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Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown (Crown Journeys) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Crown Journeys
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (August 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609609076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609071
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cunningham (The Hours) takes the reader on a leisurely, idiosyncratic tour of the fabled town at the tip of Cape Cod. He makes the rounds of his favorite haunts, from the beaches, marshes and dunes to businesses like the halfheartedly modernized Adams Pharmacy, which has a soda fountain from the 1940s; the Marine Specialties store, a repository of the overlooked, the lost, the surplus, the irregular, the no-longer-needed, and the outmoded; and the Atlantic House, a bar that is sexy in a damp, well-used way. The fish and whales that live in the ocean around the town have a place in his excursion, as do the dogs, cats, skunks, opossums and occasional coyotes that wander the streets. People interest him most, however the old-timer who sits in his yard, shouting, Hello hello hello, to everyone who passes by; the disheveled man who walks the main street night and day; and the more famous eccentrics, the refugees, rebels, and visionaries who have been coming to the town for nearly 400 years. There is also a large gay population, and Cunningham is especially fascinated by this community's flamboyant individuals, who add color even to the local A&P. His quirky guide, part of the Crown Journeys series, presents a very personal view of Provincetown, but at the same time it manages to convey the peculiar, inscrutable intensity characterizing the love so many people have for the place.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Clinging to a sandbar at the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a haven for the artistic and unconventional.Cunningham, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Hours (1998), first came to the small, sandy town with its astonishingly liquid and moody light 20 years ago, and he fell in love with this mercurial "eccentrics' sanctuary," where the bustle of summer gives way dramatically to the brooding silence of winter. In the first of what promises to be a penetrating series in which writers write about place, Cunningham, whose prose has never been more gorgeously poetic, and whose fascination with the peculiarities of our species inspires tender and funny riffs on Provincetown's thriving gay and lesbian communities, presents an enchanting history and walking tour of his beloved home, charting, along the way, its powerful and diverse artistic legacy, which includes the work of Edward Hopper, Eugene O'Neill, Norman Mailer, and Mary Oliver. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and Specimen Days. He lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

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Michael Cunningham's love for Provincetown soars in the beautiful prose of Land's End (A Walk in Provincetown).
Ricky Hunter
The statement "Books can take you to places you've never been or travel to places you'll never be able to go" is definitely true of this book.
D. Demoin
He always writes beautifully, and this book includes poems and prose passages from many of Provincetown's other distinguished writers.
Joseph J. Hanssen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michaeal Cunningham loves Provincetown and conveys that love in every sentence in this beautifully written book about a great town. He ably does what every travel writer should do: he convinces those who have never been to Provincetown to visit and makes those who have been there want to return.
Mr. Cunningham does a thorough job of describing the town's geography as well as both the famous artists who lived there in the past and those of the present, also the "town characters" one can run into on the busy streets on any summer day. There is also poems by Mark Doty, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky and Melvin Dixon, among others included throughout the book.
Finally Mr. Cunningham discusses the effect AIDS has had on the gay population of Provincetown in a chapter called "Death and Life" and pays tribute to a friend named Billy who died from AIDS. "Provincetown has been widowed by the AIDS epidemic. It will never fully recover, though it is accustomed to loss. . . Provincetown possesses, has always possessed, a steady, grieving competence in the face of all that can happen to people. It watches and waits; it keeps the lights burning. If you are a man or woman with AIDS there, someone will always drive you to your doctor's appointments, get your groceries if you can't get them yourself, and take care of whatever needs taking care of."
Is there any wonder why this writer loves Provincetown?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have never been a lover of P-town. As a child, my family made a yearly visit to climb the Pilgrim Monument, but as I got older, the long drive from our Harwich vacation home (also on Cape Cod) home made climbing the monument less appealing. Every now and then, I did visit the place, but more often than not, I found it crowded and congested, and always had trouble finding a parking space. The art galleries, a small book store, a store that sells all sorts of odds and ends, and of course the people made a visit to the town worthwhile, but I never realized what all the hype was about until I read this book. Lands End gave me an appreciation for the town and the people, and the history, and when I recently visited the town, I had a new appreciation for this interesting and varied community, largely due to Cunningham's ability to be a "tour guide."
Cunningham's book is almost a guided tour, not by a tour director who is just doing a routine job, but one who actually loves the place being visited. As he takes readers on a tour of the sights and sounds of the town, we see a place where he grew both as a person and as a writer. Though the work is factual, it flows more like a book of prose than a piece of journalism. Cunningham's awe of the rugged beauty of this small town on the Atlantic coast is easy to detect. He also seems to feel as if he is a kindred spirit to the artists and writers who inhabit this town, known both on and off season as an art and writing colony. His book treats the locals with respect. Provincetown has become rather well known as a "gay Mecca.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Hanssen on May 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"A Walk Through Provincetown" is not your typical travel guide. Cunningham was invited to contribute to a series of travel books and this is his unique and inspiring contribution. It's a one man journey across a town that he first came to over twenty years ago. Cunningham has given us an interesting combination of historical facts and personal reflections. He describes Provincetown's cultural interests, its shops, bars, street life, heritage, gay cruising areas, and its historical sites.

Cunningham presents a very personal view of Provincetown, one that is filled with wonder, joy, and a deep love of this town. He always writes beautifully, and this book includes poems and prose passages from many of Provincetown's other distinguished writers. This book is a pleasure to read for anyone who cares about this very special place, and for those not familiar with the town, a way to learn about it from someone who cares. This is an elegant personal tour of a town that has always been rich in diversity. Hopefully, it will remain that way for this generation and generations to come. Cunningham has made a great contribution in furthering that goal. A wonderful book!
Joe Hanssen
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on April 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Cunningham graces one of his favorite places on earth, Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod's hook, with his wonderful, almost poetic prose. He takes us with him as he introduces us to the town's characters both past and present, to the beaches, the dunes, both ends of town, the nightspots, and everything in between.
A treat.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Hanssen on May 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"A Walk Through Provincetown" is not your typical travel guide. Cunningham was invited to contribute to a series of travel books and this is his unique and inspiring contribution. It's a one man journey across a town that he first came to over twenty years ago. Cunningham has given us an interesting combination of historical facts and personal reflections. He describes Provincetown's cultural interests, its shops, bars, street life, heritage, gay cruising areas, and its historical sites.

Cunningham presents a very personal view of Provincetown, one that is filled with wonder, joy, and a deep love of this town. He always writes beautifully, and this book includes poems and prose passages from many of Provincetown's other distinguished writers. This book is a pleasure to read for anyone who cares about this very special place, and for those not familiar with the town, a way to learn about it from someone who cares. This is an elegant personal tour of a town that has always been rich in diversity. Hopefully, it will remain that way for this generation and generations to come. Cunningham has made a great contribution in furthering that goal. A wonderful book!
Joe Hanssen
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