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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Traveling Companion
Reviewed by Sharon Hudgins, author of "The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East."

Whether you're planning a trip to Prague or have visited there many times before (as I have), you'll definitely want to add this excellent book to your travel library. This "Travelers' Tales" compilation--edited by David Farley and Jessie...
Published on October 19, 2006 by Sharon Hudgins

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic
I was not necessarily impressed with these stories. I had hoped to read stories that would help me get more familiar with sites in Prague. A few of the stories fulfilled this interest but most of them did not.
Published 22 months ago by Avid Reader


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Traveling Companion, October 19, 2006
This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
Reviewed by Sharon Hudgins, author of "The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East."

Whether you're planning a trip to Prague or have visited there many times before (as I have), you'll definitely want to add this excellent book to your travel library. This "Travelers' Tales" compilation--edited by David Farley and Jessie Scholl--is NOT the typical collection of tourists' accounts or wannabe writers' amateur essays. The editors have selected more than three dozen stories by some of today's best travel writers (including themselves), from well known Czechs to Americans who have lived in (and fallen in love with) Prague and other places in the Czech Republic. Each story provides insight into a different aspect of a city and country that have captured the imaginations of travelers and writers for several centuries. History, politics, and sociology share space on the pages with personal experiences, poignant memories, and quirky adventures. (You'll even learn how this talented editor-couple first met in Prague.) If you're headed for Prague, buy this book to read on the plane--and then read it again after you return, just for the joy of it. Highly recommended!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminder for why I love all things Czech..., June 2, 2006
This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
Famous Czech author Ivan Klima opens this book with a promising observation: "I do not like stories about tourist experiences, and I refuse to accept generalizations about a place, let alone people. Fortunately, my concerns were unfounded."

Indeed!

First hearing of Travelers' Tales Prague, I believe I'd read about David Farley and Jessie Sholl's new anthology in some obscure Prague online newsletter I make a habit of scanning over my Czech "turk" coffee in the morning. I fell in love with the idea, as it was described in the article, and I immediately popped by the title's Amazon page. I was shocked to discover then that there was only the *single* Amazon review of this work?!

I just finished this book today and there was still that lone review. For the life of me, I can't explain why. One review out of a multitude of tasteless reviews for works of much lesser calibre and quality. The mother of all unfairnesses!

Let me be completely clear: TRAVELERS' TALES were bang on the money by deciding to invite co-editors Jessie Sholl and her husband David Farley helm this little pocket rocket of literary might! This is a divine book gifted by a rugby team of contributions from too-talented-to-be-true scribes who tell of lives lived, loves forged and lost, and adventures experienced during meanders about the former Czechoslovakia and its present-day successor, the Czech Republic.

In assmebling this coterie of sage scribblers from across the globe, Travelers' Tales Prague provides an at times humourous, at other times shocking, and at most times tender portrait of a world which is old, and new and sometimes both in-between.

For a short story collection to be considered "good," in this reviewer's opinion, the material inside has got to brook the constant jarring readers often experience coming about from the frequent changes in character, tone, or setting. Editors Farley and Sholl did a stellar job ensuring this book's overall "voice" remained consistent. On average, these stories were of a consistent length, weren't at all cliched, and rarely dished up the all-too-familiar version of touristy Praguer debauch that seems to permeate the pages of most expatriate/foreign literature emanating from the Czech capital.

Contributors were all people who at some stage either:

** lived in Prague.

** journeyed throughout the Czech Republic.

** or, who were returning exiles who left Communism's gloomy iron grip for the greener pastures of the West.

The authors were people with heaps of street cred and moxie, each in their own right really knowing how to spin a good yarn. On many occasions, I was left craving more information on what became of certain people or events described. Compelling paragraphs lulled me into trance-like love for places and personages depicted. The stark recounting of certain not-so-memorable experiences had me feeling deeply for those who underwent them.

Here I am, as I sit in Prague, wondering why the *heck* this book's not available on English bookshelves in town? Will someone please explain this to me?!

If anything, within the pages of Travelers' Tales, Farley and Sholl have obliterated that dark spell which for a long time hung -- albatross-like -- limpidly about the necks of foreigners writing about the Czech Republic.

To bandy about a cliche: the whole is certainly greater than the sum of its parts.

Your heart will tell you so. See for yourself and pick yourself up a copy if you can.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, Funny and Touching, March 30, 2007
By 
This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
A great read, even if you've never even thought about setting foot inside the Czech Republic. David Farley's tale of a traditional pig slaughter gone wrong is hysterical--right up there with David Sedaris' best work; Jessie Sholl's story of meeting her future husband is sweetly romantic; and Paulina Porizkova (the model, actress and author of A Model Summer) shares the funny story of her return to her home country as a celebrity after leaving in exile as a child. Many more tales are included; all are worth reading. If this is representative of the rest of the Travelers' Tales books, I'll be picking up more in the series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-rounded overview of a magical place, September 5, 2006
This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
The Travelers' Tales destination books provide a fully-rounded picture of a destination and this Prague and the Czech Republic goes down like a pint of good pilsner. Despite story angles that are all over the map---in a good way---the chosen essays are consistently good in a way that's usually hard to pull off over the course of an entire collection. This is probably due, in part, to Prague being known as a refuge of poets, novelists, and those who aspire to be one or the other.

There are a few well-known writers in the collection: Ivan Kilma provides the intro and there are stories from Jan Morris and Thomas Swick. Overall though, it manages to collect a pool of characters, mostly unknown, who have something to say about a place often dubbed the second coming of Henry Miller's Paris.

Several overall themes flow throughout: the rebirth after communism, the struggle adapting to a free market, the hordes of barfing tourists that have rapidly changed the city, the legacy of Nazi atrocities, and the pursuit of a real life well lived. Then there's the foreboding air created by menacing castles, the bones sculptures of Sedlec, and Kafka's stories of senseless frustration. Through Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic, we can all get a good glimpse of a different world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Series of Stories, August 26, 2010
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This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
I bought this book just before a trip to Prague and was still reading it while there. I really wanted to experience some of the things that the various authors did. Czechs have a thing they do that sounds right up my alley: they become hobos for an overnight, a weekend, or a vacation. They join up with others and no one can figure out who is a real hobo and who is a pretender. It sounds like something for a bucket list, something you'd always remember. One of the weirdest travel books you'll ever read but if you followed it, what a memorable vacation you'd have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars helpful, May 17, 2008
This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
Thie is a good book for those traveling to Czech Republic to understand the culture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good pre-trip read, February 26, 2013
By 
CB (Alexandria, Va) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
Gave to our daughter for her upcoming trip to Prague. She likes more than a "go here, see this" guidebook and this one seems to fit the bill nicely. More depth given to the traveler's experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Overview, July 11, 2012
By 
Andiamo (Memphis, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
This collection of short stories offers a variety of perspectives of the Czech Republic, and accurately reflects the atmosphere within Prague and beyond. Its stories elicit a range of emotions and serve as an ideal overview for prospective travelers. As in any collection there is some variation in the quality of the authors, but overall it is 5 - stars. Enjoy.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Czech it Out!, March 24, 2006
This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic is a delicious buffet of flavors and impressions. A carnivorous romantic of kafkaesque cast of mind, I liked it for the quirky angles: pig slaughter, English lessons at the bordello, love, lust and other malarky; and for the spin of its sentences. These words travel well.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Czech it out!, June 28, 2006
This review is from: Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) (Paperback)
I've never been to Prague, but traveled there by way of this book. David Farley deftly weaves together the contributors' essays about a city and state of mind that inhabits the dreams of many.... Some of the topics and styles didn't pull me in immediately, but the feel of the book elevated them to a perfect place- like puzzle pieces fitting together and revealing a wondrous landscape, language and outlook.

Okay. Add this to your shopping cart and then check out my book: [...]
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Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides)
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