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The Best American Travel Writing 2012 Paperback – October 2, 2012
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"Bold and questing writer and world traveler Vollmann is at the helm of the thirteenth edition of this superb travel annual, which has always been distinguished by its stellar guest editors. Guided by his unceasing curiosity about complex places and authentic voices, Vollmann has chosen 19 electrifying essays...Vollmann’s 'best' assemblage profoundly extends the reach of the ever-vital and enlightening art of travel writing."
"The latest intriguing batch of travel writing from the venerable series. [T]hese stories...undoubtedly bring a taste of adventure to readers...they open a window onto the strange, seedy and beautiful in the world, offering readers glimpses into places that many will never see or experience except through the eyes and words of these writers. Mostly engaging, diverse tales of offbeat travel adventures."
Top Customer Reviews
entertained on many a cold, wintery evening. This year the stories are more enjoyable than ever even if some are as dark as a December night. It's unfortunate that "How to Explore Like a Real Victorian Adventurer" is the first piece as it is the weakest. It did challenge me, though, to take time to look closer at the
world around me but to the uninitiated it could be off-putting. I'm hard pressed to
pick a favorite. "My Days with the Anti-Mafia" fed my facinaction with the underworld. And who wouldn't want to spend time in the City of Lights after reading
"Letter from Paris"? I was amazed that anybody would want to take on such a dangerous
journey as in "Walking the Border." Adverturers and arm-chair travelers alike
can rest aussured they won't be disappointed with the latest edition of the Best
Henry Shukman's Chernobyl, My Primeval, Teeming, Irradiated Eden - A rich tale of a modern-day Chernobyl and its decline into an ancient garden of oddities.
Elliot D. Woods Garbage City - The story of a group of people called the Zabbaleens, who have worked as Cairo's informal garbage collectors for the past 70 to 80 years. They support themselves by going from door to door to collect trash for no charge. They recycle up to 80 percent of what they collect by using their pigs to eat all the organic trash. Everything else is reused and recycled.
Robin Kirk's City of Walls - A terrific read on Northern Ireland and the IRA. I read this essay out loud to my husband while we were road-tripping and we were both fascinated with the history behind the piece.
Pico Iyer's Maximum India - Exloring Varanasi, the City of the Dead, in India. Located on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism. Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation.
Luke Dittrich's Walking the Border - A hike along the US-Mexican border. What a great idea for a story!
Pico Iyer’s Maximum India: The most poetic piece in the collection, it uses language to convey the swirling, spiritual, decrepit, intoxicating, pluralistic madness that is Varanasi. You feel drawn into the hypnotic flow of the city.
Luke Dittrich’s Walking the Border: Describes a journey walking along the US/Mexican border, along the way revealing the tensions between two neighboring nations and the many dangerous journeys made by those attempting to cross the border.
Henry Shukman’s Chernobyl, My Primeval, Teeming, Irradiated Eden: A fascinating look at an ecological disaster site that has become a wilderness refuge for wildlife and home to the people who have claimed it and work on it.
J Malcolm Garcia’s Now Ye Know Who the Bosses Are Here Now: Takes a deep look at the IRA regime in Ireland through the stories of teenagers and their families impacted by violence.
Other reviewers have mentioned the dearth of women in this collection and the “darkness” of the subject matter. Many of these journeys seem like ones that would be difficult for a woman to undertake, as they go to dangerous, far off places.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A nice collection of writing, and it helps to improve my reading skills.Published 21 months ago by Linton
Very interesting, professional writing of unexpected qualityPublished 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am a world traveler and enjoy the cultures of different countries and their natural wonders.. However, I did not expect to read about the garbage collectors of Calcutta, or... Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Amazon Customer
The book was shipped on time, however it was the wrong edition. I received the 2009 edition instead of the 2012. Read morePublished on September 15, 2013 by James Romer
I'm only 1/2 way through this collection, but I may have to give up. So far I don't consider anything I've read to be "travel writing". Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by Ken L. Shelley
Disappointing. :-( I have read several of the previous editions of this book and loved them. But this one had very little 'travel' writing.Published on August 25, 2013 by randi westphal
This is not about travel. This book is more about people complaining about their relatives. I used to love this series. Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by Toronto
For lovers of travel and or literature, this book will inspire you. I look forward to the next publication in the series.Published on July 11, 2013 by Laura C. Lippman
DISAPPOINTED! Not what I thought it was. The stories were written well , but were written about places that l would not travel to.Published on June 6, 2013 by Freda