Into Thick Air

Into Thick Air

Biking to the Bellybutton of Six Continents

Book - 2008
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With plenty of sunscreen and a cold beer swaddled in his sleeping bag, writer and botanist Jim Malusa bicycled alone to the lowest point on each of six continents, a six-year series of "anti-expeditions" to the "anti-summits." His journeys took him to Lake Eyre in the arid heart of Australia, along Moses' route to the Dead Sea, and from Moscow to the Caspian Sea. He pedaled across the Andes to Patagonia, around tiny Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, and from Tucsonto Death Valley. With a scientist's eye, he vividly observes local landscapes and creatures. As a lone man, he is overfed by grandmothers, courted by ladies of the night in Volgograd, invited into a mosque by Africa's most feared tribe, chased by sandstorms and hurricanes -- yet Malusa keeps riding. His reward: the deep silence of the world's great depressions. A large-hearted narrative of what happens when a friendly, perceptive American puts himself at the mercy of strange landscapes and their denizens, Into Thick Air presents one of the most talented new voices in contemporary travel writing.
Publisher: San Francisco : Sierra Club Books, c2008.
ISBN: 9781578051410
Characteristics: x, 321 p. :,maps ;,23 cm.


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Nov 08, 2012

I love travel books, particularly when the writer has a sense of humor and a slightly wacky perspective. And is a good writer to boot. This author is all three. It's a good read, with some smiles and laughs thrown in.

Jul 25, 2011

I wasn't pulled to any of the destinations of the author, and I am still not, but it doesn't matter... Malusa is an entertaining and thoughtful writer. I liked that he puts a lot of what he sees in the context of old writings about the places too. And the chapter on Djibouti made me discover a place I knew almost nothing about.

Nov 11, 2010

Malusa's a little nuts, and no mistake, but he's a very interesting kind of nut and one who writes very well. He shows a great sense of place, and its his interactions with the people along his route that make this book well worth reading.

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