- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 Original edition (August 28, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143121472
- ISBN-13: 978-0143121473
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,225,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Conde Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Volume II: Great Writers on Great Places Paperback – August 28, 2012
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*Starred Review* Poetry may be literature’s nirvana, but travel writing occupies a celestial sphere only fractionally inferior in sublimity. Anthologies of travel writing abound, most of them like a pirate’s chest filled to the brim with gems. This one, the second gathering of articles published originally in Condé Nast Traveler magazine, has mostly diamonds for contents. The strongest pieces here—among all strong pieces, that is—include famous food critic Calvin Trillin’s Some Like It Not Hot, in which he shares experiences visiting the Ecuadorean city of Cuenca, calling it a walking around city (which he characterizes as often short on well-known sights but having small-item appeal nevertheless). The Greatest Show on Earth, by Condé Nast Traveler senior correspondent Guy Martin, observes Berlin’s colorful renaissance after decades of Cold War grayness. New Orleans is always fun to read about and to write about as well, as evidenced by Julia Reed, a New Orleans–based journalist, in A Street Named Sazerac, a humorous take on the Big Easy (Drinking is to New Orleans what gambling is to Las Vegas: the point). Jump into these addictive pages anywhere, but be advised that pulling back out will be difficult. --Brad Hooper
“This stellar collection of 35 essays… will delight nomads of all dispositions.” – PW
“Jump into these addictive pages anywhere, but be advised that pulling back out will be difficult.” – Booklist (starred review)
“Make a pot of coffee, curl up with Unforgettable Journeys and plot your next great escape.” – Bookpage
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Top customer reviews
Pass on this one and spend your $ instead on a Lonely Planet anthology !
All of these 10-15 page essays are literate, erudite, well-written, and reader-enticing, as would be expected from a Conde Nast selection. A few focus on an adventure such as hiking 14,000 ft llama-infested mountains, a few on unusual bits of history such as "Alexander's Lost World" among the Pathans, and many on giving a sense of place & people, such as Edna O'Brien's eloquent "Love by the River Liffey."
Some essays such as James Truman's "Heaven and Earth", a portrait of Bhutan, spoke irresistibly and some just weren't my thing. But at the low price of a few cents for an excellent used copy for 29 stories from which to choose, I felt this book to be a splendid value of surrogate travel. It is good enough to re-read now & later, to daydream about for the future.
An excellent gift for readers & travelers beyond the backpacker interests but likely to travel mid-scale rather than up or upper scale. And as a gift for yourself. I hope there's a Vol. III since the dates of these essays range from 1992 to 2011 and there are more worlds awaiting!
Any Reader Alerts? Readers should expect variation in how interesting a specific topic might be. Readers with specialist passions such as underwater photography would probably be happier with books on their enthusiasm, for example. Those who love to wander, however, might be particularly delighted to find themselves in unexpected places with good companions.
Oddly, this collection does not at all. It can't be because of the authors as you have some heavy hitters here of the travel genre from Pico Iyer to Robert Hughes. The problem I think lies in the Conde Naste Traveler magazine style and its audience. Face facts, Conde Naste is aimed at wealthy people. Not that these essays are about luxury travel but the style of writing tends to appeal to those sorts of people. Not that I wanted backpackers' tales here, but I did want something that appealed to someone like me who is inbetween the two.
Honestly, it's hard to put a finger on why this book was such a drag. Maybe Volume I would have been the better choice. Who knows?