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Not Now, Voyager: A Memoir
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Lynne Sharon Schwartz's Not Now, Voyager (great title!) is both memoir and travel narrative. After decades of moving around the globe, she wonders if it's worth the bother. What do we get from travel? Is it just some sort of endurance course we struggle through to impress others? Does travel improve us or does it just make us smug? She considers writing an anti-travel polemic, but can't work up more than a temporary apathy to travel. She may not admit it outright, but she's addicted to travel, and no wonder.

In spite of her claimed distaste for travel, Schwartz has done more than her share. We find her in Rome, Greece, Miami, Mexico, Africa, Jamaica, as well as all over the US and Canada. One begins to suspect that if she was so weary of travel, she would stop. In the end, you might conclude that she dislikes the tedious parts of travel -- the hassle of airport security, the missed connections, the bad weather. Well sure, we all hate that, but that's the stuff that you tend to forget later, unless it was really spectacularly bad.

This short memoir is curiously structured like a trip, with departures near the beginning, recollections of "being there" in the middle of the book, and homecomings at the end.

Schwartz admits that her disillusionment with travel may be a passing mood. Memories of her mother singing sultry songs onstage in Catskills, of her friend Stanley Elkin's bizarre hotel soap obsession, of learning to speak Italian while in Rome make this a memoir that celebrates travel, or at least can't resist it. Protest all you want, Schwartz, I'll bet you're planning your next trip right now.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2010
I decided to read this book because there are a plethora of pro-travel memoirs, but not many that suggest staying at home might be the best option. I found the book to be very well-written and engaging. It did tend to ramble at times and narrative did not always flow in a perfectly logical way. However, overall it was well worth reading.
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18 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2009
The pros and cons of travel have persisted in society and this memoir asks many questions about travel, using the author's own travel experiences as examples. From her journey to Rome as a young woman to her worldwide observations of social and political change in third world countries to a family road trip to Montreal, this assessment of travel and its impact on many levels makes for a lively, important memoir.
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