CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edited by George Gait

Toronto, HarperCollins, 1990. 211pp, paper, $16.95
ISBN 0-00-215687-3.

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up
Reviewed by Joan M. Payzant.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

George Gait, who gathered these twenty travelogues originally published in Saturday Night, is an associate editor of that magazine. In his introduction he states, "I tried out the notion I'd been playing with in my own mind - that these travel essays should be 'non-fiction short stories.'" He has suc­ceeded. Each article is a short story and often, as is to be expected, stranger than fiction.

Audrey Thomas gets mired in a bog in England's beautiful Lake District and is incomprehensibly refused assistance by a passing lady walker. David Macfarlane discovers a suicide victim under a bridge in Paris and because he reports it is grilled mercilessly by the police. Gary Ross is befriended by cafe" owners in Venice and sees the city through their eyes over a period of years. Jan Morris writes of Hawaii and the efforts native Hawaiians are making to save their culture and history in spite of the influx of people of many nation­alities. Ernest Hillen goes back to Java, where he spent his boyhood, and discovers that his memories over­shadow the reality of the present. Gait himself tells of wine makers' traditions in France and of the consummation of his desire to visit Corsica after enjoying Prosper Merimee's novel Columba.

These and the many other worth­while adventures included in The Saturday Night Traveller are each accom­panied by individual introductions, which give the reader brief insights into the authors' lives. One closes the book with two strong wishes - to read other works by several of these travel writers and to set out on adventures of one's own.

Joan M. Payzant, Dartmouth, N.S.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works