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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time [Kindle Edition]

Mark Adams
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $5.01 (31%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

What happens when an unadventurous adventure writer tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu?

In 1911, Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and “discovered” Machu Picchu. While history has recast Bingham as a villain who stole both priceless artifacts and credit for finding the great archeological site, Mark Adams set out to retrace the explorer’s perilous path in search of the truth—except he’d written about adventure far more than he’d actually lived it. In fact, he’d never even slept in a tent.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu is Adams’ fascinating and funny account of his journey through some of the world’s most majestic, historic, and remote landscapes guided only by a hard-as-nails Australian survivalist and one nagging question: Just what was Machu Picchu?  



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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ebullient..seamlessly joins three narrative threads..an engaging and sometimes hilarious book."-New York Times Book Review

"[An] entirely delightful book"-Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post (also chosen as a 2011 Year-End Pick)

"Like all great travelogues (and this is certainly one), 'Turn Right'..should come with a fedora and a rucksack." -Men's Journal, Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2011

"Adams deftly weaves together Inca history, Bingham's story and his own less heroic escapade. [A] wry, revealing romp through the Andes."-Wall Street Journal

"Quite funny and unpretentiously well informed. Short of actually traveling to Machu Picchu yourself, it's the perfect way to acknowledge the lost city's 100th birthday as a modern-day tourist site."-Christian Science Monitor ("Editor's Choice")

"Adams proves an engaging, informative guide to all things Inca."-Entertainment Weekly

"Mark Adams crisscrossed the Andes and has returned with a superb and important tale of adventure and archeology."-Sebastian Junger

"If you haven't been to Machu Picchu and environs, this book will inspire you to drop everything and go. And if you've already been, Turn Right at Machu Picchu will transport you straight back to those soul-soaring heights."-National Geographic Traveler ("Book of the Month")

"A story that hooks readers early and then sails along so interestingly that it's one of those 'can't put it down' books. What more could armchair adventurers want?"-Associated Press

Review

"[An] entirely delightful book."
(-Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post )

“An engaging, informative guide to all things Inca.”
(-Entertainment Weekly )

“Quite funny and unpretentiously well informed...The perfect way to acknowledge the lost city’s 100th birthday.”
(-Christian Science Monitor (���Editor���s Choice���) )

Product Details

  • File Size: 5684 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0525952241
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (June 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XFYIDS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,932 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
178 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Funny and Seriously Good June 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Mark Adams' "Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time" is a book that's a bit hard to classify. All at once, it's a serious (and seriously funny) travelogue; a smart and tightly written history; and an investigative report into the greatest archaeological discovery of the last century.

Author Adams spent time writing and editing for the now defunct National Geographic Adventurer magazine and despite working with and alongside some of the world's hardest core adventure travelers, he admits to not being much of one himself. He'd visited Machu Picchu with his son, but he'd done it the tourist way. He wanted to REdiscover Machu Picchu - the way its' original discoverer, Hiram Bingham, had 100 years ago this July. He wanted to hike, climb, slog, tent and explore his way through the Vilcabamba region of Peru and finish at the site that was recently named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Adams doesn't camp and hadn't been in a tent for years leading up to his Peruvian excursion. His preparation for the trip was extensive, including dressing the part of adventurer. "Have you ever seen Mr. Travel Guy? He's the fellow who strides through international airports dressed like he's flying off to hunt wildebeests - shirt with dozens of pockets, drip-dry pants that zip off into shorts, floppy hat with a cord pulled tight under the chin in case a twister blows through the baggage claim area. All of this describes exactly what I was wearing. I could have been trick-or-treating as Hemingway."

Make no mistake. Adams trip was an uncompromising adventure. There were no soft train rides, or helicopter drops into the jungle.
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94 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Adams leads three expeditions to Machu Picchu June 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Back when Al Franken was a comedian and not a U.S. senator, he did a bit on "Saturday Night Live" in which he would describe some major event and end by asking, "how does this affect me, Al Franken?"

That, to me, is the stupid heart of the stunt memoir, those books in which the author undertakes a challenge outside his or her comfort zone, and then reports back on what it means to him. Such memoirs start with the assumption that the author is much more interesting than whatever they're doing (usually false) and that just become something interesting happens to them makes them even more interesting (always false).

Thankfully, Mark Adams doesn't participate in that nonsense. Although "Turn Right at Machu Picchu" starts with a similar elevator pitch ' "travel magazine copy editor gets out from behind his desk to explore Incan ruins in Peru" ' he comes back with a book that looks more outward than inward. Like a "Seinfeld" episode, there's no learning and no hugging.

Adams uses three narrative threads to weave his story, starting with the Incans and their fatal encounters with the Spanish invaders during the 1500s. It's not a pretty story, starting with the most commonly known story of Francisco Pizarro and Atahualpa, in which the Incan emperor promised a room full of gold in return for his freedom, an offer which Pizarro accepted and then reneged on by having Atahualpa strangled

Over the next three decades, subsequent Incan ruler moved between building new capitals in the jungle and raiding the Spanish. The Spanish responded with raids and various atrocities until, in 1572, they declared all-out war on the rebel Incan state. The empire dissolved when its last ruler, Tupac Amaru, was captured and executed.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging narrative of history and adventure July 4, 2011
By Tegan
Format:Hardcover
Mark Adams became interested in the story of Hiram Bingham after all the news coverage when it was learned that he wasn't really the discoverer of Machu Picchu. And eventually Adams decided to walk in Bingham's footsteps, following the trails he took, and see Peru the way Bingham had. This book is essentially a travelogue that explores both Adams' and Bingham's journeys, and reflects on what both of them did and learned in Peru.

The writing style is engaging enough to make this an easy and comfortable read. It slips a little when Adams gives us too much about his own life, coming perilously close to "too much information" territory without ever quite falling off the edge. He manages to cram a lot of detail into the narrative without becoming monotonous. At times I almost felt I was there in the jungle or high mountain passes with him because his descriptions conjured up familiar sensations. Adams also ventures into political territory at times to explain events, and does so effectively and without strong bias. Although it's easy to tell from the text that Adams is passionate about the subject, his writing manages to be dispassionate enough to make him a trusted narrator of events.

The galley I read did not have any images and was missing the index, although there was a space for it. The book did include a very nice glossary and a timeline of events in Peru. I could also have used a bibliography of all the texts mentioned in the narrative, many of which I felt like reading after Adams described them so enthusiastically (Note: bibliography is in the finished book).

I'd recommend this one to anyone interested in South American history, anyone who loves a good adventure tale, and anyone who wants to go on a trip to Machu Picchu. It's a nice solid read, and worth checking out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good readable history
Liked the breezy and informative style. A big help for our recent trip to the area. Helped our understanding greatly.
Published 2 days ago by Charles E. Watts
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much hocus pocus
Thorough, mostly interesting, but overdrawn re mythologies surrounding Machu Picchu, unpleasant characterizations of the hoi poloi who now frequent MP, and gratuitously... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Diver1
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good One if you Like Travel
Ok We're up to 223 reviews. Almost all of them are good. I actually read this book while in Machu Picchu. It helped a lot. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Richard Newton
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific travel book
There are good travel guides and there are good history books out there on the market, but Mark Adams' book, "Turn Right at Machu Picchu," combines the best of both worlds. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Matthew D. Murray
3.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, but fundamentally flawed
The fish-out-of-water travelogue is a tried and true format, and Adams uses it here to largely good effect. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Daphne Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Past and present
The book is most informative both about Machu Picchu itself and its rediscovery.
This is a must read for a future tourist.
Published 22 days ago by shel
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read!
Great history written in a very readable prose. Enjoyed both Bingham's journey and Adams modern day trek. Looking forward to my own trip!
Published 22 days ago by Jay Barrett
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice book on history and background of Machu Picchu
Blends travel story with history and adventure. Well written. Seems like it takes a left turn somewhere towards the end and just doesn't seem as interesting, with the general... Read more
Published 26 days ago by J. Overturf
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and Informative Look at Inca Remains
The author provides manages to dose out the history of the Incas in parallel with amusing anecdotes of his travels in the footsteps of Hiram Bingham. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Horse Trader
3.0 out of 5 stars Machu Picchu
Difficult subject to keep the reader's interest up throughout the entire book. But by all accounts Mark Adams did a good job.
Published 1 month ago by RED
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