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The Best American Travel Writing 2008 Paperback – October 8, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Best American
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (October 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618858644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618858644
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reliable and yet still surprising--the best of the best." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

JASON WILSON is the drinks columnist at the Washington Post, the series editor of The Smart Set, and the author of Boozehound: On The Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated. He teaches at Drexel University.


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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Anthony Bourdain, the guest editor of The Best American Travel Writing 2008, is determined to shake us up, get our attention, make us uncomfortable. No package tours here, no excursions to familiar places, and believe me, no one is enjoying his travels in this collection. This might well have been subtitled, "Trips to Avoid."

I shouldn't be surprised I suppose. Bourdain's first book, Kitchen Confidential Updated Ed: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.) was horrifying, yet I couldn't put it down. But I found his shtick less compelling with his second book, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, and I didn't bother finishing The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones. Bourdain is becoming a caricature, a posturing bad boy who thinks he can still shock us by eating bugs.

Still, I never miss each year's Best American Travel Writing collection, and the format is pretty forgiving of the inexperienced guest editor. The series editor, Jason Wilson, selects about a hundred articles from magazines, newspapers, and the web. Then the guest editor's assignment is to choose twenty-five from those. It's difficult, but not impossible, to screw up.

I wouldn't categorize this year's anthology as a screw-up, but it isn't one of my favorites, and I would recommend it only to those who are seriously into adventure tales. Nothing wrong with adventure tales.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Sorrells on October 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved almost every piece in this collection. The River is a Road is amazing. Dark Passage is amazing. David Sedaris' piece... amazing. I read through this way too quickly. Must go back and really savor some I went over too fast!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yuni on July 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I laughed out loud when I saw another reviewer call this a "hairy-chested" collection of travel writing and I couldn't agree more. A large portion of the stories in this book are hair-raising and purposely sensationalistic. Bourdain picked them to rise readers' ire and get a reaction.

Fortunately, not all the writings in this book possess a theme of bravado and shock. I really enjoyed the other short gems: a trans-Atlantic flight that dredged up childhood memories by David Sedaris, an educational and fascinating insight into falconry in the most expensive road trip ever by Annie Nocenti and an adventure on the newest and controversial railroad to Tibet by Pankaj Mishra.

For the most part, I enjoyed this collection despite a number of misses. This is a pretty decent compilation that would quench anyone's wanderlust until your next trip, that is.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Cranky Pants on October 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The problem of misprinting disclosed by Terri Ph.D. below seems to have been fixed. I received my copy of this book today, and it contains none of the problems she discussed. Thanks to Terri Ph.D. for the helpful warning, but the problem appears to have been corrected, so don't be discouraged now from purchasing this excellent collection.
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