Вилли Во (williwaw) wrote,
Вилли Во

'Stephen Fry in America' by Stephen Fry

10. Автор книги — знаменитость в другой сфере 33/52

Лично для меня Стивен Фрай всё-таки в первую очередь писатель, но это для меня, для многих других он, наверное, в большей степени актер, комик и шоумен. (А еще он обладатель эталонного "британского английского", и потому я всем советую аудиокниги в его исполнении, сама сейчас с огромным удовольствием слушаю начитанного им Шерлока Холмса).

И даже эта книга - побочный продукт телешоу, в котором Фрай ездил по Америке с целой съемочной группой и снимал минифильмы про каждый штат. Но это не помешало ему написать отличный трэвелог! Вот прямо-таки образец того, как надо писать о путешествиях. Описанные им города и достопримечательности вставали передо мной как наяву, и я для себя открыла много новых имен и отметок на карте. И об американских штатах теперь знаю гораздо больше всего интересного.

В общем, книгу советую всем, кто собирается в путешествие по Америке, или просто хочет побольше узнать об этой стране. А под катом процитирую описания двух американских городков, которые особенно понравились Фраю, и в которых теперь очень хочется побывать мне. Хотя до этого я даже не знала об их существовании!

* * *
Asheville, I am pleased to say, is one of the most agreeable towns I have yet visited.
America, as has been widely reported, is in danger of turning the parts of itself that aren’t protected as wilderness or park into strip-mall hell. Hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands of miles of Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Denny’s, KFC, Arby’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Foot Locker, Ross (‘Dress For Less’), CVC and Walgreen Pharmacies, Home Depot, Staples, Best Buy, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, et cetera, et cetera. All strung along the highways, all only accessible by car, all unattractive, all resolutely and horribly the same. The town centres from which these strips radiate are often dead by seven in the evening or have degenerated into ghettos of the poor, the drug-dependent and the gang-affiliated.
Asheville is different, Asheville is very much a ‘why can’t all towns in America be like this?’ kind of a place. George Vanderbilt chose Asheville to be the seat of his enormous Biltmore mansion, the largest private house in the Western Hemisphere, which attracts an average of nearly three thousand visitors a day. Aside from the Biltmore Estate though, Asheville is a city of variety, style, vibrancy, Bohemian charm and architectural (especially art deco) beauty. I walked for miles along its streets without once seeing a Starbucks or a fast-food franchise. Asheville is said to be the vegetarian capital of America, the Happiest City in America for Women–it has gathered all kinds of soubriquets and top ten listings. It has a University of North Carolina campus and other institutions of higher learning, but its charming, free and infectious liveliness cannot fully be explained by it being a college town: there are plenty of cities in America with far more campuses that have nothing like the appeal of Asheville. The New Age features that have accreted to the town in recent years I can leave alone, but batty as they may be, they are peaceful and unthreatening (except to the intellect and will of course) and perhaps contribute to the unspoiled qualities of this wonderful place.

* * *
The next day is Easter Sunday, which I spend in Fort Collins, an attractive college town sixty miles or so due north of Denver. Our sound recordist, Adam, is so entranced by the atmosphere and charm of the place that he tells us all he is determined one day to come back and live here. Not since Ashville, North Carolina have we been in a town so refreshingly devoid of big-name chain restaurants and corporate franchise businesses and hotels. Adam is not alone in his delight. Fort Collins was voted Best Place To Live by Money magazine in 2006. Perhaps the presence of Colorado State University helps: certainly the profusion of pleasant, cheap restaurants and coffee shops bespeaks the student town.
Tags: book lovers never go to bed alone
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