Franz Wisner had the world by the tail. He was engaged to the beautiful Annie, with whom he shared a passion for conservative politics and a command of quotes from the movie This Is Spinal Tap
. He worked as a government-relations official for a California real-estate giant, rubbing elbows with bigwig politicians. But then his fiancée dumped him days before their wedding, and his boss demoted him. So he dragged his younger brother, Kurt, a Seattle realtor and divorcé, to Costa Rica for his already-scheduled honeymoon, where Wisner spilled his guts to a prostitute in the hotel bar. ("Not once did it occur to me that I was having a heart-to-heart with a woman who faked orgasms for a living.")
Both inspired and desperate, the two quit their jobs, sold their houses, gave away their belongings, and traveled the world for two years, romping through Europe in a newly purchased Saab, then hitting the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa. Along the way, Wisner got to know his brother in a way he never had ("Kurt had become ... my new best friend") and fought to move past his failed relationship.
Wisner's story is straightforward, heartfelt, and highly readable -- though without any true, biting insights -- and should connect with readers who've gone through a breakup, career change, or midlife crisis, or fantasized about quitting the rat race. The author's right-leaning views, sprinkled throughout the text, may rub some readers wrong. His best travel tip? Throw away the guidebooks, and talk to the locals instead. --Andy Boynton
Coming soon to a library (and movie screen) near you is this true story of two brothers rediscovering each other and the meaning of life during 24 months of world travel. Jilted by his fiancee mere days before the wedding and demoted at work, Wisner collared his brother, Kurt, a Seattle Realtor, to celebrate his Costa Rican nonhoneymoon. That experience, with the help of a Saab purchase in Sweden, grew into subsequent lengthy trips to Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Sandwiched between the chuckles are letters to their grandmother and short, pointed chapters on best trip advice--for instance, attend a professional soccer match to understand culture--and some good lessons in hustling (bid against yourself, pretend there's a language barrier, among others). Humorous and heartening, it will be fun imagining which Hollywood hunks will star. Barbara JacobsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved