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The Best Travel Writing 2005: True Stories from Around the World [Paperback]

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Item description for The Best Travel Writing 2005: True Stories from Around the World by James O'Reilly...

The 28 stories in this compilation take the reader on delightful armchair adventures to points known and unknown, from recreating Muhammad Ali's "Rumble in the Jungle" in a makeshift boxing ring in Malawi, to discovering the secret to life and chicken in a humble Parisian restaurant, to encountering the ghost of Odysseus and the mysteries of one's own past in the Aegean. Featuring points of view and perspectives as global as the tales themselves, the stories present an equally eclectic collection of themes, encompassing spiritual growth, misadventure, high adventure, romance, women's solo journeys, stories of service to humanity, family travel, and encounters with exotic cuisine. The common thread connecting them all is fresh, lively storytelling that make readers laugh, cry, wish they were there, or be glad they weren't.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 4.9" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 17, 2005
Publisher   Travelers' Tales
ISBN  1932361162  
ISBN13  9781932361162  

Availability  0 units.

More About James O'Reilly

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! O'Reilly is president and co-publisher of Traveler's Tales. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1975.

James O'Reilly currently resides in Palo Alto, in the state of California. James O'Reilly was born in 1953.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Travel Writing
2Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Essays & Travelogues
3Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Guidebooks

Reviews - What do customers think about The Best Travel Writing 2005: True Stories from Around the World?

Presents accounts of encounters from villages to mountains, cruisers to African cities  Sep 12, 2008
This annual collection of great stories from the road comes from various award-winning writers - including Solas Awards winners - and represents the best in travel literature writing, making it a powerful pick for any library strong in travel writing. THE BEST TRAVEL WRITING 2008: TRUE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD presents accounts of encounters from villages to mountains, cruisers to African cities, and is simply outstanding, involving reading for any armchair enthusiast.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
Sensation  Jan 14, 2008
This "Best Travelers' Series" is a sensation. Truly, I don't think of anyone who would not find pleasure in reading these sketches. People who seek out 18th Century Asian poetry or 17th Century French judicial opinions would find a joy in these contemporary travel accounts.
A very boring book -  Jan 10, 2008
This book tells you nothing about traveling to places. It is a collection of storeis by authors that simply is not that exciting. The best story is about the guy in Spain who lives with his Spanish wife. The rest were so boring, I couldn't read them. I was simply not interested and very dissapointed. If this is the best of travel writing I would hate to see the worst!
Bite sized banquet of adventures  Mar 31, 2007
Travel writers are the best. They understand that self preservation in their craft is instant submersion in their stories. No wasted words, no patronizing prose. Their readers have litterally been there, done that. So they welcome readers like house guests and treat them like locals. I think it's the most respectful genre in writing. This book is perfect proof. Want to litterally cling to life on a New Zealand mountain? Gotta minute? Want to be a guest-turned-captive in a steamy African village and escape by the skin of Take five. That's this book. Enjoy.
Lives up to its name as a "best travel writing" collection  Dec 22, 2005
The Travelers' tales books come in a variety of types. Some are collections that focus on a particular region (Thailand, Italy, the American southwest.) Others are unified by particular running themes (food, danger, spiritual growth). Others are "best of" compilations, collecting the purported acme of the genre, often pieces that appear in other Travelers' Tales books.

I love the whole series, but I've been surprised in the past that the "best of" compilations aren't always (subjectively speaking) actually the best ones. But this one really is, and I highly recommend it.

The finest travelers' tales, of which this contains many, convey the full force of travel. Being a stranger in a strange place, you note and remember much that you'd ignore in your daily life; everything seems more vivid, more memorable. If you're in a particularly different place, perhaps your old life will seem strangely alien, even puny, when reflected upon in a different cultural context. These new people, landscapes, cities, loom so large in your consciousness, it's like being a child all over again.

The best stories in this collection convey those feelings, and many others.

Perhaps because I myself love traveling in SE Asia, I found this collection's pieces on the region to be among the book's best:

One, "The Ghost Road," covers the author's attempt to find the Burmese section of the old Stilwell road. The reader feels the cultural exoticism of the place, and also the spookiness of trying to outwit an authoritarian, nasty government.

"Circuit Broken" is a wonderful capturing of a moment many travelers have experienced; the author is determined to get away from the normal tourist path in Vietnam, and finds herself in a bleak, depressing place. She has an epiphany about the perils of being driven by negative emotions rather than by positive desires.

"Trigger Happy in Cambodia" describes the creepy overtones of the previous genocide that haunts that land still.

But there are plenty of fine pieces in here even for those who aren't, as I am, fascinated by SE Asia. I absolutely loved "Tipping Point in Tikal," for example. Solitary travelers all over the world have had experiences like this one; different people coming together quite accidentally on their respective pilgrimages, the things they share in conversation, the way they observe and remember each other. I still have very clear memories of people I have met in far corners of the globe, each with a different life story, each with a different motivation for travel.

These and other excellent pieces make this collection a fascinating one. The traveler who puts this in her/his backpack and hits the distant road will find it an insightful companion.


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