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125 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I've been addicted to travel books lately, partly because I'm subsconsciously planning for my next big trip and partly due to wishful thinking. The premise is very appealing - quit your job and travel around the world for a year. The author is an experienced writer, and it definitely shows. However, I found the book to be a pretty disappointing read. I was expecting it to be full of anecdotes of a traveler living among the locals and embracing their cultures by emulating their way of life. Instead, it reads like a bunch of Tripadvisor.com reviews stringed together, and interactions were mostly with workers and members of the hospitality industry (hotel owners, clerks, porters, etc) and other western tourists, not with the locals. Tried to stay in a backpackers' hostel in New Zealand but got intimidated and left for a luxury hotel the next day? Frowning on India for being such a poor country and being so irritated that the author never wanted to come back again? $160 per night hotel rooms in Nepal, one of the 10 poorest countries in the world? Come on. That is not authentic travel at all. It reads what you'd expect of someone who's vacationed only on cruise ships were to suddenly get displaced in another country (yes, I know this is the same author who wrote "Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America").

If you're someone who's in your 30s or 40s and never really traveled abroad before, and would like to know what to expect, maybe this is a good book. But if you're a backpacker, or a regular visitor of hostels, or someone who travels not for the sake of checklisting countries visited but to embrace and learn new cultures, then this book is probably not for you - and like me, you'll probably find yourself shaking your head at the missed opportunities throughout the book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
What with growing up in a low socio-economic country town, working my butt off to get through University and only just landing a graduate job I confess I am nowhere near as well travelled as I would like to be.

I found this book enjoyable for someone like me who has heard of these places, is considering travelling to a lot of them but has never been. The chapters are short and sweet and while its very obvious you are not getting a full blow by blow account of the entire journey its easy to pick up and put down as needed.

I agree with other reviews that this would not appeal to a very well travelled person - but if you are just starting to dip your toes into the world you could do a lot worse than this book!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. While it read similar to a series of newspaper columns, that's what I expected based on the book introduction. I really enjoyed the sections on Nepal, China, and Chile. They gave me a feel for the people, the culture, and several potential travel ideas. The Jenny Xu story was touching. It was fun to be a third traveler on this journey.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Since discovering Paul Theroux several years ago, I have been reading every travel book that I find. This one was very disappointing in that the travelers didn't seem to appreciate the places they visited, were preoccupied with their creature comforts, and did not represent the TRUE travelers I have known. Tourists, maybe. I would only recommend this book to those who have not traveled much themselves, or those who aren't much interested in more than a very cursory glimpse at the places along the route taken.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I apologize for this negative review, but after reading 11% of this book I am going to have to call it for what it is. HORRIBLE. The writing is not bad but the opinion of the author is as narrow minded as I have read regarding international travel.

First of all the couple plans to stay in low class facilities and then complains or makes fun of them as though this is the norm. You get what you pay for.

This book is a classic example of undereducated, under-founded Americans getting out of their sparsely populated country and calling the rest of the world inadequate.

I hope the author doesn't try to print his opinion again.

If you paid for this book, please contact Amazon to see if a refund is available.

If you want to read travel memoirs, check with Lonely Planet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is about what it says in its title - a wander year. One couples journey around the world. It gripped me from the start. As I told Mike himself; while waiting in a queue in Paris to fly home to Ireland, I read the end and all I did was laugh. It was a brilliant tale, account, full of anecdotes and happenings, told of adventure and excitement and did what I expect a travel book to do - Make me want to go to those places. Its stored on my kindle because I will read it again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
A tale of two people going to far-flung places: Read about our hair-raising trip by rickshaw during and Indian rush hour, and so on. The book is rather mechanical: first we did this, and then we did that.

I read it because of the author's other book, "The kindness of strangers," a report of his travels from coast to coast without a penny in his pocket. That was real, interesting, and thoughtful. I shall re-read it.

This book on the other hand is rather like a movie sequel; just doesn't have the spark, originality, or interest of the first book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
A very enjoyable read that leaves you just tad envious that you can't enjoy the same kind of adventure. I wish the book had been more in depth. I'm sure there were tons of interesting stories left untold. I would also recommend Mike's book "Penniless across America".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
Mike McIntyre has captured my infatuation for travel in his remarkable “The Wander Year.” My wife Carol and I did a mini version of his year-long trip around the world: I merely wrote about ours while he absolutely turned his effort into a glorious song.

McIntyre and his adventurous girlfriend, Andrea, give up a routine lifestyle and spend a year schlepping around the world with backpacks and overloaded suitcases. There was no great purpose other than to take a break from their usual routines. But they made the most of their change in pace by sunning in the South Seas, rambling around in the Himalayas, being jockeys on Saharan camels, temple gazing, and climbing around on glaciers. Along the way there were encounters with an insidious stomach ailment, a dreary Bolivian prison, persistent rug dealers, a haircut from an old and nearly blind barber, a maniacal car driver, and a beloved Chinese tour guide they never met. Their adventures are captured in McIntyre’s sardonic, humorous, and descriptive journalism, recounting a voyage that will fascinates a rump-in-chair reader.

The author captures a myriad of incidents in explicit narration, never failing to give the reader great insight into a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You are there as money gets tight and travel arrangements get snarled. You are eating with your hands from a scruffy pot of unfamiliar foodstuffs as natives are dipping in with you. (Following that glorious event you suffer from a stomach ailment that is both painful and a test of Andrea’s devotion.) Sore feet, wet clothing, and mosquitoes big enough to hump a turkey are constant companions that make the reader cringe.

I greatly appreciate the silk travel cocoons we sleep in when beds appear gritty (Andrea, I apologize if I did anything frisky) but would prefer a better grade of airline than we sometimes fly in. I get frightened by the prospect of crashing in some of the remote locations we fly over, undoubtedly inhabited by people eaters.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the author’s talent at getting the reader involved in the escapade. Travel writing is often caught up in too much attention to minute detail and bombinating about historical happenings and not enough information about the instant place and inhabitants. McIntyre has blended just the right ingredients to make his book an enjoyable read. I’m not able to make this type of strenuous journey at my advanced age, but having a writer who can take me there with his words is indeed a joy.

Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As someone who has travelled extensively I had to stop reading this simplified travelogue after a few chapters. Obviously aimed at those who have never/rarely ventured out of their state let alone their country. if you are one of those people it may have some relevance, but for everyone else?
Disappointing. Not worth the four dollars I paid!
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