Journeys

Journeys

3.91 (46 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$25.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

More pieces about far-flung places by the writer described by Rebecca West as perhaps the best descriptive writer of our times.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 180 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019503452X
  • 9780195034523

Review Text

Morris' fifth book of travel essays, with recent pieces from Rolling Stone (the majority), the London Times, Encounter, and Connoisseur, offers a somewhat fresher range of places than the grab-bag of Destinations (1980). Moreover, even when the perceptions here are unsurprising or not-fully-developed, Morris' aphoristic prose can give them an infectious lift and edge. Vienna is "obsessed, and obsessive," running to fat, swollen with heritage, complacent yet neurotic: "It is as though at heart this whole famous metropolis, through its bows, smiles, and proprieties, would like nothing so much as to flop down on a sofa in tearful revelation" - Freud's sofa, of course. The boom-town of Aberdeen, which has gotten rough, even cartoonish treatment from Paul Theroux and others, comes through very differently here - thanks to its skeptical reserve: "There is no suddenness to Aberdeen. The ecstasy rate, I would say, is very low." Sydney, Australia, is young, in love with its own dialect/slang. A journey from England to Yugoslavia takes Morris through a series of up-to-date short-takes - highlighted by roller-skate-crazy, newly uneasy Geneva ("an abrasive kind of fizz") and beloved, irretrievable Venice: "I rather enjoyed this vigorous new cacophony, and thought if you couldn't have The Four Stallions of St. Mark, you could do worse than turn the Piazza into a kind of disco." The American close-ups are a mixed bag: an uninspired look at the real culture behind the sham of Santa Fe, "the artiest, sculpturest, weaviest and potteryest town on earth"; a Las Vegas profile with only a speck or two of originality; a reasonably balanced view of Miami; an evocative but unfocused ramble across Texas. And whenever there's attempt at deeper sociological insight, it usually drifts off course - especially in an admittedly "muddled" attempt to make some sense of a two-city taste (Shanghai, Beijing) of China. Still, though Morris is over-fond of hyperbole, cries of "Ah," and exclamation points, her eye for detail and vignette remains a sure source of paragraph-by-paragraph pleasure - as does (except in moments of excess archness) her ironic brio. Solid-to-splendid Morris, then, more skeptical than gushy, but without the sourness that has made her friend Paul Theroux so off-putting of late. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

46 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 30% (14)
4 35% (16)
3 30% (14)
2 4% (2)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X