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Up the Down Volcano (Kindle Single) by [Crosley, Sloane]
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Up the Down Volcano (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Length: 34 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

International travel is like childbirth, in one way, and likely one way only: although the experience itself is often uncomfortable, painful, and confusing, in retrospect all you remember are the good parts. That trip to Paris last year, where you lost your wallet, slaughtered the French language, and had a half-dozen major meltdowns? Now all you can recall are the sunsets, the Louvre, and the wine. Well, in Sloane Crosley's new single, Up the Down Volcano, she resists that disease of selective short-term memory and instead delivers a hilariously honest account of her trip to South America to climb the second highest volcano in the world armed only with a bikini, malaria pills, a fleece vest, and a few feminine hygiene products. A self-described "profoundly lazy person in real life," Crosley finds a gruff "spider monkey of a guide" named Andrés, who seems indifferent to her suffering and who speaks only a few sentences to her during her long ordeal. One being "Do you eat beans?" Another, to quell her growing alarm and fear as she experiences the effects of altitude sickness on her way up the volcano, is simply "tranquillo." Crosley expertly describes the misunderstanding that arises through interacting with another culture in another language, which can lead, especially in her case, to disastrous results. And although Crosley barely makes it off that mountain alive, you will laugh your way through this armchair traveler's trainwreck, thanking Crosley all the way for keeping it real, and not boring you with stories of sunsets. --Benjamin Moebius

About the Author

Sloane Crosley is the author of I Was Told There'd Be Cake, a finalist for The Thurber Prize, and How Did You Get This Number, both New York Times best sellers. She is the editor of The Best American Travel Writing 2011, a frequent contributor to a variety of publications such as The New York Times and GQ, and is included in The Library of America's 50 Funniest American Writers According to Andy Borowitz. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 129 KB
  • Print Length: 34 pages
  • Publication Date: December 9, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JCJZPO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,406 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Robertson on December 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this essay, in which Sloane Crosley accidentally raises the stakes on her well-documented ability to find herself in absurd situations. This time, our heroine gets herself into grave trouble, having casually decided to go mountain-climbing on a moment's notice while on an unrelated magazine assignment in Quito, Ecuador (you can't do that, you see, because of a thing called "altitude sickness," something Crosley reminds us and herself over and over, she would know, had she even bothered to Google the idea before embarking on the trip.)

"Up the Down Volcano" is laugh-out-loud funny tale told expertly but with a red face - one almost gets the sense Crosley would truly rather not share it - but her embarrassment is our gain. I actually felt kind of guilty for enjoying this so much - there isn't a single sentence that isn't either hilarious or terrifying (mostly hilarious), because it sounds like it was an absolute and total nightmare. (I kept thinking "Oh my god: I would *die*!")

As a huge fan of "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" and "How Did You Get This Number," this is probably my favorite of Crosley's work so far.

(Also a note on Kindle Singles in general: I don't have a Kindle, but I read this on my laptop with the free Kindle app, and it was surprisingly pleasant, with none of the annoyances of reading a long piece on the internet.)
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Reading a Kindle single is a great way to get to know an author. I have wanted to read one of Sloane Crosley's books & this was a great way to check out her writing style & sense of humor. I give her an A+ on both counts.
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I found this thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read. While I preferred "How'd You Get This Number" mostly due to it's incredibly clever, witty, and intelligent title, "Up The Down Volcano" easily ranks amongst Sloane's best writing.
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Ms. Crosley is going to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, because a travel magazine wants a story about the area, complete with interaction with the locals. She doesn't speak Spanish by the way, just one indication of the poor planning involved in her adventure. Before she leaves home someone suggests that while she's in the area she should climb one of the highest active volcanos in the world. It turns out to be not as easy as the receptionist at her hotel indicates (she and her boyfriend went last month.) She does arrange a guide for Ms. Crosley, assures her "He is a climber who is a very good climber," leaving out the fact that he speaks very little English. The woman indicates that our intrepid traveler will enjoy the experience. She doesn't.

Ms. Crosley's "aversion to over-packing and its uptight cousin, overplanning" almost did her in. She's also geographically challenged, gullible, and stubborn enough to succeed in spite of herself.

I had previously not read any of Ms. Crosley's work. She has a real talent for humor and for telling a story. Her writing style is crisp, easy to read, and I enjoyed this essay very much. I'm going to buy her books.
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I purchased "Up the Down Volcano" by Sloane Crosley because I like to read Kindle Singles, and the story had a high sales ranking. Frankly, at the time, I knew nothing about the author, so I looked her up and learned that Sloane Crosley is a writer living in New York and the author of the bestselling collections of essays, "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" and "How Did You Get This Number."

"Up the Down Volcano" was an interesting story about the author's trip to Quito, Ecuador on assignment from a travel magazine. While there, she decided to climb Cotopaxi, a volcanic peak in the Andes Mountains. It turned out to be a bit more grueling than she imagined, and having a guide who only spoke a few words of English didn't help.

The story was funny, in a painful sort of way. There are real dangers in mountain climbing, not the least of which is altitude sickness, as Ms. Sloane quickly learned. She did a skillful job of writing humor into situations that were far from funny at the time.

It was a good story and a good introduction to Ms. Crosley's writing. The story was written in the present tense, a style that I don't particularly care for, but it's a legitimate writing style.

Overall, it was a pretty good story.
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By CLox on January 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before picking up this short essay (a Kindle single), I'd never read anything by Sloane Crosley. Now that I've finished it, I'll look forward to reading other works by her.

This is the story of her trip to Ecuador on assignment for a travel magazine. While in Quito, she decides--on the spur of the moment--to climb Cotopaxi, a tall volcanic peak. Of course, she's not a climber, so acclimatizing to the altitude never enters her mind. She then picks her mountain guide in a haphazard manner.

She covers this little adventure of hers in a funny manner, even her brush with altitude sickness--and possible death. I enjoyed the humor she injected into this story as she describes the adventure.

I did run across a couple of grammatical errors, but nothing that distracted from the story.
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I felt cheated. I love travel stories, and I wanted to know so much more about the Down Volcano and the narrator's adventures in the country and hilarious interactions with the natives! In the same vein (but longer) I would recommend Bill Bryson's " A walk in the woods : rediscovering America on the Appalchian trail".
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