LAST PLACE: A Journey in the North by Lawrence Millman

LAST PLACE: A Journey in the North

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A rollicking journey along the Vikings' ancient trail from Norway to Newfoundland, by the masterful author of Hero Jess (1981) and Our Like Will Not Be There Again (1977). If Dr. Seuss wrote travel books, they'd no doubt resemble this wild saga, which begins with the author's encounter with a dour Icelander on a ferry out of Istanbul, passes through some highly unlikely human settlements of the remote North Atlantic, and ends on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Mass., where a plaque honors Leif Ericsson's dubious landing there in the year 1000. Along the way, Millman fights off dive-bombing skuas (pterodactyl-like birds with five-foot wingspans) on the island of Foula; swaps dysentery stories with the newly arrived British adviser to the Faeroe Islands' first TV station; is attacked by an Eskimo for refusing to sleep with his wife; and ducks low-level NATO test flights in Labrador's Goose Bay. Resolving to travel as much as possible by foot and the slowest of boats, the author takes shelter not only in the miserable hovels of various Northern eccentrics (like the one who papered the walls of his home with Dole Pineapple Juice labels one inebriated winter's night), but wakes up in some of Earth's few remaining pristine campsites as well. Wherever Millman goes he hears a story (including legends of men turned to polar bears and Aggie-type ""New-fie"" jokes), and he records them all here, with perhaps an embellishment or two. By the time the difficult journey is over, Millman's enthusiasm for the unorthodox has proved so infectious that his impromptu decision to start off at once for other isolated realms comes as both a relief and a promise. An exceptionally entertaining travel memoir--Millman has lighted on the perfect medium for his sublimely eloquent, life-affirming style.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1989
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin