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Tales from Nowhere (Lonely Planet Travel Literature) Paperback – April 1, 2011
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Lonely Planet's annual anthology contains 30 thrilling and bizarre stories. In some of them, the authors intentionally traveled to "Nowhere" but experience unintended consequences. In others, the writers stumbled on "Nowhere" by accident and recounted the adventures that ensued. George writes in his introduction that regardless of specific setting, situation, or state of mind, what all these pieces share is "the quality of disorientedness." The locations range from Tuscany to Timbuktu, Antarctica to Yap, and from Equatorial Guinea to Pol Pot's toilet in Cambodia. Others include the Ottawa County Museum in Kansas (it looked like a glorified machine shed), South Georgia (so isolated that baby fur seals would follow humans like puppies), and Borneo, where there are only two destinations, upriver and down. The book offers readers a chance to travel to "Nowhere" without ever leaving home. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
…these smart and exhaustively researched guides have become the gold standard for serious, independent travelers.' --San Francisco Chronicle
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Compiled by Don George who also put together the Lonely Planet short story collections Kindness of Strangers and By the Seat of My Pants this selection of tales takes as its inspiration the idea of finding yourself nowhere. And as noted in the introduction there were a mountain of entrants and the competition to get your piece in this book was pretty fierce and I can well imagine that as so many travellers have some quirky tale of getting somewhere and realising that it is, in many ways, nowhere.
The pieces range from humorous to touching and at least one is downright unreadable due to the painful format chosen by the author. As noted in my title some of these stories won't resonate with you but when you have a range of tales from such a range of authors set in a variety of locations you are always going to get that. One point in favour of this release is that only a few of the stories overtly scream of the holier than thou `I'm a traveller not a tourist' mantra, you know, the sneering sometimes indulged in by people who are cruising about the world freely while others have to take package tours to cram in as many sights as possible (yeah, cos their parents are rich and they have fabulous degrees meaning they can wander the planet for a few years AND still have a better house than you by the age of 35).
To me I find the whole Lonely Planet story pretty inspiring so find pretty much anything released under its name to have some value and certainly this serviceable collection of disparate travellers reminisces was a good companion for me on one of my own travels. Snapping this up cheap has probably sealed the deal for me to now go and buy other LP short story collections and I'd recommend this one for real and armchair travellers as part of the own travel library but note that almost all the writers who had pieces selected for inclusion were already published authors, so the likelihood of you finding a personal `diamond in the rough' is somewhat slim due to the slick nature of most of the stories.
Like I said, a low flying four stars.
It was worth every cent. The stories are very well selected. One can only imagine the amount of travel tales the editors must have gone through before finding these outstanding pieces of travel writing.
The stories - as you would expect from a Lonely Planet publication - come from the most bizarre corners of the globe, but it is not the exotic places but the interactions with the people that make this book special.
Some of the stories resonate for days after putting down the book. The story of the guy who tries to write a book on SARS in China, travelling the country without finding much, and in the end loses everything almost has a Franz Kafka feeling about it.
This book is a screaming buy. Go and get it.
oddly familiar." Often these stories are lessons in what to avoid, but always the writing is a cut above average.
Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales
This book doesn't need read cover to cover straight through. Instead you should just read a story or two now and then. For me, I got rather bored about 2/3 of the way through the book. Spread out your reading for this one and it will be a much more enjoyable book. Mostly decent stories but a couple duds too.