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THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin is hailed by many as one of the quintessential examples of travel literature, and a book that revolutionized the genre. Chatwin took a six month trip in the 1970s to the southern tip of South America, and this narrative is his attempt to capture the spirit of this remote and exotic part of the world. This is not a traditional travelogue; there are instead 97 different sections highlighting specific anecdotes of people he met and experiences he had along the way. The delivery of his writing is jarring but effective and his snapshots are intriguing and evocative, so good in fact that there have been accusations of fictional exaggeration. Chatwin’s lust for nomadic life and adventure shines through, and the book was widely praised as a success immediately upon publication. He throws in a few stories of the region's history, with a lot of affectionate attention on the background of the time Butch Cassidy spent there. It is a magical piece of work, and one that fans of travel writing should definitely read and own.
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ABOUT BRUCE CHATWIN
Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) was an English journalist and novelist, known for his unique writing style. He worked for Sotheby's, studied archaeology, and traveled the world writing for the Sunday Times Magazine. Click here to learn more about Bruce Chatwin's work.
GREAT QUOTES FROM IN PATAGONIA
“I climbed a path and from the top looked up-stream towards Chile. I could see the river, glinting and sliding through the bone-white cliffs with strips of emerald cultivation either side. Away from the cliffs was the desert. There was no sound but the wind, whirring through thorns and whistling through dead grass, and no other sign of life but a hawk, and a black beetle easing over white stones.”
“I pictured a low timber house with a shingled roof, caulked against storms, with blazing log fires inside and the walls lined with all the best books, somewhere to live when the rest of the world blew up.”
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PATAGONIA, SOUTH AMERICA