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Voyage by Dhow [Paperback]

Norman Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

7 Nov 2003
This sparkling collection of essays is the result of a lifetime -- over sixty years -- spent travelling.


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (7 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330412094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330412094
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 890,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Of the great travel writers, Norman Lewis may well be the author who will leave the greatest legacy. For 60 years, he has covered every corner of the globe, bringing a totally unique vision to his many books. And what books! Through his eyes, we have been taken everywhere from the most exotic sun-drenched vistas to the darkest, most dangerous corners of the world. Just a few sentences into his new book, A Voyage by Dhow, and we're reminded why Graham Greene described Lewis as "one of our best writers--not of any particular decade, but of our century". This fascinatingly diverse collection reveals an unparalleled career: from the intrigues of Aden before the War to the fetid jungles of South America; from the beauty of Naples to an unsettling journey to the Russian Steppes (courtesy of the Writer's Union of the USSR)--all of these are conjured for us in prose of maximum vividness. The most bizarre encounters are conveyed in writing that is either lush or astringent (depending on whichever is most appropriate), and the characters he meets (from a persuasive colonial pimp to a frightening Huichol shaman) are brought to teeming life. Even if you have some of these pieces already, the collection functions perfectly en masse--as a way of looking at the world through the eyes of one of its most perceptive observers.
Joseph's profession was Senior Officer's Pimp. We talked for a while of his occupation and he assured me that Aden City possessed in all 8,000 prostitutes, and that those under his protection could perform tricks that would cause a guest's enemies to disappear and be seen no more, although they naturally demanded a higher fee...
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'The travel-writer's travel-writer' Conde Nast Traveller

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Travel Writing 7 Jun 2013
By Nico
Format:Paperback
Another wonderful collection of travel essays from the most stylish of travel writers. I particularly enjoyed reading about his travels to Yemen from which the title of the book was inspired. The other chapter I particularly enjoyed reading concerned his travels through Mexico. Lewis describes everywhere he goes and everything he sees so vividly and with great flourish. If you like good travelling writing you will enjoy this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another entrapping work by Lewis 13 Aug 2012
By John the Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By no means, perfect sailing, this collection of articles contains some powerful writing along with short pieces, with abrupt endings, that leave key questions unanswered.

Several pieces written by this enormously well travelled author were powerful enough to bring about truly dramatic changes - one published in the Sunday Times in the UK, on the genocide of the tribes in Brazil, led to the creation of the Survival International, a charity dedicated to protecting "first peoples" around the world. Lewis considered this his best achievement in a long life (he died recently at age 95). In this collection he writes of pure horror in Paraguay with man-hunting of literally thousands of the Guayaki people who were then (1974) sold into slavery for as little as $1.50 each. These were "recruited" for the missions established by the New Tribes Mission (which is headquartered in Sanford, Florida) by professional man-hunters (known as senuelos; lures) including notorious slave owners, one of whom was at one stage was officially managing the mission. Denials from the New Tribes mission may be read on-line but do not extend to the enforced conversions as their mission statement is not to leave any tribes outside of Evangelical Christianity because they then endure "the unending punishment of the unsaved".

The book includes Lewis on his first trip for the "Home Office" into the Yemen to spy for Great Britain. This is the voyage by Dhow of the title, so these pieces span much of his travels from 1937 to the 1980s including an adventurous trip into Russia.

An enjoyable book for the arm-chair traveler and student of social history, sprinkled with the author's dry wit, This may well be the best book - because of the chronology - for a reader new to this author to enter his enchanting web of great prose, well researched history and great travel narratives.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars travel writing style 15 May 2012
By Donald E. Gilliland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a collection of essays that the great travel writer penned from various locations over a multi-decade period. Lewis died at the age of 95 in 2003 and was travelling --- and writing --- until near the very end of his life. Back in the early days of his career as a journalist, Westerners seldom visited some of these destinations (Yemen, Paraguay, Soviet Union, etc.) that he covers in this book. His earlier books about Southeast Asia ("A Dragon Apparent" and "Golden Earth") are especially fascinating for their observations of countries such as Burma and Cambodia. As always, Lewis has an astute eye for detail and the ability to see the big picture. In one particularly penetrating essay in this collection, Lewis comes across a dubious group of missionaries in Venezuela who are attempting to "convert" a primitive tribe to Christianity, and in the process wean them from their traditional way of life. Sadly, of course, such missionaries are still allowed to spew their poison around the world. We could use more writers like Lewis who question --- and challenge --- such destructive practices. This collection of essays provide the reader with many good examples of Norman Lewis' travel writing style.
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