Cover image for Over sand & sea : a traveler's tales
Over sand & sea : a traveler's tales
Pfister, Patrick.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : Academy Chicago Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 281 pages ; 23 cm
Personal Subject:
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G465 .P4835 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Over Sand & Sea is a voyage to the remote regions of the planet. On the Karakoram Highway, the ancient trade route of the Silk Road, Pfister takes us on a breathtaking trip through the clouds. In Turkey he seeks to pay a debt of gratitude to the Sufi mystic poet Rumi and in Florida he chases a teenage dream of bikini-clad girls on golden beaches. As he weaves his spell, we follow him in search of a paradise island in the Philippines and across the desolate Nullarbor Plain of Australia. In the Carmelite convent church of Alba de Tormes, Spain, founded in the 16th century by Saint Teresa, he pauses in contemplation. Later, he finds himself trapped in the midst of a revolution in Central America. Along the road he meets a whole range of fascinating characters. There is Pete, the rugged, foulmouthed carpenter in Northern California, and Ajaan, the jolly abbot of a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. In India, Pfister arrives at the Pushkar Camel Fair with a flamboyant British film actress. Finally, he must journey home to face the death of a beloved brother. Both personal odyssey and thrilling adventure, Over Sand & Sea is a meditation on the art and poetry of travel. With humor, insight and deft literary magic, Pfister reminds us that a voyage to the wildest reaches of the world still echoes in the quietest corner of the human heart.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Inveterate traveler Pfister recounts a series of journeys that spans both the globe and the inner recesses of his own psyche. A born wanderer, he traverses the ancient trade route of the Silk Road, meanders far off the beaten path in order to attend the Pushkar Camel Fair in India, and meditates in the ancient Carmelite monastery that once housed St. Teresa of Avila. Closer to home, adventures are to be found in Florida, California, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. No matter how exotic or prosaic the locale, he describes each expedition in vivid detail, investing his experiences with the uniquely spiritual imprint of a voyager certain that the reward is in the journey rather than in the destination. Ending on a somber note, he comes full circle, traveling home to say goodbye to his dying brother. This luminous travelogue will appeal to both dedicated wayfarers and armchair tourists. Margaret Flanagan

Library Journal Review

Following his popular Pilgrimage: Tales from the Open Road (now available in paperback), Pfister's second collection of travel stories relates adventures from around the globe in well-written and thoughtful prose. They include such varied tales as the last days of his brother's fight with cancer; an unsuccessful day trying to make money shoveling snow; the canoe races in Fiji; and trying to help a fellow traveler beset by depression in Bali. Pfister interweaves the mystical and the everyday, describing, for example, such experiences as listening to the ethereal chanting of cloistered nuns, being interrupted by a bucket falling, and witnessing a husband and wife arguing. His words are honest, insightful, and very personal, illustrating his inner journey. Pfister is observant of those around him, describing many simple interactions that readers will be able to relate to, such as a new cashier in Perth and a friendly but annoying drunken tourist. Written with great sympathy and humanity, this collection will interest those who enjoyed his first. For public libraries.-Alison Hopkins, Brantford P.L., Ont. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.