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The River of Desire: A Journey of the Heart Through Patagonia by [Worrall, Simon]
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The River of Desire: A Journey of the Heart Through Patagonia Kindle Edition

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Length: 282 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

When critically acclaimed writer, Simon Worrall, travels to Patagonia on assignment for National Geographic Magazine, he encounters one of the planet’s last wild places: a vast, windblown landscape peopled by colorful characters - a Catholic priest on his way to The South Pole; a woman living alone in The Mountains of The Wind; gauchos, misfits and eccentrics. But as the wind chases chases him south towards the ends of the earth, he also tells his own story: a story of desire and lost love, and one man's search for his place in the world. On the way, he visits some of the places that inspired Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. Applying Darwin's ideas to his own life, Worrall explores his own origins and his evolution as a man and a father, with an honesty that is sometimes shocking. The result is not just another exotic, travel book. Instead, Worrall delivers a powerful story of love and adventure that will take its place alongside such classics as Bruce Chatwin's "In Patagonia" and "The Snow Leopard' by Peter Matthiessen.

About the Author

Simon Worrall was born in Wellington, England and spent his childhood in Eritrea, Paris and Singapore. He has written for publications all over the world, including National Geographic, Smithsonian, London Times, The Guardian, Paris Review, GQ, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Conde Nast Traveler, Maxim, Playboy,Die Zeit and the New Statesman. He divides his time between Herefordshire and the East End of Long Island.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 884 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Worrall Ventures (Dec 19 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003OYIE4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,267 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f6b51a4) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1eff90) out of 5 stars An assignment in Patagonia becomes personal Aug. 9 2012
By S. Warfield - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simon Worrall's "The River of Desire: A Journey of the Heart Through Patagonia" is the story of this man's assignment for National Geographic magazine that took him to Patagonia but also took him to the depths of his own heart. During a journey of 11,000 kilometers of driving and a lot of acreage covered, Simon Worrall looked not only at the flora and fauna of Patagonia, but at his own life, as well. The people he met, birds in flight, and landscapes he saw gave inspiration to thoughts about his life that allowed him to look back and evaluate the past as well as look forward to changing some things about himself that he wasn't happy about.

If a mall survey were done and shoppers were asked where Patagonia is, it's doubtful that most could answer correctly. I recently asked a friend from Bolivia if he had ever been there and he had never heard of it. Patagonia is an area in the southern part of South America that is shared by Argentina and Chile, and is at the southern end of the Andes mountains. It was here that Charles Darwin went as a young man to study in 1833, sailing aboard the HMS Beagle.

Worrall began his trip first with a stay in Buenes Aires. From there he went on to Patagonia. At the time he was married to his wife, Jane, and had a son of his own and was stepfather to Jane's children. Because of frequent assignments abroad Worrall felt like he was always saying good-bye to his son. He wasn't home long enough to spend a lot of time with him, and when he was at home with Jane and her children, there was always a great deal of tension over one of her children. Alicia, a teenaged daughter, was particularly difficult and disrespectful, and one of Worrall's regrets was the day he lost his temper with her. Thoughts of that day and his regrets over it were on his mind as he traveled from one estancia (large ranch) to another in Patagonia.

Jane joined her husband for the remainder of his time in Patagonia and the two worked on their marriage and tried to renew what they once had. It worked out well for them on the trip, but Simon carried the guilt of his infidelities and lack of time spent with his son as he traveled from place to place.

If you know nothing about this area of the world when you begin this book, you will when you finish it. The descriptions of the different landscapes and animals are excellent and the information on the gaucho way of life and culture is a bit surprising and very interesting to read. Included are excerpts from Darwin's diary from his 1833 trip to Patagonia and I found them particularly interesting.

My only criticism is the editing. The book definitely needs some editing as far as spelling and the omission and addition of extra words.

Highly recommended for travel enthusiasts, memoir readers and South American history readers.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1f21f8) out of 5 stars I loved this book! May 30 2011
By Carol - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the very first page, I was hooked. Simon Worrall is a master storyteller who expertly interweaves his moving personal memoir with beautifully descriptive prose about his adventures in Pantagonia, a windswept natural wonderland forever etched in my mind. I could so relate to the author's constant struggle between his innate wanderlust spirit that drove him to all ends of the earth in search of adventure and his desire for a settled family life. I laughed at his adventures and cried at his misfortunes. His love for his wife and his despair at the breakup of their marriage; the pain of his separation from his son; the guilt he felt over his indiscretions; the struggles he experienced with his stepchildren; the rawness and depth of his emotion was very moving. The is the first book of Worrall's that I have read, but it will definitely not be the last. I highly recommend this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1f21bc) out of 5 stars A treasure of a travel book. Dec 22 2013
By anna y - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Please read the review by S. Warfield. I would add that The River of Desire has everything you'd expect from a National Geographic piece. Worrall knows his Darwin and shares it with us. Written vividly, honestly and with a bonus sense of humor, Worrall has us visiting a working cattle ranch (read sample); sit on a remote beach delightedly watching rare white dolphins playing in the Atlantic. He ponders the millenia as the continent has risen from the sea so that now he sits on a high cliff within reach of whalebones. A sense of Time. We are with them as they brake suddenly trying to sneak up on a shy Nandu that only flees, zigzagging,flipping out alternate wings like directional signals.
He and his photographer drive 11000 miles, often on darkest rough roads, camp out in a chilling storm. Once, on the deserted steppe, at one of the few and far between gas station-restaurants, they open the door on a white-washed room with a pot-bellied stove, cobalt-blue dado trim, blue shelving framing a figure of Mary and surprisingly good food: such are the pleasures we share.
Interwoven with the story of volcanoes and plate-tectonics, is the geology of a human heart, where every action and interaction also leaves a deposit. My friennd and I, who read this book out loud to each in weekly instalments, did not find the personal account intrusive. Rather we appreciated it as an enrichment, like a mirrot of past upheaval into the present.
Elise Y. (Mass)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1f26b4) out of 5 stars The River of Desire:A Journey of the Heart Through Patagonia Jan. 28 2013
By Scottsdale Reader - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just completed reading The River of Desire-- in preparation for a small group trip to Patagonia for February and March 2013. This is a must read! The reader will greatly appreciate the descriptive words that put the chill of the constant wind through your jacket, for the care to describe the geographic surroundings as well as the people, and for threading Jane into the story for the human connection to the main character's personal world as a travelling journalist trying to juggle home and occupation. The dust of Patagonia blew through my reading room as I read it in one sitting. The grueling hours in the Jeep over "roads" to reach remote huts and to interview Patagonians--not Argentines or Chileans--was my weary experience also. I'll re-read this book on my return-- that is how engaging the quality of Simon Worrell's writing is. SK in AZ
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1f254c) out of 5 stars Great writing Jan. 4 2013
By Robert Zimmerman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Patagonia is a beautiful land with fascinating character that inspires its visitors. And we're fortunate that Patagonia has caught the attention of Simon Worrall. This is an accomplished writer for dozens of media around the world who in this book deftly weaves an inner journey with lively, descriptive prose about his encounters on the road in Patagonia. A worthy read.