Friday, November 21, 2008

Overheard

while getting my hair cut:

"We're cool as long as he doesn't start sleeping with my friends."

* * *

#49 -- "In Patagonia" by Bruce Chatwin

A travel classic that I knew I'd love, but put off reading for a long time. Don't ask me why. It's the first book by Chatwin that I've read, which is probably a serious oversight ("Utz" has languished on my shelf even longer). It's most entertaining when he's tracking down legends, rumors and tales -- his on-and-off following of Butch Cassidy is pretty enjoyable. The residents of Patagonia come across as iconoclasts and oddballs. There's been talk of a trip down to South America sometime in the not-to-distant future, so this was pretty cool to read -- I probably know less about South America than any other place on earth.

I guess, maybe, from reading some notes on Amazon, that this isn't entirely fact -- more a blend of fact and fiction, a la Lloyd Jones' "Biografi," which I really should read again. That doesn't bug me as much as it should, though I read it thinking it was presented as fact. It's not like I'm going to go check his work.

A lot of people hold this up as the all-time great in travel lit, but I wouldn't quite put it up there -- I can think of some I liked better. But this was great fun to read.

1 comment:

ice cream jonsey said...

Well, now you have to get your haircut at the exact same interval as the girl so we know whether or not her ex-boyfriend did or did not start sleeping with her friends!

That's too much pressure for a haircut! I can barely blurt out what I want them to (vaguely) do!