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American Interior: The quixotic journey of John Evans, his search for a lost tribe and how, fuelled by fantasy and (possibly) booze, he accidentally annexed a third of North America Hardcover – 8 May 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241146011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241146019
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 15.9 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

A joyous and poignant celebration of the mythical and the real (Caught by the River)

A charming and entertainingly written book (Independent)

The most comprehensive study yet of this strange historical figure (Sunday Express)

Written in an exuberant, entertaining style, American Interior is alive to the quixotic nature of Evans's quest, while offering a sideways look at the nexus between history and myth (Financial Times)

A story about gullibility, contradiction, ambition, inexplicable wanderlust . . . this brilliantly life-affirming book highlights a world of wonder far beyond orthodox history (John Harris Guardian)

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laila Podro on 28 May 2014
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Peter Wilson on 27 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thoroughly enjoyable piece of travel / autobiography / history / myth-investigating / biography. Rhys' book is not easy to categorise, but is all the more interesting for that. He is a personable narrator who gently and almost imperceptibly leads the reader into the world of his avatar, John Evans. Before long, it hardly matters that this three foot high felt figure speaks, has opinions, drives trucks and interacts wih fans and journalists. Suspend your disbelief as you enter this world and you will find it an enchanting, idiosyncratic and unique one. Quite unlike anything I have read before, I will return again to this. On the back of reading it, I have purchased the DVD of the film of this trip and have the music album on rotation on Spotify. Nice one, Gruff!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Even if you've heard the album, seen the film and done whatever it is you do with an app, this book is still very definitely worth a read. Adding extra details and extra wit, it's a wonderfully written account of two men's (Gruff's and John Evans') journeys across America in hope of finding.....well, probably a good story to tell in Gruff's case. Prepare to meet as odd a collection of characters as you would hope for/expect, but don't hold your breath for any lost tribes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rhys is a charming, witty and clear-headed companion following what is, frankly, obviously, a fool's mission, but he succeeds brilliantly in making John Evans' life and journey, with all its despairs and disasters, engaging and fascinating. The accompanying app is worth £2.99 of anyone's money and the album is probably his best non-SFA work to date. The whole project appears to have been meticulously thought through and I'll be ordering the DVD too shortly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hilarious, educational, eccentric and charming - a fascinating journey of discovery that gets you thinking deeper about different cultures and how no matter which one you adopt, or immerse yourself in or are born into, they all matter. Loved this!
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By L Tirre on 30 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
An interesting book, written in an engaging way that skips from the history of John Evans to present day as Gruff travels around the American Interior in search of the truth about Evans. Informative, funny and quirky, what's not to like.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Engaging story of both John Evans' adventures in the 1700s, as well as Gruff Rhys' adventures following his ancestor's footsteps---poignant story told very well. I highly recommend it!!!
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