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Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America by [Howard, Catherine Ryan]
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Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews

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Length: 278 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[The] self-deprecating tone is genuine and grounded in sanity, which makes the voice a thoroughly likeable one." --Susan Griffith, author of Work Your Way Around the World
 
"I read and loved Mousetrapped [and] I wasn't disappointed [with Backpacked] -- Catherine takes the same dry wit and self-deprecating humour along for the ride ... Highly recommended." --Marsha Moore, author of 24 Hours: Paris and 24 Hours: London
 
"[Catherine has] injected such humour into this book that I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions ... I felt as if I was part of Catherine's journey. She writes about the places she visited ... with so much passion that I'm tempted to hop on the next flight to Guatemala. Backpacked is brilliant, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd hugely recommend it." --Leah Graham of ChickLitNewsandReviews.com

About the Author

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD is a twenty-something writer, blogger and enthusiastic coffee-drinker from Cork, Ireland. Before writing full-time she pushed paper in various offices, cleaned tents on a French campsite and was a front desk agent in a Walt Disney World hotel. She is currently dividing her time between her desk and the sofa. She blogs at catherineryanhoward.com and will never go backpacking again. Ever.

Product Details

  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: August 28, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005JU5FG0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,427 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hummm!!!! I wonder if the author reread her story from the perspective of her readers??? I can't imagine she really meant to come off as needy and whiny throughout the course of this book as she did...but she really does. I understand she was reluctant to go on the trip in the first place, but it was a choice she made and, as such, she should have had the moxie to buck up and enjoy herself. After all, she and her travel partner really didn't rough it at all throughout the trip. They visited some really nice places, ate in restaurants and never cooked a meal, stayed in private accommodations and took buses or taxis everywhere--yet all the author could do was complain, complain, and complain some more, about almost everything. It certainly killed the joy in reading this book for me. I got it free from the top 100 list and, I can assure you, if I would have paid the outrageous price they are asking for it in printed form...I would be really p.o.'d. I think some serious liberties were taken with embellishment in this book. For example: the author states that she was in the crater of an active volcano with lava flowing right under her feet as she stood on a little "bridge" which spanned the flow. Now really, are we supposed to believe that (1) she could actually get that close to flowing lava without special gear and (2) she would be dumb enough to do so??? Look, I think the author had a chance to make something really special out of this book, but page after page of complaints ain't it. I gave it three stars because it was fairly well written and contained some interesting information, but it simply got old before it was half over. What a shame.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am disappointed at the author's attitude towards 'backpacking' as a form of travel. The entire point of traveling is to immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible; to really experience local culture, not visit "mini-America" by sticking close to expensive tourist hot-spots. If that's the case, why bother traveling at all?

While the author does have a sense of humor describing her adventures, she does come across as needy and is certainly not a travel companion I would want tagging along with me.

As an avid traveler myself, attitude is everything and I think she really cheated herself out of what should have been one of the best enjoyable and cultural learning experiences of a lifetime.

Her novel could have been so much more had she taken the opportunity to really appreciate the value that this type of travel offers.

So while her writing is mildly humorous and well-written, if not fantastical at times, I just could not get past her poor attitude to really enjoy this novel. It's a shame; her experiences could have offered her readers so much more. Stick to your expensive sheets and room service I suppose...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a VERY disappointing read. I had high hopes for it as I am planning to backpack through Central America in the next few months. Unfortunately, there isn't much substantive information about any of the countries that the author visited. Instead, she seems more intent on scrutinizing and criticizing the other travelers she meets during her travels. Ironically, the travelers that she meets and then ridicules are living far more authentically then she ever achieves in her journey, but she paints them all as misfits and losers. It seems like the entire purpose of her travel was to gather fodder to write this book. Towards the end of the book she finally meets some other travelers with whom she resonates...I guess this proves that she is enlightened and not anti-social after all. Or not.

This book has NOTHING to do with Central America. Save your $2.99 - it is NOT worth it!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book when I was planning a Round the World trip. I wanted to use it as inspiration for my upcoming trip. The author comes out a bit whiny and some of the story seems padded with extra words but she does draw interesting stories about the people and places that she explored. The trip was a little unplanned and left some things up in the air that would be uncomfortable for me but it worked for her and her travel companion.

All in all it was a fun short story to read and further sealed my idea that I would be exploring the world soon.
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I didn't realize when I ordered Catherine's book I had read her first one. Backpacked shows she really knows how to tell a story...not that Mousetrapped didn't. Her talent shines through on this journey. I could relate so easily to her liking the idea of herself being a backpacker than the act of backpacking itself. One of my best friends was quite adventurous, wanting that spirit inside me was always a conundrum because, at heart, I wanted a Hilton ready when nighttime came. The book read very quickly, it was curious, fun, and the perfect summer read at the Hilton, by the pool, with a cocktail, and pool boy. No cigs.
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I enjoyed the blog-like tales of the two Irish friends, Catherine (the author) and Sheelagh, as they backpacked around Central America for 9 weeks with a few plans, a dog-eared copy of "The Lonely Planet" guidebook, a sense of adventure (although somewhat reluctant on Catherine's part) and a strong friendship that withstood the tests set before them without killing each other. They met some wonderful people and some real jerks, spent time in hovels, beautiful hotels, backpacker dorms and even a brothel (by accident!) and lived to tell the tales. I do believe that Sheelagh must have had the patience of a saint, because Catherine admitted some near-OCD tendencies, perhaps only slightly exaggerated, yet the two did seem to still like and respect each other when all was said and done. I also enjoyed the link to Catherine's photo album at the end of the book - a nice touch!
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