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Die Farbe des Abenteue...
 
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Pam Houston
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Die Farbe des Abenteuers. Geschichten aus der Wildnis.

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3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,290 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
When Lucy O'Rourke was 2 her father threw her into the New Jersey surf. She passed the flotation test then, but nature--wild and human--has been subjecting her to variations on the theme ever since. True, the thirtyish photographer-protagonist of Waltzing the Cat is drawn to dangerous locales, from the Ecuadorian jungle where murderous grand caymans lie at the ready to the ...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Malek (first published October 17th 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,879)
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Deirdre
Feb 11, 2008 Deirdre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deirdre by: Amy Hamilton & the women of Jackson Hole Wyoming!
I finished this book and reread it immediately. This book has been loaned so many times that I have no idea where it is presently located. I loved, loved, loved these short stories....as said, reading Houston is like having your mind read. Houston gives voice to adrenaline-junkie, wanderlust women who are tough enough to barrel down rivers and navigate through mountains, yet still manage to get their hearts broken and feel lost in the world. Whomever said she was a "female Hemingway," was so ver ...more
Felicity
What to say about this "shnovel" by the woman who, if my sources are accurate, coined that most excellent term? It's somewhat of an oddity. I'm sure there are many books about a female narrator's tragicomic inability to find lasting relationships and worthwhile connections with men that I would hate. But Lucy's lovelorn life unfolds all over the world, in story-chapters set everywhere from the heart of a hurricane to the Amazon Basin, and threaten her with drowning, angry mama carnivores and cra ...more
Melissa
Sep 27, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pam Houston, where have you been my whole life?
David
Jul 23, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-white-square

"For David, See you, one day on a wild river. Take care, Pam Houston."

Pam and I go way back. My autographed "Cowboys Are My Weakness" was all I read one summer in the mid 90s. We met walking in the Brecon Beacons. True story. Cool, huh?

So I saw "Waltzing the Cat" at my local used bookshop and I probably made that weird noise I make in used bookshops when I spot something I really want.

Pam's as great as ever. Gentle and elegiac about the brutal and lively. Nostalgic for the now, but not syrupy.
...more
Kristin
Dec 23, 2008 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, love Pam Houston! This book was just as great as "Cowboys are My Weakness". They are classified as works of fiction, but the stories feel like they are about her....she just uses aliases for main characters. She is crazy, intelligent and perfectly flawed. I love that she lets us all in to her insanities.
Suzanne
Apr 04, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my daughter's favorite books and I can understand why. Houston has a unique and clear female voice that reflects the spirit of many young American women. Continuing along the same theme as "Cowboys are My Weakness" (the self sabotage inherent in being attracted to bad boys and danger) Houston takes us on her personal journey for enlightenment and happiness this time in the character of Lucy O'Rourke, an adventure/naturalist photographer
Feeling like her best friend sitting in th
...more
Lynn
Feb 04, 2010 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could choose any book to have written myself, I would choose this one. It's a collection of short stories, superior to the more popular collection of short stories that make up Cowboys Are My Weakness. I often had to stop reading and stare at the ceiling, which is what I do when I read a sentence that so moves me by the way it NAILS a moment or an image or an experience that I just have to stop for a moment to enjoy it a little longer. I want to be Pam Houston's best friend.
Elizabeth
Jun 06, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-reads
One of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors. Waltzing the Cat is a collection of short stories. The stories follow one character, Lucy. They can be read indiviually or together. I loved piecing together the pieces of Lucy's life as I read each story. I read this book over and over again. Lucy is a great character who has a lot to learn about life and relationships. My favorite stories were "Then you get up and have breakfast." and the title story, "Waltzing the Cat."
Kate
Jan 11, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Love. Her.
Sheba
Jan 03, 2008 Sheba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could be anyone other than me. It would be Pam Houston. I have never known how autobiographical these stories but she is funny and strong and a woman I both want to fuck and to befriend.

She inspires lust and love in equal proportion. She is both in her skin and in her boots but she is human enough to tell you how hard it was to get there.

Lauren
Jun 06, 2007 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tina
Shelves: favorites
When I read this book it was totally mind-blowing and transformative. I was convinced it was my favorite book EVER.


It's still one of the best books I've ever read.
Richard Jespers
Jan 09, 2015 Richard Jespers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction
“The Best Girlfriend You Never Had” is a story Pam read from the night I heard her read at TTU in Lubbock. It also appeared in The Best American Short Stories of the Century (ed. by John Updike), no small feat considering that hers is Updike's selection for 1999.

“Cataract” balances an internal conflict with continuous movement in the plot. But again, many stories seem to be about a single woman on the horn(s) of dilemma(s): whether to sleep with that cowboy, hard-hat, all-around masculine-but-se
...more
Bcoghill Coghill
I don't think Houston can write a bad book.
Still, like her other books, I feel like I am listening in on women to women conversations.
Sharon
May 12, 2013 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part of what I love about this book—which is also true of Cowboys Are My Weakness—is the frank and funny depiction of sex. In “Then You Get Up and Have Breakfast,” we get two stories of love and sex running on parallel tracks: the new relationship with Eric and the back story of the old relationship with Carter, leading to its break-up.

Eric, who can’t get an erection because of anti-depressants, touches Lucy “like a blind man who had just one night to learn what is woman,” and kisses her “like i
...more
Susan
May 12, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who knew a collection of short stories could be a page turner? Who knew a novel could be turned into a series of related short stories strong enough to stand individually but so much greater, so much more, when read together, back-to-back, preferably in one uninterrupted sitting? Apparently, Pam Houston did.

What connects me personally, viscerally, to Lucy O'Rourke, the character at the center of each story in Waltzing the Cat, is her deep longing for something she cannot name. She tiptoes around
...more
Jennifer
Jan 02, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“…that she has met him several times before only adds to what he calls her charming basket of imperfections. The only Buddha I could love, he says, is one who is capable of forgetfulness and sin.”

“It’s sunny as Bermuda out here, and I’m still so high from the boat race that I can tell myself there’s nothing to be afraid of. Like sometimes when you go to a move and you get so lost in the story that when you’re walking out of the theater you can’t remember anything at all about your own life. Yo
...more
Ariel
Mar 24, 2008 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This is a story about Lucy trying to figure herself out in the context of nature, dysfunctional relationships, and altogether too many near-death experiences.

It actually seemed like one long story, just because the same themes kept repeating themselves in endless cycles of hope, disappointment, and more self-analysis and -doubt. But the flawed, human characters make it worth it. Paraphrasing, "everyone I know has their hearts wrapped around someone who will never love them back." And yet after e
...more
Christina
May 24, 2010 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictionread
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Holly Madison
Jan 30, 2013 Holly Madison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I found this book to be humorous, charming, and surprisingly deep. It has been criticized by some people for being a collection of short stories that don't flow together very well, but I disagree. The main character, Lucy, takes us on a journey that starts out with her ongoing search for a man (or should I say, the RIGHT man). What she finds in the end, however, is herself. The epilogue is a beautiful and genuine revelation that sheds light on some difficult memories and ultimately portrays Lucy ...more
Mae
Oct 06, 2014 Mae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book for its story and style. The short stories coming together to serve a larger plot line was satisfying. But I wouldn't call this book great. I found myself frustrated or annoyed at times with the privilege of the main character, but that could just be in relation to my current experiences. I might recommend this book to people who have experience in the outdoor sporting world, but beyond that it might just be better to find another book.
Stephen Dorneman
Oct 27, 2015 Stephen Dorneman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In these closely linked series short stories - basically, a novel in eleven chapters - Houston shows us the growth and change of a strong woman from a broken upbringing through her encounters with a series of damaged men, supportive women, and ever-glorious, vividly depicted, scenes of natural wonder. The soupçon of magical realism that seasons this book may not be for all tastes, but it worked for me as a metaphor for self-realization.
Roxy
I had to read Waltzing the Cat for creative writing class. Definetely not a book I would have chosen to read on my own, but I did end up enjoying it quite a bit. I mostly enjoyed how completely mindless it is. It's not that it doesn't have any feeling or emotion to it- it definetely does affect the reader's- but it wasn't very academic. I would consider it a notch higher from the typical adult-oriented chick book, mostly because the story centered on a complete tomboy, was actually written very ...more
Sylvia
Apr 07, 2008 Sylvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, finished it - waffled between 4 and 5 stars. It started out slow and was tough to get into. By the end it came together nicely and I had a lot of 'aha' moments, as she becomes more aware of herself and her place in the world. I will likely reread because I think I missed some good stuff. I liked it a lot, but would recommend it more as a book to read while in 'self-exploration' mode, not while on the beach vacationing.


Review while reading it:
About a third of the way in (past the white water
...more
erin g
Aug 04, 2007 erin g rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any girl who wanders; rach and jill.
i was given this by a girl named wren (wren, not fern) <24 hours after we met, and at first, i hated it. after the first few chapters i would've said it was drowning in self-absorption and figurative language. i only kept reading it because the rain wouldn't quit and it was the only book i'd carried up the mountain. thank god for the rain. once you get past the inappropriate number of near-death experiences per chapter (anything more than one is really overkill), it's an excellent bit of natu ...more
Emily
Mar 02, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Pam! While not as strong as her most recent, Contents May Have Shifted, still some amazing writing here. Just like on Contents May Have Shifted, Pam explores various locations, men, and tragedies. Her protagonist here is Lucy, though at first I didn't even realize it was the same character in each chapter - it read more like short stories than even interconnected short stories. Lucy had a rough childhood and a bad relationship with her parents. She's too independent for men, it seems, and ...more
MN
May 25, 2013 MN rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was about halfway through this book, had been reading it at every opportunity, and had even been creating reading opportunities for it, despite life confronting razor sharp deadlines at every juncture, when I thought I'd lost it; thought it had been left in a cafe, on a bus, in a supermarket trolley; had fallen out of a jacket pocket, or from the top of a pile of papers on a hot desk. Such panic and deep disappointment! I *needed to know what happened next to Lucy O'Rourke. Eventually, the boo ...more
Kim
Aug 24, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pam Houston never disappoints and her writing always inspires me to write, grow, read, live life adventurously, and continue to seek the Beauty and depth in all of it. The light and the dark.
Jennifer
Nov 06, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a local author here in my area. I should qualify this review to say that I'm a romance reader and writer so this is a book that's out of my usual fare.
At first, I couldn't get into the style of writing. Clearly, the format was part of the experience. What surprised me was after I finished the book, scenes haunted me. Something about the emotions on the page had grabbed me before I was aware of it.
The story is a woman's journey through relationships but the one relationship that matters,
...more
Tracey
Aug 05, 2012 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading an assortment of gimmicky books, it was truly an awakening to be reminded that good stories don't need a lot of flash and dash to capture your attention: they simply have to be accessible. You may not run river rapids or take part in adventurous treks through the Amazon like Lucy, the main character of Houston's collection of linked stories -- but Houston makes you feel as if you can.

Layered with rich detail, featuring flawed but endearing characters, these stories make it easy to
...more
Kim Mayo
Jan 07, 2015 Kim Mayo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this author. Wish she would write. Great honesty and humor. My boyfriends have all been cowboys is one of my all time favorite books.
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Houston is the Director of Creative Writing at U.C. Davis. Her stories have been selected for the Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Awards, the Pushcart Prize, and the Best American Short Stories of the Century. She lives in Colorado at 9,000 feet above sea level near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
More about Pam Houston...

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“Do you write novels?" I said.

"Novels, Lord no," she said. "I can't even stay married.”
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“It's September 21st, a day I love for the balance it carries with it.” 14 likes
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