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Lonely Planet By the Seat of My Pants (Anthology) Paperback – August 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Anthology
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 1ST edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741046068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741046069
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,887,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although the essays in this anthology of travel pieces are by an unusual mix of veteran travel writers and beginners, common threads run throughout: travel is surprising; it often tries your patience; and it teaches life lessons. Selected from entries in a competition on the Lonely Planet Web site, these tales of global journeys are almost uniformly funny. In "Blackout in Ushuaia," novelist and editor Michelle Richmond takes advantage of the lights going out on vacation at a South American ski resort with her husband by seizing the moment for a little lovemaking. Getting locked inside a Dutch men's room has travel writer Doug Lansky feeling like he's doing time in a solitary jail cell. In "The Afghan Tourist Office," first-time writer Alexander Ludwick tries to extend his visa with a nutty singing and dancing official who does a manic jog before applying his rubber stamp to the author's documents. Although a few stories in this book are too short to elicit a belly laugh, others will provide a riotous howl and a yen to wander. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

With the proviso that readers should approach anything labeled "humor" with a 10-foot-long barge pole, this collection of "humorous tales" is a genial enough gathering of "misadventures" from some of travel writing's bigger names. And so Jan Morris shares the instant karma delivered upon her for not traveling first class, as she quotes the British navy as traditionally doing. Simon Winchester describes "the most perfect hotel in the world" (London's Connaught) and the singularly remarkable event that once happened there. And the collection's venerable editor, George (he's now Lonely Planet's "global travel editor"), offers up his experience of grandly and unknowingly ordering an entire octopus in a Neapolitan restaurant. By design a lightweight book, this collection of 32 short pieces will provoke sympathetic nods, if not a steady flow of laughter, from its readers. For the larger travel collection. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill Staley on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
A good collection of travel stories. A lot of variety. Almost every story leaves you wanting to read more by that author. Many stories leave you thinking. The collection is a perfect companion on a solo trip, because the stories are short but interesting. When I finished the book, I didn't want to leave it in a hotel room. But I can think of several people who would enjoy it, so I guess I will end up buying more copies. Which I will be happy to do. (Not a big deal, but ... I wish the short bios were at the end of the stories and not at the beginning. I don't care about the author until I read the story. Many bios had a little twist that did not make sense until you read the story.)
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Format: Paperback
"We travel ... for adventure and fun, to get away from the drudgery of our lives at home ... We meet people for whom our presence is nothing but opportunity, to take them out of the sadness and difficulty of their lives. The smiles exchanged on both sides have something of a nervous edge." ‒ Pico Iyer, in BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS

I always approach a literary anthology with some trepidation; I expect the stories to fall on the bell curve of Gaussian distribution and it's the several at the low end that often have me wishing I hadn't cracked the book at all. But the curve represented by the thirty-one chapters in BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS, subtitled "Humorous Tales of Travel and Misadventure," is skewed sharply to the right. It's all pretty much good stuff. Indeed, while I give one tale three stars, the rest get four or five.

Ok, ok. I've been robbed blind by a pair of Gipsy pickpockets on Rome's Ponte Sant'Angelo, locked myself INSIDE my car in Portsmouth, England, and, while as a clueless foreigner struggling with the language barrier at Bucharest's Bãneasa Airport during the height of the Cold War, was stopped from boarding the wrong plane even as I had my foot on the bottom step of the air-stairs. But I haven't a story to match any of those here.

Escaping the drudgery of life at home to travel outside the comfort zone is an invitation to be taken unawares and delighted, enraged, surprised, scammed, annoyed, physically sickened, confused or enraptured. But, it beats staying home doing the laundry.
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Format: Paperback
I'm sorry, but these stories are so boring and un-funny! I read six to try and find something interesting, to no avail. I've traveled quite a bit and I expected some exotic adventures and humor, but I was disappointed. I expect more from Lonely Planet.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Minor on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Admittedly, I've only read the first couple of stories, but they weren't all that interesting or humorous. Maybe I'm just not the right audience for it (I'm 20, and need real adventure and excitement). I wasn't able to continue on with reading any other stories.
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