101 Books to Read Before You Die discussion

In Patagonia
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Completed Reads > December's read - In Patagonia

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Mike I found this to more an assorted collection of travel experiences while exploring this remote region of South America.

Irene | 1470 comments I pushed through this one. It took longer than I anticipated. It did not engage me. I am not sure why this is such a cult classic. Here is my review.

In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin

This classic of the travel genre is a collection of short sketches of the Welsh shepherds and North American outlaws and Russian housewives and German farmers and Indian captives and the many others the author met on his travels through Patagonia. Alongside these sketches are legends of bandits and tales of shipwrecks and hearsay of mythical creatures and more. According to the introduction, Chatwin did not want this categorized among travel books, but regarded it as a reflection on human restlessness. Apparently, Chatwin took liberties with the truth. The people he photographed and named felt that they had been exploited and betrayed when they learned of their presence in these pages. I wonder if I would have enjoyed the book more if I had not read the introduction, had not realized that Chatwin held the truth loosely, that he had used people’s stories without permission. I never felt connected to the individual’s I met in this book. Rather I felt as if I were peering at spectacles in a freak show. Maybe each sketch was too short to allow for that connection, or maybe he had a bit of ridicule in his presentation.

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