snooze-o-rama.
Apr 22, 2015 Eileen rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, non-fiction
Engaging book about growing up on the pampas of Argentina in the 1800s. A shy, introverted youngster, the author spent long hours observing and communing with nature even as a quite young child. He expresses a love of the earth and its ways at a time in history when it was left almost entirely to itself. Fascinating view into a lost way of life.
Mar 18, 2014 Flora rated it it was ok
The author writes of a childhood (up to teenage)in the pampas of Argentina. It is a bit musty in tone but the book was published in the 50s. I enjoyed reading about plants, birds and animals that have long since been pushed out by farms and ranching. It made me realize how much was lost.
W. Addison
Mar 25, 2011 W. Addison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hudson is not one of my favorites but this was part of research for my own writing and was referenced by Hemmingway as logic example and dialogue. Story had no direction for the first few chapters.
Aug 29, 2015 Bo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
This is what good writing is.
Lori Michaelson
Aug 10, 2015 Lori Michaelson rated it liked it
Interesting naturalist memoirs
Bob Young
Apr 26, 2012 Bob Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful writing about growing up in Argentina in the 19th century...early years of a nature lover...
Gregory Rothbard
Gregory Rothbard marked it as to-read
May 30, 2016
Heather Bloor
Heather Bloor marked it as to-read
May 29, 2016
Richard Alvarez
Richard Alvarez marked it as to-read
May 29, 2016
Stacey marked it as to-read
May 29, 2016
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William Henry Hudson was an author, naturalist and ornithologist. He was born in the Quilmes Partido in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, where he is considered to belong to the national literature as Guillermo Enrique Hudson, the Spanish version of his name. He spent his youth studying the local flora and fauna and observing both natural and human dramas on what was then a lawless frontier, publi ...more
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