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Kite Strings of the Southern Cross: A Woman's Travel Odyssey Hardcover – 1 Feb 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Travelers' Tales, Incorporated (1 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885211309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885211309
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.7 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,414,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Cats on 17 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had the misfortune to pick this up whilst travelling, which I suppose means that at least I did not have to pay full retail price after discovering it in a Zanzibar book-swap. Written in a manner that can only be described as exceptionally irritating, the author veers between slushy sentiment and self-centered "this reminded me of the time I was in..." digressions. As such, it's not a travel book at all, really, more a greatest hits of beautiful places the author has been over the course of many years and the men she briefly encountered. Short on description, narrative and humour, even my wife - the book's target audience - gave up on it after a few chapters. Pointless, meandering drivel, sorry.
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Format: Paperback
I am swept away by Gough's poetic writing and her journey. I was captivated from the moment I opened the book, and when I finished it I was sad not to be able to spend more time with Gough. I recently traveled throughout Europe and reading her book made me want to plan my next trip to the South Pacific and Asia. Her story captured the essence of what keeps me on the road.
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Format: Hardcover
I am swept away by Gough's poetic writing and her journey. I was captivated from the moment I opened the book, and when I finished it I was sad not to be able to spend more time with Gough. I recently traveled throughout Europe and reading her book made me want to plan my next trip to the South Pacific and Asia. Her story captured the essence of what keeps me on the road.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
SHORTLISTED FOR THE THOMAS COOK TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR! 8 Aug 2000
By Dale Carson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Kite Strings of the Southern Cross" is the best travel book I've read in ten years. Some people think just because they've had interesting travels, they can write a book about them, but not only has Gough had incredibly life-changing, fascinating and hilarious travels, she is a superb writer as well. Now I see that her book is shortlisted for the prestigious Thomas Cook Travel Book of the Year in the UK. It deserves to win wholeheartedly. Kite Strings has no pretensions. It's one of those books that jogs you out of place: a self-willed young traveler voluntarily abroad in a sometimes hostile world, but one that still somehow manages to ask you to marry it every other month. The most beautiful girl in the world, she is raped by the very image of peace and shocking beauty she seeks at the very beginning and she doesn't stop: she has to see every last inch of the earth, she has to allow it to prove its magnificence and generosity. God, what a fantastic book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The best travel book I've read in years 24 Jun 1999
By Brad Newsham (newsham@earthlink.net) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read all the travel books I can get my hands on, and over the last decade have reviewed many of them for the San Francisco Chronicle. Five days ago I finished Laurie Gough's "Kite Strings of the Southern Cross" and have been mulling it over (it rarely leaves my mind, actually), looking for a weakness. I have concluded that it doesn't have one -- it's pretty darned perfect.
In Fiji, on nights when her Fijian lover is not serenading her under the stars, on the beach, Ms. Gough swaps tales around the local backpackers' campfire -- and most of the best ones are her own. A superb storyteller with an easy writing style, Ms. Gough comes across as an intelligent and intrepid traveler and an endearing personality. She weighs in thoughtfully on all the philosophical and metaphysical questions the road raises, and blends cultural insight, travel lore, and personal introspection seamlessly, veering in mood from serious to lighthearted at exactly the right times.
Hers is simply the best travel book I've read since Jeff Greenwald's "The Size of The World" a few years back, the kind of book you want every traveler you know to read.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Laurie has guts!! 15 Aug 2001
By B. Warrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a fellow independent woman traveler, I thoroughly enjoyed "Kite Strings of the Southern Cross" and would recommend it to anyone interested in South Pacific travel, women's travel, or independent travel in general.
Laurie Gough is a talented writer and storyteller who, through this book, captures the "feel" of Fiji for her readers. This book is not about giving us a "to do list" for Fiji...it is about capturing the essence of the islands and their people.
Further, it is also a much appreciated addition to the growing list of travel books by and about independent women travelers. So often, women stay at home and wait: wait to meet the right guy to travel with, wait until one of their girlfriends wants to go, wait until "the time is right" or they have enough money. Laurie, through this book, encourages women to just pick up and GO. And this is very important for many of us, because the adventure of discovering the courage and inner strength necessary to travel as a solo woman is one of the most important journeys of all!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Breath-taking and lyrical travel odyssey 13 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Kite Strings of the Southern Cross is the big-hearted, sensual, vibrant and extraordinarily compelling true travel diary of a Canadian woman in Fiji. The writing is breathtaking and skilled. The places she takes the reader are places the reader wants to remain long after the book is put down. Gough's book is set mainly on a remote south pacific island where Gough lived and taught school. Within the Fiji journal itself are ten short stories based on her travels around the world. The early stories are light-hearted and extremely funny, as are the first few journal chapters of Fiji, but as her stay in Fiji intensifies, the short stories begin to take on weight and reveal the darker sides of the human spirit. Some are set in Morocco, Malaysia, Bali, Hawaii, New Zealand, Italy and North America. The story of the author's hilarious motorcycle escapade from California to eastern Canada with Chester McQuiggle is alone worth the price of the book. This exceptional new talent should be read, and read widely, for within her writing we find secrets loaded with stars. When this book came out in Canada last year, under the title of "Island of the Human Heart", it was an immediate sensation. Soon to be published in the US with a new title and a bigger publisher, Americans will now have the chance to be taken on the travel odyssey of their lives.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
SUPERB WRITING, WONDERFUL ADVENTURE!! 9 April 2005
By Jane Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this fabulous book which so many book clubs seem to be reading and now I understand why. This is the most interesting and best written travel book I've read since Paul Thereoux. (Although I just plain like Laurie Gough much better as a person than I do him, although being a nice person perhaps isn't terribly important to Thereoux.) Gough's book soars with passion, intrigue and adventure. It's lyrical, thoughtful and imaginative. My favourite parts were the Fijian characters who Gough so warmly and honestly portrays. I can't wait for new writings from this talented and open, humorous, free spirit of the road. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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