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Pass the Butterworms
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About the Author

Tim Cahill is the author of nine books, including A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, and Pass the Butterworms. He is an editor at large for Outside magazine, and his work appears in National Geographic Adventure, The New York Times Book Review, and other national publications. He lives in Montana.

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Funky travelogs like A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg (Random, 1989) have made Cahill top dog among armchair adventurers. This collection tells of his journeys in Mongolia, Peru, and other locales.

YA‘A compilation of writings by an intrepid traveler. Cahill appears to have personally visited every imaginable place on Earth (and a few unimaginable as well), where he has eaten whatever has been served (equally unimaginable at times), and survived disastrous mishaps. Each chapter discusses one major excursion, usually supplemented with shorter but equally entertaining episodes. Precise and concise, the writing reads effortlessly, and is delightfully spiced with bits of humor and wit. Dealing with sites all over the globe, the author clearly describes the geography, flora and fauna, environment, and culture he encounters. Young adults can use individual episodes to learn about foreign cultures, exotic environments, and for the sheer pleasure and excitement. Read collectively, the stories capture part of the author's personality as well, providing insights into the man behind the words. Cahill has authored several other similar titles, also oddly named, including Pecked to Death by Ducks (Random, 1993).‘Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Cahill (Jaguars Ripped My Flesh) has a reputation for reporting his intrepid treks with wit and sensitivity, and in this collection, mainly from Outside magazine, he does not disappoint. Many of his 24 stories are perverse romps: in Mongolia, he pursues archeological data while surviving physical assaults (the locals think him a hated Russian), "operatic weather" and horses that practice "the Mongolian Death Trot." Recounting the history of his recurrent malaria, Cahill quips that he has adopted a steak-and-gin-and-tonic diet for health reasons. On the coast of Honduras, he makes such fast friendships with local children that he becomes known as "Señor Wazoo." But Cahill has a more reflective side, one that recognizes that the wilderness is a place to test ourselves and that progress has its contradictions. Investigating the death of an idealistic young American in remote Peru, he captures a moment in which the local tribesmen finally recognize that the victim was not an enemy but a brother. On the undeveloped island of Bonaire, he realizes that scuba diving can still astonish him. And among the Stone Age tribe of the Karowai in Indonesia, Cahill finds himself regretting the advance of homogenizing modernity but discerning that his subjects, wanting new axes, "did not equate drudgery with any kind of nobility." Author tour. (Mar.)

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