this book is enticing: to travel to different parts of the
world in the company of well-known writers.
It was put together by Don George, an award-winning writer
and global travel editor for Lonely Planet.
He asked some of the planet's most acclaimed fiction writers
to describe their most meaningful non-fictional journeys and
the result is this collection of 32 very different
No matter how far or how much you travel, the possibilities
of seeing, hearing, experiencing, sights, sounds and
happenings in all parts of the world is impossible.
The value of a book like this is the opportunity it gives you
to get an extra, if small, insight into other cultures and
countries, with the bonus of skilled writing to take you
there. Many of these tales recall youthful wanderings to
strange and uncomfortable places, where everyday dangers were
In some cases anti-malarial drugs produced
nightmarish mptoms to add to their discomfort. Some
revisited surroundings remembered from childhood, with the
disillusionment such visits often bring. My favourite travel
stories usually involve humorous encounters with people,
potential disasters narrowly averted, and any episodes which
might have been hair-raising at the time, but make a
marvellous story [if told well] in retrospect.
Most of the stories in this collection meet these criteria,
although humour is in short supply. The one I found the most
fun to read was of a month-long visit to the World Cup in
Cape Town. And of the frightening ones, the most chilling and
memorable was of Joyce Carol Oates' visit to San Quentin
Patricia Thwaites is a retired schoolteacher.