Jim's Reviews > Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin by Nicholas Shakespeare
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Apr 07, 11

bookshelves: biography
Read from March 31 to April 06, 2011

A superb biography of a unique individual. Bruce Chatwin was a superb British travel writer -- though he would contest being called that. He was uncomfortable with his Britishness, and he hated being classified as a travel writer.

What distinguished him from travel writers is that he deliberately (and artistically) took liberties with the facts and embroidered them to suit his own views. So if you were to use, say, In Patagonia as a guidebook, you would probably run into some angry individuals who were mightily ticked off at Bruce's lack of respect for the story they told him. And yet, he put many places in Patagonia, such as Gaiman near Trelew, on the map. Of course, many readers still persist in using him as a travel guide -- at their peril.

When I travel to Patagonia in November 2011, I will re-read the book -- not for its facts -- but for its essential truths.

When Chatwin died of AIDS in the Eighties, I think the world lost a great writer.
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03/31/2011 page 35
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message 1: by Justeenetta (new)

Justeenetta regarding yellow fever & other sicknesses in foreign countries: when gary null travels to such countries he's said you;ll be always well if you don;t eat anything touched by human hands: nothing raw, no fruit or bread, for instance.


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