Crystal's Reviews > A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World

A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
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's review
Jan 14, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction, travel
Read from December 28, 2010 to January 14, 2011

This book ended with more of a whimper than a bang for me, which is really unfortunate, since it made me almost regret the time I spent reading it. And I spent A LOT of time reading it. The book is dense with history, interspersed with just enough modern day adventuring and exploring on the part of Horwitz to keep the book lighter in tone and interesting. Horwitz seems like a fun guy, someone it'd be interesting to sit down and have a beer with and talk about all the places he's been and things he's done. But by the end of the book, and years of research and travel on his part, he seems to say "no matter how much of this is true, it doesn't really matter anyway, since no one really cares, and so it won't ever be acknowledged anyway. I don't think that's what he meant, or I doubt he'd have published the book. But it was a bit discouraging after all that reading.
There was so much in this book that it's really hard to review. I liked the glimpses of some of the historical characters I either didn't know well or had never heard of before. But so many other characters I think I'd have been just as happy never hearing about. The cruelty that was acceptable back then, the lack of respect for human life, was just staggering. I'm not entirely likely to pin it all on racism either. From the sounds of it, they were pretty harsh on many of their own people. What a fascinating but dark time.
And yet, it's impossible to walk away from this not having learned something, and enjoyed so much of the book. So I WON'T be sorry I read it. I'll be glad I learned as much as I did. and I'll be glad to move onto a lighter book next.

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