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Travelers' Tales: The Road Within: True Stories of Transformation Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Travelers' Tales
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Traveler's Tales (November 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885211198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885211194
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Traveler's Tales publishers have produced another hard-to-put-down read with The Road Within, the latest in their series of "experiential" guides, which is "based on a simple and ancient premise: that the experience of other travelers provides our best map to a strange land." With this book the land is uncharted indeed, as it seeks to delve into the mysteries of the human heart and soul. Authors such as Annie Dillard, Huston Smith, Natalie Goldberg, and Barry Lopez use their travels in the exterior world to do some interior navigation. Based on the fact that "some journeys are destined to alter our lives irrevocably," this is a guidebook that can accompany you to any destination--where memories, not maps, make the terrain most palatable and exciting.

From Library Journal

Editors Sean, James, and Tim O'Reilly have gathered stories about voyages?physical, cultural, spiritual, emotional, and psychic?that have had deep and profound changes on the lives of the traveler. A biologist sees a spectacular display of bioluminescence of squid, a photographer finds his first sense of what it is to be truly alive during a walking trip around Lake Superior, and a rabbi in Jerusalem on pilgrimage finds his daily "mikvah," or ritual bath, allows him to be reborn. The one drawback is that some of the shorter stories do not fully grasp the essence of the editors' premise?how journeys alter life irrevocably. This is still recommended for medium and large public libraries.?David Schau, Kanawha Cty. P.L., Charleston, W.Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Sean O'Reilly is director of special sales and editor-at-large for Travelers' Tales. He is a former seminarian, stockbroker, and prison instructor with a degree in Psychology. Author of the controversial book on men's behavior, How to Manage Your D.I.C.K, he is also the inventor of a safety device known as Johnny Upright.

Widely traveled, Sean most recently completed a journey through the islands of the South Pacific and Malaysia. He lives in Virginia with his wife and six children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I didn't intend to buy this book, but (I swear) it jumped off a bookshelf and into my hands. Yes, it is true, I paid full price in a real world bookstore. The perils of impulse buying are rewarded sometimes by treasures. This book has chapter after chapter of interesting articles by a variety of travelers who find some spiritual message in their journeys. Amazon leaves out the part of the chapter that makes this sound like a spiritual book ("transformation", "soul"), calling it True Stories of Life on the Road, but I have the book in my hands, and the title is as shown above. There is no 'new age' feeling to the stories, nor are there tons of meetings with angels. Instead, there are true, perhaps slightly odd, stories of encounters with one's own inner being, through travel experiences. Each chapter is by a different, often well-known traveler or writer - the writing is of an excellent quality. In one chapter, a man far away from his wife through miles and emotional connection has a frightening event and calls his wife. But before he can tell her the details, she tells him of a dream she had. Her dream is not an exact rendition of his event, but so close that it is clear they were connected. Other stories may tell of spiritual adventures, ventures that changed a life, or life, death, worship practices in other lands.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
There's so much in this book, it could be called Spirituality 101 except that would imply dryness and this book is anything but--a really terrific collection of stories about travel and the soul.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Mullen on December 4, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Road Within contains an excellent collection of diverse essays about travel. It includes pieces by Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez, and Lyall Watson. The prose is clear and the essays are all well thought out. The book does not just tell how the authors gained spiritual insight during journeys. Taken together, the essays show how travel is essential to the process of growing up.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Odysseus on August 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I must regrettably agree to an extent with the complaint of the reader in Silverton. I am a great fan of the Travelers' Tales series, and have grown to relish having one of their volumes with me on the road. The stories usually provide me with not only vicarious pleasures in imagining others' experiences, but also enhance my receptivity to the potential for enjoyment and growth in my journey of the moment.

I bought The Road Within in the hopes that it would focus on those sorts of transformative experiences that only travel can bring. Unfortunately, while there are many stories here about transformative experiences, many of them have nothing to do with travel. Some are about conquering fears, finding religion, or taking up extreme sports, all independently of travel. Among the Thugs is a fine book that I have read separately, but there seems no logical reason for its lengthy excerpting in a book with this title.

The book has its moments: I particularly enjoyed Fire Beneath the Skin, Passing Through, and Luzvminda.

I must also say that I sense a strain of arrogance coming into the Travelers' Tales series: an assumption that readers don't necessarily gravitate to the books because of the fine travel writing, but share all of the personal topical interests of the O'Reillys. In my case, it isn't so.

An uneven book; very captivating in parts, but contains far too much extraneous material.
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