Tom's Reviews > In Patagonia

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin
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's review
Jul 27, 2012

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Read from July 27 to August 23, 2012

I chose this book because (1) I'm going to Patagonia next Feb., and (2) it's considered one of the "great" travel books. While I found it mostly interesting, Chatwin focuses mainly on the people he met on his trip, which was about 40 years ago, and little on the places I expect to see. Considerable time is devoted to various recollections and hearsay regarding Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and their South American activities in the early 20th century. One thing I found surprising was the amount of European emigration to the area, especially from Wales and Germany.

Before I finished the book I checked the Wikipedia entry for the book and was surprised to learn that "After Chatwin had published the book and gained acclaim as a travel writer, however, residents in the region came forward to contradict the events depicted in the book. It was the first, but not the last, time in his career that conversations and characters that Chatwin reported were alleged to have been fictionalized." Were it not for this I would have given the book 4 stars rather than 3, but when I read non-fiction I don't want fiction.

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