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Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story Paperback – Illustrated, May 15, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 22 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The founders of the popular Lonely Planet travel guides deliver a lively autobiography that is as interesting, informative and amusing as their series itself. After meeting cute in 1970 on Belfast-native Maureen's first week in London, the couple went off on a planned one-year trip through the Far East that ended up with them stranded penniless in Australia, where they decided to publish a short travel guide on Asia that became the basis of their now multinational company. This look back at their almost 40-year career divides neatly into thirds, with the first energetically covering their various travels while they get their business off the ground, such as "incidents in Turkey that began ambiguously and ended with gratuitous acts of kindness"; the second frankly detailing why their early and "often fairly shoddy productions" became popular because they "were still better than anything else around"; and the third refreshingly discussing their current business ventures. Their chapter "All About Guidebooks" serves as an excellent short look at the history and the current state of the travel book market, and they convincingly argue that guidebooks such as theirs have not wrecked once-mysterious locations. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"... a lively autobiography that is as interesting, informative and amusing as their series itself…This look back at their almost 40-year career divides neatly into thirds, with the first energetically covering their various travels while they get their business off the ground; …the second frankly detailing why their early and 'often fairly shoddy productions' became popular because they "were still better than anything else around"; and the third refreshingly discussing their current business ventures." —Publishers Weekly

"…the Wheelers include everything from amusing anecdotes, to the struggle for finding the perfect 'cliche, but not a cliche' cover photo for their books. The result is a fascinating business success story and the tale of a maturing relationship." —ForeWord Magazine

"Tony Wheeler, who often sleeps with a laptop stowed under his bed, does the majority of the writing, while Maureen offers welcome sidebars filled with her thoughts about a given situation. Neither shies away from writing about the strain running a company and constant traveling had on their marriage, which at times was rocky or the demands put on the lives of their two children, Tashi and Kieran, who just want to be normal teenagers and hang out with their friends instead of traveling the world." —Chicago Sun-Times

"A naive young couple sets off across Asia and, somehow, against tall odds, ends up managing a publishing empire that straddles the globe. Therein lies a story. And the story is intermittently funny, full of false stats, frustrations, mistakes and numerous exotic locales. I think this book is ultimately more inspiring than a whole shelf full of self-help screeds. Go ahead, start on page one and follow your bliss." —Tim Cahill, writer and founder of Outside magazine

"As spirited and engagingly human as the books that have taught us how and why and where to travel, Tony and Maureen Wheeler's story describes a miracle (from 27 cents to a multi-million dollar empire) that is in its way as inspiring and wondrous as the temples of Pagan or Easter Island's statues. Whether penniless backpackers or heads of a global company, Tony and Maureen somehow always exemplify the very best kind of travelers' enthusiasm and curiosity." —Pico Iyer, travel writer

Product details

  • Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
  • Paperback : 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0794605230
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0794605230
  • Product Dimensions : 5.25 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Publisher : Periplus Editions; 1st Edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 22 ratings