The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon
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The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  21 reviews

A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.

In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeney’s, an exuberant yet introspective account of a year’s sojourn in Lisbon with his w

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Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 15th 2009 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2009)
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Ash Bruxvoort
The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon by Philip Graham is a travel book about a year he spent with his wife and daughter in Lisbon. On the surface, that is. When I began reading this book I was excited to read about Portugal, a place that has always mystified me. What I got instead was an amazing account on fatherhood, growing up, and finding yourself.

The book is a series of dispatches for McSweeney's and begins like a trip begins, how they go there. It moves to unpacking their items i...more
Toni
I enjoyed some of it, was bored by some of it, was not crazy about the writing style, and was annoyed by mixed or just odd metaphors at times. The parts I most enjoyed were glimpses of Lisbon and other cities in Portugal and anecdotes involving Portuguese history, people, and language. I admit that I became very interested in Graham's 11-year-old daughter, how she coped with school (having arrived with little Portuguese) and new friends on the cusp of adolescence. She proved to be a delightful y...more
jillbertini
Collection of stories and dispatches from a writer living in Lisbon for a year. Kind of dips about 2/3 of the way in, but winds up for an emotional punch at the end. Highly recommend it!
Jean Farrell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine
The author, his wife and young daughter move to Lisbon for a year. The book is more a collection of essays than a chronological account.

I identified and agree with his infatuation with the city and thought many of his stories were interesting and insightful. What I found kind of annoying and actually sort of strange was his numerous rants on American politics. It’s not that I necessarily disagree with his opinions. In fact, I lean more toward many of the same feelings. I just felt that his stray...more
Coleen Dailey
This book is a collection of stories of the year the author spent with is family living in Portugal. The adventures they had exploring the country, trying to learn the customs and the language and also dealing with their young daughter trying desperately trying to fit in. It is hard enough fitting in with your own crowd- imagine trying to fit in while you are still learning the language. I would highly recommend this for anyone who wanted to go to Portugal as a travel guide and to anyone who is...more
Zoe
I was delighted to come across this book while halfway through my own year in Lisbon. The tales Graham tells of his own struggles with life and bureaucracy in Lisbon were at times laugh out loud funny and at others poignantly sad. You quickly get sucked into the story of his family and the struggles they had in adjusting to life abroad, which he uses to showcase excellent insights into the culture and history of Portugal. A real masterpiece, and a must read for anyone who has ever lived overseas...more
Will
A collection of sweet and surprising essays chronicling a year living in Portugal. Although it's obvious that Graham is enamored with the landscape and the culture of the country, his writing is most beautiful when he connects the musings of a traveler cast adrift to the worried tremblings of his quirks and anxieties.

Through the art, food, and friends he finds in Lisbon, he questions his own place as a father, husband, writer, and American--all with a precise, insightful, often funny voice.
Liz
Good travel writing - subtle weaving of threads through his essays and through the collection. It's not just about Lisbon, or the author, or his journey - it's about complex emotions and relationships, frustrations and joys, challenges and payoff for living abroad. Also Portuguese food and music - now I want to go there. Plus, the end of the book makes it all worth it. I haven't teared up so many times while reading in recent memory.
Jill
Well written collection of travel stories. Recommended for someone who likes this genre. I especially liked the struggles he faced with the language after studying it for years. I suppose it was comforting to me that I wasn't the only one who stuggles. It certainly makes me want to visit Portugal! There is a twist at the end which shapes the book and the entire experience for the author when he looks back on his year.
Molly
Graham's memoir of his family's year in Lisbon would have made a nice long-form article, but it is tedious as a book. His recollections are pleasant but rarely novel and his writing style is bland. I managed to finish this by reading a chapter or two at a time over the better part of a year, but I find myself surprised that I actually finished it. Do nice, normal guys ever write great memoirs?
Alda
It is very interesting to see one's habits and cultures through the eyes of a foreigner. Things that seem to be totally normal for us were just so alien to him. It waa very touching to see how much the author enjoyed his time in Portugal and it was rather funny to read some of his adventures.
Cuga
Worth reading for the familiar places and authors! As a lisboner it is a delight to read other's views on 'my' city, though the chronicles go to numerous locations, from Coimbra to Cape Verde, and the bits about Lisbon tend to be scarcer than I had anticipated.
Kat Stromquist
A sweet collection of essays about life in Lisbon with the author's family. Made me wish, a little longingly, that my parents had taken me to live abroad when I was a kid. I enjoyed this book, though perhaps I prefer a slightly more adventurous breed of travel writing.
Thomas
A random acquisition I seized upon to feed my current obsession with Portugal. This guy wrote about his year in Lisbon for McSweeney's, and the essays balance nicely between travel writing and personal exploration. I'm dying to see that city.
Aviva
I enjoyed this fairly honest look at living abroad. And now I'm curious about Graham's fiction. It didn't sell me on Portugal or the Portugese authors he mentioned though. They all sound too challenging for my fluffy brain.
Punk
Jul 04, 2012 Punk marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, ebook
Free ebook from the University of Chicago Press for July. Requires an email address and Adobe Digital Editions to download.
Laura
Jul 02, 2012 Laura marked it as to-read
Free ebook available at The University of Chicago Press.
John
May 12, 2010 John rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: travel
Solid writing, giving a great feel for Lisbon and the Portuguese, although somewhat romanticized at times.
Recommended.
James
Series of essays written about authors year in Lisbon. Guy clearly loved Portugal but all a little too worthy for me.
Jennifer
Nov 19, 2009 Jennifer marked it as to-read
Bob might like this. It's about Portugal and its food, culture and language.
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