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American Interior: The Quixotic Journey of John Evans
 
 

American Interior: The Quixotic Journey of John Evans [Kindle Edition]

Gruff Rhys
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

American Interior is a psychedelic historical travelogue from Welsh pop legend Gruff Rhys.



In 1792, John Evans, a twenty-two-year-old farmhand from Snowdonia, Wales, travelled to America to discover whether there was indeed, as widely believed, a tribe of Welsh-speaking native Americans still walking the great plains.



In 2012, Gruff Rhys set out on an 'investigative concert tour' in the footsteps of John Evans, with concerts in New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St Louis, North Dakota and more.



American Interior is the story of these journeys. It is also an exploration of how wild fantasies interact with hard history and how myth-making can inspire humans to partake in crazy, vain pursuits of glory, including exploration, war and the creative arts.



Gruff Rhys is known around the world for his work as a solo artist as well as singer and songwriter with Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon, and for his collaborations with Gorillaz, Dangermouse, Sparklehorse, Mogwai and Simian Mobile Disco amongst others. The latest album by Neon Neon, Praxis Makes Perfect, based on the life of radical Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, was recently performed as an immersive live concert with National Theatre Wales.

About the Author

Gruff Rhys is known around the world for his work as a solo artist as well as singer and songwriter with Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon, and for his collaborations with Gorillaz, Dangermouse, Sparklehorse, Mogwai and Simian Mobile Disco amongst others. The latest album by Neon Neon, Praxis Makes Perfect, based on the life of radical Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, was recently performed as an immersive live concert with National Theatre Wales.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9273 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (8 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GED8DUG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,288 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book weaves together the stories of a concert tour in modern America, in company with a felt avatar of his ancestor, John Evans, that in turn followed the trail of the historic pioneering journey Evans took up the Missouri River and the myth and legend that led him there.

To quote from the book itself - "Facts are fluids that occasionally overspill the vessel of truth. They leave a particular stain on the carpet that can take generations to fade away and if the carpet is woven from the absorbent wool of the Welsh imagination, they may never disappear entirely."

It's an inspiring, touching and thought provoking book. It references to the recent treatment of Native Americans has led me back to reread Peter Matthiessen's 'In the Spirit of Crazy Horse'. I can highly recommend it, as I can the app which makes a brilliant companion to the book and follows the story via three maps and completes the tail with short films and photos.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An exceptionally well written book offering a most concise, well-informed and insightful summary of John Evans' journey. Gruff's modern-day recreation of the journey and his musical tour ties in perfectly, with just the right amounts of each story.

Gruff also commendably refrains from any form of speculation concerning the Madoc myth, sticking faithfully to the facts as we know them. Contrast, for example, with Ellen Pugh's "Brave his Soul" (which is full of unsubstantiated speculation) and also the work of any number of other dreamers who have put two and two together to make five.

As a Madoc agnostic who has researched this corner of history in detail, the only things I've uncovered which aren't in Gruff's book are firstly some insights from Nicolas de Finiel's "An Account of Upper Louisiana". De Finiel's was living in St Louis at the same time as Evans and his account came not from first hand experience but from interviewing explorers who had recently returned from the titular region. One interviewee (who isn't named) is particularly taken by the sophistication of Mandan pottery and believes it suggests pre Columbus contact with Europeans. The interviewee is also keen for the Mandan to be left alone and uncorrupted by the modern world. I can only imagine who the interviewee might be, but I'd be surprised if it was anyone other than Evans. I hasten to add that the archaeology of W. Raymond Wood suggests nothing out of the ordinary with Mandan pottery fragments but if Evans is the mysterious interviewee, it at least suggests there may be a disparity between the official records and what Evans himself believed. Likewise with Evans' letter to Samuel Jones, which was clearly written under the close gaze of Don Trudeau.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gift 5 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift for my sons birthday. It was on his wish list!!
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Format:Paperback
Brilliant book that I bought on the strength of the album (being an old SFA fan) Perfect summer holiday reaing
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