- Series: Travelers' Tales Guides
- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Travelers' Tales; NULL edition (September 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932361618
- ISBN-13: 978-1932361612
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer (Travelers' Tales Guides) NULL Edition
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This could be the first travel book ever to open with a discussion of the word postmodern, which Potts uses to mean placelessness, or dislocation as a result of travel. Many of these stories first appeared online, too, while Potts was “in the midst of a two-year vagabonding journey across Asia and Europe.” In fact, this could be the essence of postmodern travel writing: stories written in the field, filed electronically, and instantly available to readers anywhere. But even if you’re coming to these stories for the first time in the comfort of your own living room, you get a very vivid sense of what Potts experienced in such locales as Thailand (where he tried to infiltrate a Leonardo DiCaprio movie set), Vietnam, Turkey, and Cambodia. Potts is an enthusiastic traveler, eager to try new things and meet new people, and he’s an energetic writer, making sure he describes not only the sights of the places he visits but also the sounds, the smells, and the tastes. Armchair travelers will get an enormous kick out of this thoroughly entertaining book. --David Pitt
Intrepid and thoughtful, he's a Paul Theroux for the backpacker
generation, and Marco Polo reflects this."
San Francisco Chronicle
"This hilarious collection of stories provokes because Potts asks the
serious question of how to travel in a discovered world. ...If you aspire
to be a travel writer, read this book."
The Guardian (U.K.)
"Potts isn't so much a travel reporter as a story teller. ...He's more
about getting under the skin of a place detailing a cast of characters
that would either enthrall or scare the hell out of most travelers,
depending on where they come down on the trust-paranoia continuum."
Orange County Register
"An equal mix of humor and enlightenment...Potts shows travelers and
would-be travelers the joy of immersing oneself in a foreign culture."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Best Books of 2008"
"Potts, Internet raconteur and travel-advice sage, is the kind of guy you
wish the pubs had more of: well traveled, generous with funny stories,
eager to listen to yours. You feel envious that you weren't with him in
Cairo to share the convivial squalor of a backpacker hotel, or at an
Indian ashram to study Tantric sex, or even in the Libyan Desert, in the
dark, out of water and lost. And he's able to draw insights from all that
without draining the fun out of the conversation difficult to carry off
in a pub or a book."
The Washington Post
"Armchair travelers will get an enormous kick out of this thoroughly
Top customer reviews
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There's been a rash of so-called memoirs lately being revealed as partially if not fully fiction. One of the hallmarks of the genre is that the author writes himself in as a hero. Rolf, however, exposes himself as just an ordinary guy who likes to travel and see the world. He tells us how the facts would get mangled or trimmed down in order to fit the travel magazine format. He admits to being the victim of thieves, or that several versions of Shangri-La were not as nice in reality as they were in anticipation.
People don't get halos and places don't get gold-plated in this book. Rolf hates to write negatives, but if he didn't enjoy a country or a place, he is straight up about it and explains why. Whether writing about the good, bad, or ugly, it's all told with a dry sense of humor and self-deprecation.
You can't go wrong with this book or his other titles.
If you have a travel itch, I think you'll love this book. And I'd recommend getting his Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel book as well. I found it incredibly helpful for figuring out how to travel on a dime, and how to build the life you desire. I love it!
Thank you Rolf for your amazing books and sharing your uber-fun adventures! Keep up the great work, and thanks for inspiring us!!!
John M. Edwards