Ian Frazier: Great Plains

June 30, 2014

9781862078703I got his Travels in Siberia for Christmas the other year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so when I came across Great Plains in a second-hand bookshop in Kent on a recent holiday, I snapped it up.

He travelled about 25000 miles over several years through the Great Plains area of the western USA, and the book is a composite of his travels and impressions: to someone who has never been there, he conveys a wonderful sense of the place and the people. Having said that, I think I’d have preferred a more structured travelogue, and with better maps. The account of his travels and discoveries is very well annotated; he knows lots about Native American tribes, their history and famous characters, which I found fascinating, as I also did his knowledge of the nuclear missile silos which dot the landscape. It comes across as a vast and relatively empty area, sometimes spectacularly beautiful, at other times almost totally featureless, an idea which it’s very difficult for a European to get his mind around.

I found that his style and tone at times echoed both Garrison Keillor and Bill Bryson: perhaps this was because they are all three Americans, and write about similar places in their homeland.

This book confirmed my enjoyment of Frazier as a contemporary travel writer; I shall be on the lookout for more.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: