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Up the Down Volcano (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

70 customer reviews

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Length: 34 pages

Kindle Singles
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

International travel is like childbirth, in one way, and likely one way only: although the experience itself is often uncomfortable, painful, and confusing, in retrospect all you remember are the good parts. That trip to Paris last year, where you lost your wallet, slaughtered the French language, and had a half-dozen major meltdowns? Now all you can recall are the sunsets, the Louvre, and the wine. Well, in Sloane Crosley's new single, Up the Down Volcano, she resists that disease of selective short-term memory and instead delivers a hilariously honest account of her trip to South America to climb the second highest volcano in the world armed only with a bikini, malaria pills, a fleece vest, and a few feminine hygiene products. A self-described "profoundly lazy person in real life," Crosley finds a gruff "spider monkey of a guide" named Andrés, who seems indifferent to her suffering and who speaks only a few sentences to her during her long ordeal. One being "Do you eat beans?" Another, to quell her growing alarm and fear as she experiences the effects of altitude sickness on her way up the volcano, is simply "tranquillo." Crosley expertly describes the misunderstanding that arises through interacting with another culture in another language, which can lead, especially in her case, to disastrous results. And although Crosley barely makes it off that mountain alive, you will laugh your way through this armchair traveler's trainwreck, thanking Crosley all the way for keeping it real, and not boring you with stories of sunsets. --Benjamin Moebius

About the Author

Sloane Crosley is the author of I Was Told There'd Be Cake, a finalist for The Thurber Prize, and How Did You Get This Number, both New York Times best sellers. She is the editor of The Best American Travel Writing 2011, a frequent contributor to a variety of publications such as The New York Times and GQ, and is included in The Library of America's 50 Funniest American Writers According to Andy Borowitz. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 119 KB
  • Print Length: 34 pages
  • Publication Date: December 9, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JCJZPO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,018 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sloane Crosley is the author of "I Was Told There'd be Cake," which was a finalist for The Thurber Prize, and "How Did You Get This Number," both New York Times bestsellers. She is the editor of "The Best American Travel Writing 2011," "Up The Down Volcano," and is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications such as The New York Times and GQ. She is included in "The Library of America's 50 Funniest American Writers According to Andy Borowitz." Her first novel, "The Clasp," will be released on October 6, 2015. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By L. Robertson on December 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this essay, in which Sloane Crosley accidentally raises the stakes on her well-documented ability to find herself in absurd situations. This time, our heroine gets herself into grave trouble, having casually decided to go mountain-climbing on a moment's notice while on an unrelated magazine assignment in Quito, Ecuador (you can't do that, you see, because of a thing called "altitude sickness," something Crosley reminds us and herself over and over, she would know, had she even bothered to Google the idea before embarking on the trip.)

"Up the Down Volcano" is laugh-out-loud funny tale told expertly but with a red face - one almost gets the sense Crosley would truly rather not share it - but her embarrassment is our gain. I actually felt kind of guilty for enjoying this so much - there isn't a single sentence that isn't either hilarious or terrifying (mostly hilarious), because it sounds like it was an absolute and total nightmare. (I kept thinking "Oh my god: I would *die*!")

As a huge fan of "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" and "How Did You Get This Number," this is probably my favorite of Crosley's work so far.

(Also a note on Kindle Singles in general: I don't have a Kindle, but I read this on my laptop with the free Kindle app, and it was surprisingly pleasant, with none of the annoyances of reading a long piece on the internet.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By i'm on the internet! on December 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read. While I preferred "How'd You Get This Number" mostly due to it's incredibly clever, witty, and intelligent title, "Up The Down Volcano" easily ranks amongst Sloane's best writing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Britt on December 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading a Kindle single is a great way to get to know an author. I have wanted to read one of Sloane Crosley's books & this was a great way to check out her writing style & sense of humor. I give her an A+ on both counts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Highland on December 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I've read and admired all of Crosley's work, and I just wanted to say that I think this is probably my favorite of her essays so far (or, perhaps tied with "Off the Back of a Truck" from HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER, which, if you haven't read that collection, read it). In this essay she delivers all of her trademark wit and ability to see the humor and degradation and nostalgia and irony and sadness in the strangest, smallest, most unexpected places. Except this time? She's climbing a VOLCANO. And she's not doing it very well (though really, not her fault, everything goes haywire). One of my favorite lines/paragraphs:

"Apparently, we are trespassers. This little hacienda is not our destination. . . This evening's destination is is another 1200 feet north and we will be climbing there on foot. We only stopped here because Edgardo [the guide] thought this might be a good spot to layer up on the porch. . . Exasperated, Edgardo grabs my leg, one hand behind the knee and the other on boot, quickly forcing me to sit on a stone bench. He starts lacing up my boots for me. This would verge on the maternal if it weren't the most violent corset-style lacing of all time. I don't know what kind of mother Edgardo had. Mine used to take a heart-shaped cookie cutter to my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

Also, the end is unexpectedly moving. I'd quote that too, but, well, the pleasure of the ending is partly getting there on your own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Smith on March 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ms. Crosley is going to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, because a travel magazine wants a story about the area, complete with interaction with the locals. She doesn't speak Spanish by the way, just one indication of the poor planning involved in her adventure. Before she leaves home someone suggests that while she's in the area she should climb one of the highest active volcanos in the world. It turns out to be not as easy as the receptionist at her hotel indicates (she and her boyfriend went last month.) She does arrange a guide for Ms. Crosley, assures her "He is a climber who is a very good climber," leaving out the fact that he speaks very little English. The woman indicates that our intrepid traveler will enjoy the experience. She doesn't.

Ms. Crosley's "aversion to over-packing and its uptight cousin, overplanning" almost did her in. She's also geographically challenged, gullible, and stubborn enough to succeed in spite of herself.

I had previously not read any of Ms. Crosley's work. She has a real talent for humor and for telling a story. Her writing style is crisp, easy to read, and I enjoyed this essay very much. I'm going to buy her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. beny Perelman on August 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very (too) short story of the writter's experience while trying to climb a mountain to write a tour in some journal, excellent descriptions of the funny situations, too bad that it is such a short story as it could (and should ) be a much larger book (it leaves a taste of we want more!!!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen Leibowitz on June 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The subject matter was not my absolute favorite, but I really love to read ANYTHING by Sloane Crosley. I just love her writing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this humorous book.The author has a breezy, fun style and I would like to read more from her.
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