Monday, August 04, 2014

Last Places

A Journey to the North

Travel writing by
Lawrence Millman
Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1990

   If you have ever wondered what a Hunter S. Thompson travelog of remote North Atlantic locations would be like, this may be as close as you will get. Lawrence Millman has made a specialty of wandering the North, writing numerous books over the last 40 years on this and other subjects. A true raconteur, this book is filled with wild stories gleaned from his hosts in Fouli (one of the Shetland Islands), the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador and Newfoundland. Millman is not one to pull his punches; after reading this I felt as if I had been beaten up.

  His preferred mode of transportation (after walking) is by boat, and he manages to catch several rides on dubious ships with unreliable captains. Once ashore, he eschews hotels for camping, often to the amusement of the natives.  Scenes of drinking, puking and whoring are common, contrasting with Millman's poetic descriptions of nature and wildlife. Millman wrote this twenty-five years ago, several parts of the book concern the end of a way of life for many of his subjects. I should check out his more recent books; in hindsight they may offer an expanded view.

Thanks to DJ cousin Mary, for sending this book my way!

By Professor Batty


Blogger Mary said...

Glad you "enjoyed" being beaten up by this book!

Blogger Professor Batty said...

He definitely gives a new meaning to the description of a 'difficult' author.

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