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Strange Telescopes Paperback – 1 May 2008
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As travel journalists go, Kalder is pretty much the Anti-Palin, scouring obscure locations for excentrics, malcontents and lunatics ... Thoughful and funny. -- Esquire
Kalder is not only an excellent writer, with a vivid turn of phrase, but a sympathetic one: his concern is to ounderstand his subjects rather than exploit them ... his insight and skilful writing keeps you reading. -- Daily Telegraph
Kalder's vivid, witty and sometimes poetic prose describes encounters with wonderful and frightening characters ... Kalder shows a cosmopolitan curiosity and a sense of adventure ... and confirms the exciting talent revealed in his Lost Cosmonaut. -- Scotland on Sunday
Writing that is vibrant and dynamic and which rolls along taking the reader with it. His observations, witty and biting, are spot-on in relation to people and to places. -- Irish Times
a fine guide to a world that will be totally alien to most readers. He writes with incredible energy ... highly successful throughout ... Laid-back, unpretentious delivery, occasional interludes, postcards and posed pictures next to the new Messiah - all combine to make an impressive, unlikely whole. -- Scottish Review of Books
Strange Telescopes by Daniel Kalder is a hilariously weird, witty and unique travelogue from a dedicated 'antitourist', and author of Lost Cosmonaut.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. See all Product description
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All of these individuals Kalder meets are intense personalities obsessed with pushing the boundaries of thought and life. Kalder speculates that these actions are made possible by the radical social and economic changes in the ex-Soviet states; 'anything goes' so there is room for extremism. Most of the book is filled with observations about his travel and the people he meets. So, this thesis is not fully expanded upon. Though, worth noting, in the prologue Kalder says (with one suspects tongue firmly jammed in cheek) that the book should be read as any/all of the following: self-help manual for dreamers, myth or epic enthusiasts, spiritual journey for the soulful and/or [insert your own label]. He finishes the prologue with a cheeky quip: "I know I've told the truth. As for the other people whose words are recorded here - well, that's a different matter."
For those with a love of farce, the bizarre and the human condition... this is for you. This is not remotely anything like any other travel writing possibly imaginable... this is travel not just to extreme places but to meet people at the extreme of life.