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Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  687 Ratings  ·  43 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
Published (first published February 25th 1997)
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Jul 20, 2016 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this book at The Book Thing because it mentioned Irian Jaya, which is better known these days as West Papua....a part (far west) of Indonesia. I love travel memoirs...and I tend to grab them and they linger for months on my shelves because as much as I enjoy the stories of adventures and new places, they also serve as a reminder that I sit here, stuck, in a drab life surrounded by non adventure and people who speak the same language as me....I decided to change that and randomly grabbe ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Jrobertus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 26, 2014 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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
May 31, 2016 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Cahill has got to be one of the best outdoors/adventure writers on the planet. His insight, humor and depth of knowledge really show through in this book. Even if you've never strapped on a backpack or slept in a tent you're sure to enjoy his writings. As a testament to his writing abilities, when Tim left the editorial board of Outside magazine I cancelled my subscription.
Larkin Dolan
Nov 03, 2014 Larkin Dolan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Pass the Butterworms by Tim Cahill, is a compilation of stories about the authors travels and experiences in exotic places. I highly recommend this book to any one who loves action and adventure.
Jul 13, 2007 Mads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2014 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 05, 2015 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful. Allows me to travel in a manner I would never otherwise be capable of. Certainly has a way with a story. Interesting to find out author originally from Wisconsin.
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
May 30, 2011 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dipra Lahiri
Apr 30, 2016 Dipra Lahiri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reliably entertaining travel writing from remote destinations which the average reader will never visit in his or her lifetime.
David R.
Sep 23, 2014 David R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
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.
Emma G G
i love this book and i would really reccomend this book to all you fantasy readers.
Jan 17, 2016 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh..ok, but he seems a bit full of himself. Wouldn't recommend.
Jada Roche
Jul 07, 2015 Jada Roche rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful read I didnt expect. Cahill is a lovely writer and I look forward to picking up his other works.
Perrin Lindelauf
I enjoyed the stories that were truly remote or astonishing; the ones with a cheesy eye-catching title less so.
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.
Jan 19, 2014 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
great. see more on Jaguars Ate my Flesh by same author
Jan 08, 2008 L.J. rated it liked it  ·  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.
Dec 19, 2008 Marguerite rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giggle-worthy, travel
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
Oct 04, 2012 Wayne Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 16, 2013 Mo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 29, 2015 Mallory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
A fantastic travel book! The whole book is a series of essays of Cahill's adventure. I give it 4 stars instead of 5 because there was one loooong story that I found tedious. Otherwise, Cahill has been to amazing, and often remote, places that result in a fun and fascinating read.
Sep 27, 2008 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 25, 2012 Rachlitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 19, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 02, 2009 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!".
Aug 29, 2011 Nico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 12, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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...

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