Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time: A Family Tale Hardcover – June, 2003

7 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.26 $0.01

Give Kids the Travel Bug This Summer
Help your kids get excited about summer travel with these kid-friendly guides from Lonely Planet. See more

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

American pop culture has decimated a formerly rich civilization and left in its evil, McDonald's/TV/CD-driven wake zombified kids and adults with unrefined tastes. So asserts former Village Voice writer Jacobson in this self-congratulatory treatise on how to save one's children from pop-promulgated perdition while also bonding as a family. A parental how-to for upwardly mobile hipsters, the book has no Dr. Phil "just sit down and talk" attack plan. Rather, Jacobson promotes a kind of intellectual Outward Bound program to get one's kids into "The World" and, consequently, another way of thinking. In 2000, Jacobson, his wife and three kids (aged 16, 12 and nine) left cushy Park Slope, Brooklyn, and spent three months traipsing through Asia, the Middle East, England and France. They witnessed funeral pyres burning on the Ganges, Cambodia's Pol Pot museum, religious infighting in Jerusalem, Giza's pyramids and other phenomenal sights. Throughout, Jacobson muses on the meaning of life, in language alternately way cool and smugly anachronistic. An epilogue by his eldest daughter (who's now a college dropout) gives no sense that the trip imparted the meaning her father had envisioned. Alas, the Jacobsons are never true participants on their travels, but mostly voyeurs on an experiential voyage. The book's elitist tone and commentary may leave some readers feeling insulted and perhaps somehow lacking (if they are trying to provide for their children what Jacobson's privileged trio were born to).The irony in Jacobson's memoir is its resemblance to a reality TV series: lots of tell-all revelation with little insight.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School--Some families are emotionally closest when they're on the road together, away from home with its variously stressful allegiances and temptations. A few years ago, the Jacobsons, just such a family, spent the summer touring Asia, the Middle East, and part of Europe on the cheap. It wasn't easy to take three middle-class American kids, ages 9 to 16, to Cambodia's Killing Fields, India's Burning Gat, or the sex-shop-strewn thoroughfares of Thailand. The book recounts the many trials, tribulations, and ironies of the trip as well as its more usual wonders. Jacobson writes of the high good humor, unexpected silliness, and rejuvenated familial relationships discovered and encouraged among themselves as well as of disappointments, bouts of selfishness, and related realities of everyday family life. Interspersed with his chapters, which meander back to his boyhood, the early years of his marriage, and school reports produced by his children, and include heady and sensual descriptions of the current journey, is 16-year-old daughter Rae's "backtalk" version of events. Teens who have been coerced into spending time away from home and in the omnipresence of their families will love this book, and armchair travelers will be enchanted by its proffered treasures--and turds--from abroad.--Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; 1 edition (June 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871138522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871138521
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,703,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rohan G. Perera on November 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A book with an interesting title and tantalizing sleeve notes which does not deliver what it promises. I read a book about a fawning dad and his family, indeed it was mostly about the Jacobson family and a borough of New York with the rest of the world filling in time. Jacobson writes with a likeable style but has little to say when its not to do with his family or New York. There is no feeling for these places they visit. Paul Bowles would have called the Jacobsons tourists and not travellers.
And two corrections 1) Buddha (Lord Buddha) did have a wife and a child whom he abandoned in his search for nirvana. 2) The Cheops pyramid at Gizeh dates back to 3000-2501 B.C.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I liked the idea of this book -- take your kids around the world and reconnect as a family, while opening everyone's eyes to the world around them. I liked the book, but not for the reasons I expected to.

The Jacobson parents decide to take the three kids on a round-the-world trip for three months when the kids are in their teens. The kids resist, but end up going. The family does seem stronger afterwards.

The trip consisted of places the parents had visited in the past, when they were seriously counterculture humanities students. Lots of third world, poverty-stricken, overpopulated cities. I can't say how much the kids got out of places like that, but it certainly made them stick close together for safety. And they were really glad to get back home.

The best parts of 12,000 Miles were the chapters written by the daughter, Rae. Even though she was going through some rough times as a teenager in New York, she still seemed more together than her father. And I'll bet twenty years from now, she doesn't drag her kids through filth-infested streets trying to save them from the horrors of television.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a poorly written book, that goes nowhere. There is no real story telling. Just a ramble, a family journey with little or no joy. As a reader it's my habit to see all books through to completion. So it was a relief to have the Jacobson's end their journey.
If you want any idea about the practicalities of such a trip with your family, you won't find it here.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
From the beginning I knew I was in for a treat traveling the world with this family. This book is hilarious and at the same time moving. I was overwhelmed by how candid and revealing Jacobson is about his feelings. You feel how much he loves his family. Parenting is a journey in and of itself. I can't remember ever reading such an honest and insightful view of the universal challenges of child rearing. It is apparent that this family shares a rare communication. How many fathers do you know who can co-author with their teenage daughter? Rae Jacobson's generous contributions (she was 16 at the time of the trip) definitely give a clear view of the struggle teenagers face to be independent and yet stay connected.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again