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In Patagonia made Bruce Chatwin famous overnight. Like those predecessors, In Patagonia revolutionised travel writing. Puckish and witty, it rebuked the po-faced and self-vaunting character of many post-war travelogues. Instead of setting out in search of a river's source, a mountain's summit or a lost tribe, Chatwin headed for South America on the trail of a piece of brontosaurus skin and ended up finding sloth turds at the end of the world. Chatwin's achievement was one of technique as well as tone, for the book is dazzlingly experimental in form. It is divided into 97 short untitled pieces, some as brief as a single paragraph and few longer than four pages. Little narrative energy is expended describing how or why Chatwin's narrator moves between locations and encounters.
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