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Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert (Vintage Departures) Paperback – June 24, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Langewiesche, a reporter for "Atlantic Monthly" best known today for his "American Ground" series of pieces on the aftermath of the World Trade Center's destruction, writes in a lean, spare, slightly alkaline style reminiscent of Hemingway that seems to suit his subject, the world's biggest and perhaps most ferocious desert, quite well. It puts one in mind of William Least Heat Moon's travel writing, notably "Blue Highways," with its cultural detours and picaresque, ever-changing cast of characters.
Langewiesche starts off by quickly dispelling any myths his readers might have about the subject of the Sahara: "Do not regret the passing of the camel and the caravan. The Sahara has changed, but it remains a desert without compromise, the world in its extreme." He goes on to demonstrate this by trekking through the desert's endless mass and then west to the Atlantic primarily by taxi, bus, and riverboat.
It's not clear to me why Langewiesche was doing this (Least Heat Moon had similarly opaque motives), and the locals have questions, too. During one layover in the Algerian town of M'Zab, what he calls "the diving board for the deep Sahara," there is the following exchange as Langewiesche looks for ground transport farther south:
"He said: 'Why don't you fly?'
'Because I want to see the desert up close.'
'Buy a postcard.'
'But I want to feel the desert.'
'It feels bad.'
Indeed it does. Sometimes it can even be fatal.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful and thoughtful mix of descriptions of the natural landscape, and the remarkable, sometimes inspiring, and sometimes depressing people and societies he encounters along... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Raghuveer Parthasarathy
A bit too much navel-gazing from time to time, but I found this book fascinating overall. A very enlightening mix of geography, human interest, biography and analysis. Read morePublished 13 months ago by E. A. Lynch
This is a travel book about the desert and it is amazing how well the author describes what the area makes one feel. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Sandi Kay Wheatley
Langewiesche isn't superb! I felt as if I was in the desert with himPublished 18 months ago by Don Bradley
As much as I might like to, I will never travel across the Sahara desert.
It sounds beautiful and amazing and romantic and inspiringly desolate, but I will never... Read more
Sometime in the early or mid 90s, travel writer and former pilot William Langewiesche set off from Algiers, Algeria to travel through the Sahara desert in north Africa. Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by Philip Green
I was intrigued by the quote: "The desert teaches by taking away." I've been interested in the desert/wilderness both literally and metaphorically and have found... Read morePublished on April 6, 2013 by mothergail