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A Long Desire

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  68 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"A Long Desire" is about man's constant yearnings throughout legend and history to attain the unattainable. Always grasping at the stars just out of reach, chasing the rainbow for that pot of gold, looking for that lost city that must be just over the next hill.
Published September 1st 1988 by North Point Press (first published 1979)
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D.R. Haney
A fantastic collection of eleven essays by a vastly under-appreciated writer, whose Son of the Morning Star, about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, remains one of my favorite books. All of the essays in A Long Desire concern rumors, legends, theories, and fantasies, often of treasure, and the way they led to discoveries by obsessed travelers and explorers who were typically blind to the true wealth, not of gold but of knowledge, they imparted to the world. A great many people and places are nam ...more
Carl R.
Aug 09, 2015 Carl R. rated it really liked it
Previously on Writer Working, we've seen Evan S. Connell tackle the life of James Armstrong Custer in Son of The Morning Star and his novel, Mr. Bridge. The Custer book was a winner, Mr. Bridge less so. Prompted by friend/relative Dan I took a peek at another of his non-fiction ventures, A Long Desire, a collection of articles connected by theme of people obsessed with discovery, or at least with searching. Connell's eclectic curiosity reminds me of one of my favorites, Bill Bryson, whose At Hom ...more
Herb Hastings
Jul 06, 2009 Herb Hastings rated it it was amazing
Everyone who loves to read history should own this book and its companion THE WHITE LANTERN. Both are collections of historical essays dealing with a wide range of topics. They are written with a joy of learning that cannot be hidden. The author is a master of language who brings an ironic tone to these works. He explores both big stories, like Antarctic explorations, and the Spanish conquest of Central and South America. He also delves into the smaller stories, the ones often relegated to footn ...more
Dec 12, 2016 Pat rated it really liked it
A collection of essays on exploration and the mysteries the world has to offer. It introduced me to several historical figures I didn't hear about in school, and I still pick it up when I want to read about a folk figure like Prester John, or an explorer like Ibn Battuta. Extremely readable.
Mar 01, 2010 Marie rated it really liked it
A most wonderful book visiting historic voyages of many who helped open up the world so many years ago. These are great and exciting tales of adventure and speak about fascinating historic expeditions around the world. I loved learning about several female adventurers and will be seeking even more information about May French Sheldon and Mary Kinglsey. Anyone who loves history and adventure should greatly enjoy this well crafted book.
Sean Brennan
Sep 30, 2013 Sean Brennan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is an excellent overview on some of the greatest obsessions that have possessed mankind over the centuries, which usually involved huge loss of life, genocide and the attempted attainment of vast personal wealth and celebrity, so sadly it can be said how little we have actually changed as a species.
Mar 10, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it
This is a re-reading. A great book, but hard to explain. There are chapters on the Children's Crusade, Columbus, Atlantis, Prester John, ElDorado and more. Connell is a excellent stylist with an eye for the detail that ties the past to the present. He also wrote an excellent biography of Custer called 'Son of the Morning Star'
Oct 01, 2015 Andy rated it it was amazing
An amazing book that changed my life. I feel as though in reading it I inherited part of our world I hadn't even known existed.
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Evan S. Connell, over the last half century, has published nineteen books of fiction, poetry, and essays, several of which—including the best-sellers Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge, and the erudite, anecdotal, and totally unique nonfiction book Son of the Morning Star—are American classics. I've admired his work for many years, since first reading Diary of a Rapist, and was happy for a chance to inter ...more
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