- Series: Penguin Classics
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics (March 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142437190
- ISBN-13: 978-0142437193
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 135 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In Patagonia (Penguin Classics) Paperback – March 25, 2003
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Fascinated by Patagonia since an early childhood lust for Grandma's scrap of hairy Giant Sloth skin, Chatwin's also intrigued by odd miners and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy in Cholila. In 1977 the London Observer called it "a brilliant travel book," and while Chatwin's no longer alive (he died in 1989), his book still glows. From Rio Negro to the southernmost town of Ushuaia, Chatwin depicts all in writing as spare as the Patagonian desert itself, and as vibrant as the purple clouds off Last Hope Sound. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A book to stand on the shelf with Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, and Paul Theroux.” —The New York Times Book Review“Bruce Chatwin joins the ranks of the great British travel writers with In Patagonia.” —The Washington Post
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Top customer reviews
An artifact belonging to his family provides the gravity that pulls him to the southern reaches of South America. He realizes from the beginning the artifact is likely apocryphal, but that becomes an essential element to the story as it lends a fantastical air to the voyage, as if he's visiting some storybook land. You have to remind yourself as you're reading this that it is a very real, but very exotic, place.
During the course of reading this, it struck me that Chatwin spends little time describing the physical surroundings, which is odd considering this is known to be a region of breathtaking, albeit stark, beauty. When contrasted with his careful depictions of the people, it dawned on me the essence of Patagonia that he conveys here is the hardscrabble people who have come here looking for a better life and found backbreaking toil and harsh conditions. A couple of generations of that produces a distinctive populace and you then realize, for all it's beauty, Patagonia is less a place than a mentality. Fiercely independent, weathered and cragged could be used interchangeably to describe the place or the people.