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Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer Paperback – Sep 1 2008

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  • Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer
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  • Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Travelers' Tales (Sept. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932361618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932361612
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 458 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #347,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Potts is one of the best travel writers to emerge in the last decade.
Intrepid and thoughtful, he's a Paul Theroux for the backpacker
generation, and "Marco Polo" reflects this."
"San Francisco Chronicle"
"This hilarious collection of stories provokes because Potts asks the
serious question of how to travel in a discovered world. ...If you aspire
to be a travel writer, read this book."
"The Guardian" (U.K.)
"Potts isn't so much a travel reporter as a story teller. ...He's more
about getting under the skin of a place detailing a cast of characters
that would either enthrall or scare the hell out of most travelers,
depending on where they come down on the trust-paranoia continuum."
"Orange County Register"
"An equal mix of humor and enlightenment...Potts shows travelers and
would-be travelers the joy of immersing oneself in a foreign culture."
"St. Louis Post-Dispatch" "Best Books of 2008"
"Potts, Internet raconteur and travel-advice sage, is the kind of guy you
wish the pubs had more of: well traveled, generous with funny stories,
eager to listen to yours. You feel envious that you weren't with him in
Cairo to share the convivial squalor of a backpacker hotel, or at an
Indian ashram to study Tantric sex, or even in the Libyan Desert, in the
dark, out of water and lost. And he's able to draw insights from all that
without draining the fun out of the conversation difficult to carry off
in a pub or a book."
"The Washington Post"
"Armchair travelers will get an enormous kick out of this thoroughly
entertaining book."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection Sept. 3 2008
By Xandernut - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rolf Potts is one of the many travel writers to begin his career via the
Internet via Salon, and the book is a collection of his earliest from to his recent works from magazines and literary journals. Most of his stories are available elsewhere, so the true draw of this book is the commentaries, which add humor, insight, and occasionally share his frustrations on both the topics and people in the stories, as well as the craft of professional travel writing. The essays themselves run from the humorous ("Storming the Beach") to the painful ("Death of an Adventure Traveler"). The stories explore both sights and sounds of his wanderings and the nature of travel itself, such as the comparison of travelers versus tourists and the business of travel and people's expectations therein. Armchair wanders will love the book, and those who dream of writing about travel for a living will find the book very useful as well as entertaining.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining Sept. 26 2008
By Justin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Rolf's other book, Vagabonding, is a must-have guide for anyone interested in travel, regardless of age, intended destination, length of trip, or particular travel philosophy. It's been like a travel bible to me, passing it on to friends and family young and old to help explain why it is I enjoy travel so much, and hoping they catch the bug too.

So it was with great interest I picked up Rolf's second book, Marco Polo Didn't Go There. First, this book is different from Vagabonding -- it's not really a practical travel guide. It's a collection of stories from Rolf's career as a travel writer. I had read many of them before, as they appeared in popular travel magazines and websites in the past, but what makes this book unique is his end notes on each story. They act as a portal into the life of a travel writer, filling in the gaps between the paragraphs, and telling the stories that didn't fit into the story.

If you have any interest in travel, becoming a travel writer yourself, or maybe even just learning how a travel writer travels and writes, pick up this book. It's funny, enlightening, and highly entertaining.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Oct. 13 2008
By Gsp - Published on
Format: Paperback
Already one of my favourite books! The stories are great in and of themselves, but the unique commentary feature really makes this book standout! Well done again Rolf!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Eyes on the world Dec 18 2014
By ESS - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who has traveled a lot, and is still fascinated by the variety of cultures and the experiences they allow, I loved this book! The author takes the time to delve into specific experiences in many different areas of the world. I have been to some of the places mentioned, but not all by any stretch of the imagination, and it was a treat for me to be able to experience the new areas through someone else's eyes. It also brought back memories from the place I have been to, and reminded me that I'd like to revisit several of them. I recommend this book to any real or armchair traveler who is curious about this world we live in.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Document your travels June 29 2009
By adp113 - Published on
Format: Paperback
Good book. Stories about traveling off the beaten path, avoiding tourist traps and planned & canned experiences. If you have traveled alone, you'll understand this book. If you only take well planned and led tours, you'll see what you are missing.

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