In the Mountains of Heaven: True Tales of Adventure on Six Continents

In the Mountains of Heaven: True Tales of Adventure on Six Continents

by Mike Tidwell
     
 

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In this collection of twenty-five essays, award-winning travel writer Mike Tidwell shatters the mold of the travel genre. His writing is more than just adventurous tales about getting from here to there. There's plenty of that, of course, whether it's getting marooned on a desert island or traveling the Silk Road with nomadic shepherds or hitchhiking on Cajun

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Overview

In this collection of twenty-five essays, award-winning travel writer Mike Tidwell shatters the mold of the travel genre. His writing is more than just adventurous tales about getting from here to there. There's plenty of that, of course, whether it's getting marooned on a desert island or traveling the Silk Road with nomadic shepherds or hitchhiking on Cajun shrimp boats through Louisiana's bayou country. But what makes Tidwell's writing different--what makes it deeper--is his uncanny ability to draw out those he meets--a Bombay prostitute, a Hanoi barber, a real-life Tarzan in the Amazon rain forest.
IN THE MOUNTAINS OF HEAVEN is a powerful and fascinating book of travel, a volume sure to earn Tidwell a place alongside Tim Cahill and Randy Wayne White in the pantheon of adventure writers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tidwell has long been a treasure for readers of the Washington Post's Sunday travel section--where more than half of these 19 essays were originally published (and whose readers will snatch it off bookstore shelves). While his previous book, The Ponds of Kalambayi, brought Tidwell a wider readership, this collection of his essays may find a smaller one. Still, it is a delight to have them, since in many ways they best capture his unique stylistic combination of awe and delight. Tidwell often uses a small incident to illuminate the special qualities of a culture, aiming, he explains, "to get at what's most important and intimate about a place, to find out what things large or small make it unique, make a place home, for the people who live there." A meeting with a surprising Vietnamese barber, for example, allows him to remark on Hanoi's favorite hairstyle and the pleasure of good conversation. "You're the first American whose hair I've cut," the barber tells Tidwell while snipping his hair. "I shot at many Americans, but never this." Other epiphanies are provoked by the author's experiences serving as the youngest honorary grand marshal in Linz, Germany, negotiating the wilds of Lake Superior and carrying more than 250 pounds of peccary meat through the Amazon. The collection's shorter essays (each only a few pages long) are bookended by two longer pieces: a closing description of time spent among the Mbuti Pygmies of Africa and an introductory tribute to Tidwell's uncle Barry, whose love of travel in the face of great physical pain strikes a poignant note that echoes throughout Tidwell's wry observations. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
If you read the Washington Post, many of the 19 essays in Tidwell's pastiche of travel experiences will be familiar. One or two will also be familiar from his previous travel books (Amazon Stranger and The Ponds of Kalambayi) and magazine articles. However, this recycling should not deter one from globe hopping with the spirited and spiritual Tidwell. His latest book is salted with moments of electrifying insight, bizarre humor, and delightful discovery. Tidwell takes us fishing in Washington, DC, within sight of our nation's monuments; he also takes us for an outdoor haircut in Hanoi; and this intrepid traveler even investigates the mystery of the missing manholes in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and possibly solves it. Moreover, he hunts with natives in the Amazon and Congo, takes us to the Andes and Australia, and brings us along on an overnight train trip with his small son. And, at one point, Tidwell even (almost) overcomes his fear of flying. Highly recommended for all public libraries.--Janet Ross, Sparks Branch Lib., NV Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Booknews
Contains 19 essays in which travel writer Tidwell recounts his travel adventures, discoveries, and encounters in Asia, Europe, Australia, the Americas, Africa, and various islands. CiP shows subtitle as "True Tales of Adventure on Six Continents". Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585746279
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/2003
Edition description:
First edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.76(d)

Meet the Author

MIKE TIDWELL is the author of three previous books, including Amazon Stranger (page 124) and The Ponds of Kalambayi (page 131). Tidwell's work has appeared in such publications as National Geographic Traveler, Reader's Digest, and the Washington Post, where his writing has earned him two Lowell Thomas awards, the highest prize in American travel journalism. He lives near Washington, DC.

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