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2015 50 Book Challenge - Page 170

post #2536 of 2537
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists
2. Acceptance
3. Shipbreaker
4. Winter's Bone
5. Dhmara Bums
6. Istanbul
7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan
8. Holy Bible
9. The Boat
10. Collected Stories
11. Lost and Found
12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman
13. White Noise
14. Clariel
15. Off the Rails
16. Sabriel
17 Hitler's Daughter
18. Quack this Way
19. Grapes of Wrath
20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar
21. The Twelve Fingered Boy
22. Riders of the Purple Sage
23. The Sheltering Sky
24. How to Travel the World for Free

 

24. How to Travel the World for Free

 

Journalist Michael Wigge sets out from Berlin and travels to Antartica with $0 in pocket and no credit card. He makes his way through several continents by creatively asking for help, making money in odd ways (pillow fights, butlering) and straight out hitch-hiking and begging. A lot of this was interesting, but the novel lacks detail or reflection. It reads like a series of events, rather than an evolving and complex journey (which it must have been).

 

Compared to some of the other travel writing (Tim Cope's) that I've loved this year, this felt like a long article, which was OK, but ultimately undeveloped. The 'lessons' learned are cliched and predictable and I was left a tad bored.

post #2537 of 2537
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists
2. Acceptance
3. Shipbreaker
4. Winter's Bone
5. Dhmara Bums
6. Istanbul
7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan
8. Holy Bible
9. The Boat
10. Collected Stories
11. Lost and Found
12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman
13. White Noise
14. Clariel
15. Off the Rails
16. Sabriel
17 Hitler's Daughter
18. Quack this Way
19. Grapes of Wrath
20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar
21. The Twelve Fingered Boy
22. Riders of the Purple Sage
23. The Sheltering Sky
24. How to Travel the World for Free
25. Deliverance

 

25. Deliverance

 

Four friends travel into the wilderness on a weekend trip and everything goes wrong. While this story is somewhat predictable, the quality and pace of writing really sets it apart from other stories of bad weekends, and disaster. The main character is both insightful and reflective, and does a brilliant job exploring the personalities of his companions and friends. As the actions forces changes in dynamics between the characters the strength of Jame Dickey's writing becomes clear: he writes with subtlety and precision, often allowing for actions to speak clearly instead of narration. The pacing is masterfully slow and directed - for events spanning 2-3 days the novel feels drawn out in all the right places and succinct in all the dull parts.

 

The plot was nothing special, but I really did enjoy this novel.

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