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The Songlines Paperback – June 1, 1988
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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The late Bruce Chatwin carved out a literary career as unique as any writer's in this century: his books included In Patagonia, a fabulist travel narrative, The Viceroy of Ouidah, a mock-historical tale of a Brazilian slave-trader in 19th century Africa, and The Songlines, his beautiful, elegiac, comic account of following the invisible pathways traced by the Australian aborigines. Chatwin was nothing if not erudite, and the vast, eclectic body of literature that underlies this tale of trekking across the outback gives it a resonance found in few other recent travel books. A poignancy, as well, since Chatwin's untimely death made The Songlines one of his last books.
From Publishers Weekly
PW praised Chatwin's "entertaining" and "resonant" reflections on the distinctions between settled people and wanderers, and between human aggression and pacifism, as he searches central Australia for the pathways along which aborigines travel to perform their cultural activities.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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It proves to be a quick and enjoyable read.It's set mostly in Australia, with a lot of detours to Africa.Chatwin's voice is distinctive and engaging but i'd be cautious about he's theorizing.By the time I finished with it, I still had no idea what a Songline is.(It was funny .I tried to see if I could formulate it on the basis of what Chatwin reports.Couldn't do it).
Frequently, the author goes off on a tangent and one wonders what has happened to the story line,
but then he manages to connect the piece with the rest of the dialogue.
It is a most interesting adventure he takes us on...the people and the landscape are incredible.
The copy of the book that I received was as advertised in quality. It was in good shape and from that standpoint it was a good buy. If you are interested in a memoir of travels through Australia, Africa, and other locations; you may find it to be a good read.