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On a Hoof and a Prayer: Exploring Argentina at a Gallop Paperback – April 29, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A jolly romp of a read.” —Sunday Telegraph,UK

“Breezy, lighthearted.”—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Polly Evans studied modern languages at Cambridge University, where she learned a little about Spanish and a little more about men. The hours of hard research she poured into these two subjects, plus a four-year stint at Hong Kong's largest weekly magazine, inspired her first three books, all available from Delta. Polly now lives in London, where she is at work on the tale of her attempts to learn to ride in horse-mad Argentina.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385341105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385341103
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I should start my review by saying that this book is a fine example of its type -- the breezy travelogue -- but if you prefer something meatier and more substantial, you're likely to be disappointed.

When I read books of this sort, my hope is that in return for the time spent reading, I'll come away with a better idea of the place being written about. While she did a credible job of describing some of the landscapes she encountered, if you're interested in people and culture, well, I have some bad news for you.

Example: During a brief visit to Buenas Aires, she encounters a group of "Mothers of the Disappeared" protesting in front of a government building. And she writes something like this: "Was the little girl pictured on her T-shirt one of the disappeared? How did it happen? How did she feel about it? What drives her to continue these protests thirty years after the event?"

Three pages later, she encounters *Grand*mothers of the disappeared, and again with the rhetorical questions: "Did she really hope to find her grandson? How could the government help her now? Did she feel haunted as she walked the streets, wondering if each young man she saw was her long-vanished relative?"

Good questions all. She's fluent in Spanish, so why didn't she ask them and let us know? What the heck kind of travel writer is too timid to speak to the people she finds interesting enough to describe?

I found it very frustrating, and would only give this book two stars, but other people might not care too much about that stuff so I'll give her one more. I mean, it wasn't horrible -- just shallow.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Polly Evans is a great travel writer. I preferred the book about China, but this was good prep for our trip to Argentina.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read Polly before and will continue to as long as she writes. Her books are like taking a class in geography and history; only it's a pleasure, not a pain. On a Hoof takes you through the beautiful countryside of Argentina. While telling you of her trials and tribulations, you also learn much about the country and how these people came to inhabit the land. Polly shares the beauty in her written word, and the country comes to life under her pen. It's a pity that these types of books aren't used in the classroom, where it makes it fun to learn about other countries and people.
by: Dodie Cross, author of A Broad Abroad in Thailand. [...]
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Format: Paperback
Polly has written a complete account of her travels; unfortunately, she has done so with unspectacular prose. Consequently, biblio amnesia frequently descends, leaving you asking yourself, "What did I just read? Was it important?" I wanted to like this book, and I certainly don't hate it. I just wish I'd encountered some truly memorable prose that I could take with me from this experience. Polly has some unique insights--she just needs to find a way to make her prose as vivid and inspiring as her travels.
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