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From The CriticsThe story of human discovery has also been the story of the end of mystery and hidden places. Reding's engrossing tale of the months he spent as a journalist living in the high, barren Chilean Patagonia region is not just another travelogue, but a document of a culture on the cusp of unstoppable change. The land is harsh, gorgeous and almost impossible to get to, and the gauchos Reding lived among—tough cattlemen, for the most part, with names like Duck, Peeled and Fried Bread—are a breed apart. The author resists romanticizing the gauchos and simply recounts his experience, incorporating history and cultural analysis. It's a sad story, ultimately: By the end of the last decade the Chilean government was building a paved road deep into Patagonia, along which the tides of globalization were already flowing. This book serves as a moving testament to a disappearing culture where boys ride horses before they can walk and everyone seems to have a tale about meeting the devil on deserted trails.