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Almost There: The Family Vacation, Then and Now Paperback – Apr 16 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Allen Publishers (April 16 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887629385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887629389
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.5 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #575,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Mr. Gillespie, with great insight and humour, weaves analysis and history of the family vacation with tales of his own family trips, both as an adult, with his own children, and growing up in the '70s. (Post City Magazines)

[Almost There] combines travel writing and historical research into a succinct, fast read that's packed with anecdotes that ring true with us all. (The Calgary Herald)

Almost There humorously blends Gillespie's own vacation experiences, both as a child and as a parent, with fascinating nuggets of history about the evolution of the family vacation... (

... a hilarious read that examines the meaning of family vacations, the memories such vacations engender and how they define the usual roller coaster of every family relationship. (Ensemble Vacations)

Gillespie is an entertaining and effortless memoirist... (National Post (Metro ed.))

About the Author

Curtis Gillespie has written four books, including the memoir Playing Through: A Year of Life, Links Along the Scottish Coast, and the novel Crown Shyness. He has won numerous awards for his fiction and non-fiction, including the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and three National Magazine Awards. His journalism has been widely published, and he is the editor and co-founder of Eighteen Bridges magazine. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa048075c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
HASH(0xa0482dc8) out of 5 stars "Don't make me turn this car around..." Sept. 3 2014
By takingadayoff - Published on
Format: Paperback
Three and a half stars for this one. I think my expectations got in the way of enjoying this book more. As a memoir of Curtis Gillespie's family vacations over the years, it was funny and evoked a ton of memories of my own family vacations. But as a survey of how family vacations have changed over the years, it was a bit thin. On the plus side, he mentioned numerous sources that I have either read and enjoyed or that I want to read right away. On the down side, there's no bibliography, so you have to note the books down as he mentions them or dogear the pages for later reference.

The book starts out with a bang as Gillespie recalls his Canadian family's first long-distance road trip in the 1970s, from Edmonton to Mexico City and back. The family of eight was barely an hour away from home when the first of many assorted minor emergencies took place. Explosions, egestions, eruptions, you name it. His knack for holiday drama seemed to intensify with adulthood and a family of his own. From time to time he strays from the vacation theme, such as when he tells stories of his gruff and dyspeptic grandfather, but the stories are good, so what the heck.

It's a fun, if bumpy ride.
HASH(0xa04852dc) out of 5 stars Boring book July 25 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Boring to the max! So disappointed in this book. Not what I expected from this author.