Saturday, December 30, 2006

Travels in a Thin Country by Sara Wheeler

About her trip through Chile. I’d intended to read this before I went to Patagonia last month, but it didn’t happen – so when I saw a copy at Half-Price Books right after I got back, I bought it. I didn’t miss anything by not reading this before my trip, since she spends all of 2 pages on Torres Del Paine, which she did in a day trip(!!) - and that pretty much captures the book. It’s very superficial. There’s a lot of “I met these people, or those friends-of-friends-of friends, and we went drinking” - sort of a small, mobile frat party, with a constantly changing cast of characters. She does comment on the political background (Allende and Pinochet), and people’s commentary about it, including the ongoing squabbles between Chile and Argentina; she discusses the Indians who inhabited the continent before the Europeans showed up; and every once in a while, she writes a good description of a beautiful area of the country. But it’s all very superficially done and not particularly cohesive. Mediocre at best.

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