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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling Selections
The criteria for selecting the pieces that make up this collection are stated in the Forward and in the Introduction to this collection of essays. Travel writing isn't guidebook information and a series of lists. Rather it is storytelling and approaching a place or certain locale from a different perspective that illuminates the subject matter by storytelling. It is a...
Published on February 3, 2012 by Anne Burnik

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A poor and motley selection
Sloane Crosley, in doing her selections, has failed to see the forest for the trees. In searching for interesting tales from a literary point of view, she has overlooked the fundamental question: Is this essay travel related? A few of the essays, though well-written, cannot be pigeon-holed as travel writing of any sub-genre whatsoever. The biggest black eye is "Famous",...
Published on April 4, 2012 by Ewe Paik Leong


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling Selections, February 3, 2012
By 
Anne Burnik (Arvada, CO USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best American Travel Writing 2011 (Paperback)
The criteria for selecting the pieces that make up this collection are stated in the Forward and in the Introduction to this collection of essays. Travel writing isn't guidebook information and a series of lists. Rather it is storytelling and approaching a place or certain locale from a different perspective that illuminates the subject matter by storytelling. It is a window into life as we don't know it. It presents the unexpected.

The travel writing in this anthology does just that. Each author presents life in a new and different light that makes the reader pause and think. We are given insight into the culture, geography, and history of a certain place or people through another's observation, description, analysis or comment.

The beauty of this collection is in the variety of places in the individual pieces and the particular voice of each author. Some essays are light and playful while others are quite serious. Ben Austen's "Southern Culture on the Skids" is a far cry from William Vollmann's "A Head for the Emir." Annie Proulx's "A Year of Birds" could also be described as excellent nature writing. "Miami Party Boom" by Emily Witt displays an edgy youth culture totally unfamiliar to suburbanites.

I'm not sure the articles in this volume are the very best of travel writing today since there is so much published in print and online, but each of these articles did provide the unexpected in an entertaining manner. Each essay presented a new experience for the reader, giving meaning to present life in an engaging manner that was fresh, original and creative. That's what I like.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the Series, Hate the Kindle Table of Contents, October 13, 2011
By 
J. Peyton (Washington, D.C.) - See all my reviews
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NOTE: This is not a review of the contents. This is a buyer beware notice:

Author names aren't included in the Kindle version table of contents. That may seem minor, but one of the great things about these anthologies is that you can skip around from author to author. The Kindle version makes it impossible to do this, which is frankly kind of annoying. The "Look Inside!" table of contents for the paperback version is what it should look like.

If you read anthologies from front to back, then ignore this "notice". If you're like me and you like to skip around by author (or even magazine), you might be better off buying the paperback. I wish I had.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to travel while curled up on the couch..., October 19, 2013
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This review is from: The Best American Travel Writing 2011 (Paperback)
Every year I buy The Best American Travel Writing. A different editor every year and this is reflected in the essays that appear. It's always a great read and so much better than travel books that provide simply lists of hotels and attractions and places to eat. These essays let you walk the cities and trek the jungles and climb the mountains with the authors. If you like to travel or just read about travel, this is a great series.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A poor and motley selection, April 4, 2012
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This review is from: The Best American Travel Writing 2011 (Paperback)
Sloane Crosley, in doing her selections, has failed to see the forest for the trees. In searching for interesting tales from a literary point of view, she has overlooked the fundamental question: Is this essay travel related? A few of the essays, though well-written, cannot be pigeon-holed as travel writing of any sub-genre whatsoever. The biggest black eye is "Famous", which concerned a terrorist attack in Mumbai, India in 2008. The author narrated the attack, dwelled on the background of one terrorist, including describing his home. Bah! Who gives a damn about a worthless scum's motivation and background? Another story of a similar kind is "The Last Stand of Free Town". Here the author went to Copenhagen in 2004 and stumbled into riots in the district of Christiania. Interwoven with descriptions of the riotings are commentaries on the social/political circumstances at that time. Would a would-be traveller to Copenhagan bother with the politics of the country in 2004? If an out-of-state visitor had gone for a vacation in Dallas on November 22, 1963 and witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy, would his account of the event be classified as travel writing? I am not going to buy the 2012 edition of this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always Great, August 13, 2013
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I look forward to these every year. They never disappoint. Yes, there are some authors and stories that you will enjoy more than others. But you are sure to find a few gems that you would not otherwise have come across. This is not guidebook travel writing. This is great travel storytelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great winter read!, March 22, 2013
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I love a book like this one. If one chapter is boring, the next one often turns out to be a delight. However, this one is delightful from cover to cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of stories, February 10, 2013
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I couldn't believe that half the reviews for this book were three stars or less. I bought this book a year ago on sale and it was one of the better books I read in 2012. The stories about Moscow traffic and the beggar in Haiti were priceless. I don't remember any of the stories being duds.
My main gripe was the Kindle formatting. I would dock it a half star if I could, but I can't, so I'll dock it a full star. I agree with the other reviewer that the names of the authors need to appear with the chapter titles in the index. There were a few other annoying formatting problems, but it's been so long since I read this book I can't remember what it was. I was reading it on an Asus tablet instead of a Kindle, so that may have contributed to it.
For me, this book would have been worth $30. It was a steal on sale. Highly recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't belong in this otherwise great series, January 16, 2015
By 
Brad Johnson (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Does not live up to others in this series. Poor selection. The writers are good, and the stories compelling. But this is not travel writing. It is simply a collection of stories that take place somewhere else. That's not travel writing, and that's not what this series has always been so good for. Travel writing should inspire a sense of wanderlust, a sense of awe or surprise, but in a way that relates to the experience of travel and discovery. These stories don't do that. They have nothing in common with that. If you like great travel writing, don't buy this book. Sorry.
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27 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply Boring, November 23, 2011
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Well, Maybe I'm fantastically out of line here but, I think that a "best of" book about travel would include writing that was superior in some way to the average, or writing that described locales and scenarios that were of themselves engrossing to read about.
None of the writing was bad, but none really stood out as being exceptionally entertaining.

It was all solid, but so what? Best should mean best, exceptional, outstanding, fascinating. Here, it does not. Here it means, "nothing really wrong"

Most books of the "Best of..." genre are excellent, and I expected this to be as well. If this is what passes for the Best of travel writing, I'll stick to the occassional Outside Magazine and pass on future versions of this title.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, October 25, 2014
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A nice collection of writing, and it helps to improve my reading skills.
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The Best American Travel Writing 2011
The Best American Travel Writing 2011 by Jason Wilson (Paperback - October 4, 2011)
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