Into Thick Air
Biking to the Bellybutton of Six Continents
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"Delightful debut travelogue by botanist Malusa, who cycled to the lowest point on each of six continents." --Kirkus Reviews
With plenty of sunscreen and a cold beer swaddled in his sleeping bag, writer and botanist Jim Malusa bicycled alone to the lowest point on each of six continents, a six-year series of "anti-expeditions" to "anti-summits." His journeys took him to Lake Eyre in the arid heart of Australia, along Moses' route to the Dead Sea, and from Moscow to the Caspian Sea. He pedaled across the Andes to Patagonia, around tiny Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, and from Tucson to Death Valley.
With a scientist's eye, Malusa vividly observes local landscapes and creatures. As a lone man, he is overfed by grandmothers, courted by ladies of the night in Volgograd, invited into a mosque by Africa's most feared tribe, chased by sandstorms and hurricanes--yet Malusa keeps riding. His reward: the deep silence of the world's great depressions.
A large-hearted narrative of what happens when a friendly, perceptive American puts himself at the mercy of strange landscapes and their denizens, Into Thick Air presents one of the most talented new voices in contemporary travel writing.
"I've followed all of Jim's amazing and hilarious journeys, and I am happy to claim him as one of my favorite writers." --Barbara Kingsolver, New York Times
"His descriptions of desert landscapes can be extraordinary . . . You can almost feel the dry gusts turning Malusa's lips into cracked leather." --The New York Times Book Review
Praise For Into Thick Air: Biking to the Bellybutton of Six Continents…
[H]is descriptions of desert landscapes can be extraordinary. You can almost feel the dry gusts turning Malusa’s lips into cracked leather.” NY Times Book Review
Malusa’s intrepid curiosity enlivens his over-the-road tales.” Booklist
It's unlikely that biking to the lowest places on Earth will earn him a mention in history books. But he is a great storyteller.” Globe and Mail
Counterpoint LLC, 9781578051410, 321pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
About the Author
Jim Malusa has reported on many assignments for The Discovery Channel, including travels to Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, the Atacama Desert in Chile, caves in Alaska, and Three Gorges Dam in China. He has also written for numerous magazines and newspapers, including Natural History, the Las Vegas Sun, and the Arizona Daily Star. With a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Arizona, he conducts fieldwork on desert plants for the university and the National Park Service, when he is not traveling the world or writing about his adventures.