TRAVELS: NEAR AND FAR OUT by Anthony Carson

TRAVELS: NEAR AND FAR OUT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anthony Carson is a sort of carelessly corrupt Candide; his wacky wanderjahrs, from the twenties to the present day, extend via Europe, Africa and the Pacific. He's employed as a sheep-shearer, a courier for a travel agency, a screenwriter at Cinecitta, a BBC flunky. Devilishly deadpan, he announces absurdities as if he were addressing Parliament. He's fanciful, funny, flagrant. He goes to Spain, asks ""Where's the revolution?"" A lovely slattern replies: ""We've had it. All my brothers were in it and they shot people. It was like a feast day. Now it's farther South"". For him Naples hums like bluebottles on a rotten plum; the people shine like butter. The air of Switzerland is fat with peace and the mountains look as if a million charwomen got up at dawn to scrub them. In Greece the American girls glowed like petunias; they all had university degress, were writing novels and ordered everyone about. In the Arab world, a dizzy degeneration: belly dancers, boys, bawds, bars, bugs, to which a back-home Protestant Convention haphazardly and hilariously succumbs. Are these accounts truthful Who knows? Certainly they're among the best, most bubbly burlesques of Holiday type articles we've had. A faux-naif find; delightful as good drink, good food.

Publisher: Pantheon