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The Best American Travel Writing 2012 Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Best American
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547808976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547808970
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Bold and questing writer and world traveler Vollmann is at the helm of the thirteenth edition of this superb travel annual, which has always been distinguished by its stellar guest editors. Guided by his unceasing curiosity about complex places and authentic voices, Vollmann has chosen 19 electrifying essays originally published in the Believer, Ecotone, Virginia Quarterly Review, and even a travel zine as well as such perennial sources as Harper’s and National Geographic. Reaching from Timbuktu to Vietnam to Bulgaria, the collection begins with Monte Reel’s immersion in Victorian “how-to-explore books,” a revelatory genre meant to teach “the acquired art of paying attention,” which is practiced to perfection by each contributor. Henry Shukman’s riveting account of his “atomic safari” in Chernobyl feels like a postapocalyptic sf novel. Iraq veteran and journalist Elliott D. Woods charts the volatile dynamics of Cairo’s Garbage City. Thomas Swick profiles Sicilians who are courageously standing up to the Mafia, while Robin Kirk reports on “dark tourism” in Belfast. Closer to home, Kimberly Meyer visits the “rusty red granite replica of ancient Jerusalem” in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains, and Luke Dittrich walks the U.S.-Mexico border. Vollmann’s “best” assemblage profoundly extends the reach of the ever-vital and enlightening art of travel writing. --Donna Seaman

Review

"Bold and questing writer and world traveler Vollmann is at the helm of the thirteenth edition of this superb travel annual, which has always been distinguished by its stellar guest editors. Guided by his unceasing curiosity about complex places and authentic voices, Vollmann has chosen 19 electrifying essays...Vollmann’s 'best' assemblage profoundly extends the reach of the ever-vital and enlightening art of travel writing."
-Booklist  (starred)

"The latest intriguing batch of travel writing from the venerable series. [T]hese stories...undoubtedly bring a taste of adventure to readers...they open a window onto the strange, seedy and beautiful in the world, offering readers glimpses into places that many will never see or experience except through the eyes and words of these writers. Mostly engaging, diverse tales of offbeat travel adventures."
-Kirkus Reviews


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Customer Reviews

For lovers of travel and or literature, this book will inspire you.
Laura C. Lippman
The longest story in the collection is an endlessly detailed and boring piece about a fair that has nothing to do with travel.
Irwin A. Weisberg
Having read a half dozen of these stories, I am happy already to have purchased this book.
Chicago rider

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Irwin A. Weisberg on January 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The longest story in the collection is an endlessly detailed and boring piece about a fair that has nothing to do with travel. At least a third to half of the stories were only marginally about travel. There was only one that was in any way exciting, and even that had the excitement happening to other than the author. Very dissappointing, except for one or two pieces, including the one by Pico Iyer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Terri PhD on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a long time reader of this annual collection of travel stories. Each one has had a different viewpoint that is shaped by the editors that change each year. Some have been better than others. I give this collection a solid B+. The stories are well chosen and the writing is solid.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan Shapiro on November 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great selection of dark, fascinating essays. My favorite was my coauthor Kenan Trebincevic's short essay about returning to Bosnia after the Balkan war, "The Reckoning."
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By diane antonich on December 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since the beginning I've been a fan of the Best American Travel Series which has kept me
entertained on many a cold, wintery evening. This year the stories are more enjoyable than ever even if some are as dark as a December night. It's unfortunate that "How to Explore Like a Real Victorian Adventurer" is the first piece as it is the weakest. It did challenge me, though, to take time to look closer at the
world around me but to the uninitiated it could be off-putting. I'm hard pressed to
pick a favorite. "My Days with the Anti-Mafia" fed my facinaction with the underworld. And who wouldn't want to spend time in the City of Lights after reading
"Letter from Paris"? I was amazed that anybody would want to take on such a dangerous
journey as in "Walking the Border." Adverturers and arm-chair travelers alike
can rest aussured they won't be disappointed with the latest edition of the Best
Travel series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By randi westphal on August 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointing. :-( I have read several of the previous editions of this book and loved them. But this one had very little 'travel' writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Toronto on August 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not about travel. This book is more about people complaining about their relatives. I used to love this series. It is too bad it got away from it's original objective of fabulous travel writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was expecting an anthology of travel stories. While all of the stories do involve travel, I would say that for the most part these are journalistic explorations of various cultures. Well written, but not quite what I was expecting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Schubert on May 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a lame set of travel reports. The writing is unable to hold my attention. The topics in general were very superficial.
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