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A World of Villages Hardcover – April 23, 1986

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The commonly heard phrase that a writer has "put a lot of himself into the book" is especially apt for describing Schwartz's six-year journey through Africa and Asia. In that time Schwartz managed to get into the most obscure places imaginable andamazingly get out alive and intact. During much of his odyssey he had little or no money, so he slept on sand, floors, or in parking lots and ate whatever portion of the lo cal fare the nativeswhose languages he seldom understoodtossed his way. The most wonderful thing about the book is the innocence Schwartz pre serves despite the dangers. However the locals react to him, Schwartz makes the best of it and continues with his careful observations. He has written a really memorable book about them and himself. Laurence Hull, Stanly Cty. P.L., Albemarle, N.C.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 499 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing; 1st edition (April 23, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517558157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517558157
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,938,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Harrison (pharrison@clear.net.nz) on May 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a really amazing book! The first time I read it was in the late 80's while living in Australia. At that time my grilfriend and I were planning a round the world trip on a shoe string, using limited funds and backpacks. Trying to plan such a journey is so difficult, especially when we had anticipated travelling overland through India, Nepal, Pakistan and the middle East.
Brians book was a true inspiration as he described simple things such as organising local transport ( such as truck rides ) finding accomodation, and most importantly how to meet the local people.
Based on Brians experiences we tried really hard to get away from the main cities and experience the local village life, and it paid off. Our year of travelling was so much more enriched because of what Brian described and how he approached his travel experience.
Actually I would rate this book 11 out of 10. I have just received a copy from Amazon.com and am enjoying it the second time. Its one of the most treasured books in my collection.
Does anyone know where Brian is now ?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The previous reviewer asked if anyone knows where Brian is now. Brian is living in the United States. He's doing well, and I'm sure would be delighted to know of your review of his book--if he doesn't already. I'll pass the word along to him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Buckshon on June 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I happened to share a tent with Brian Schwartz during the trans-African expedition described in the first part of his book, and almost went to Uganda with him (chickening out at the last minute). So this book touches much closer to home for me than it will for most readers. Our paths diverged after a brief reunion in Lamu once he escaped from Amin -- he carried on for several years with incredible risk and discovery; I (after 18 months back in Canada) returned to live through the end of the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe civil war as a journalist and a return home to a relatively quiet life. We reconnected a few months ago, and I purchased the book on the used book market.

This truly is a gem of intelligent travel -- of getting beyond the tourist sites and into the heart and soul of the world. He lives in Tulsa OK these days and writes restaurant reviews. But he clearly has a much more thorough understanding of the world than most of us. This book is a worthy read if you really want to understand the world's heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Traveler on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a good way through the hundred or so Best Travel Books titles I've culled from National Geographic, Conde Nast, the British "Telegraph" and several others, and I just don't understand why Schwarz' book hasn't made it on to many of the lists. For suspense, color, verve and unpredictability, World of Villages sticks in my mind, after ten years, as one of the best travel adventures of all time. Two episodes from the book are especially noteworthy: the time in Idi Amin's jail, and the sleepover amongst east African villagers whose intentions toward the author were at least questionable and possibly murderous. Would like to see this book republished and given some decent publicity
Benjamin Traveler
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