Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers

Overview

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher*

A collection of original travel stories told by some of the world's best novelists, including Isabel Allende, Peter Matthiessen, Alexander McCall Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, Tea Obreht and DBC Pierre.

Exhilaratingly varied in place, plot, and voice, these tales all share one common characteristic: They manifest a passion for the precious gifts that travel confers, from its unexpected but ...

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Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers

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Overview

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher*

A collection of original travel stories told by some of the world's best novelists, including Isabel Allende, Peter Matthiessen, Alexander McCall Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, Tea Obreht and DBC Pierre.

Exhilaratingly varied in place, plot, and voice, these tales all share one common characteristic: They manifest a passion for the precious gifts that travel confers, from its unexpected but inevitably enriching lessons about other peoples and places to the truths - sometimes uncomfortable but always enlarging - it reveals about ourselves.

"...a brilliant collection of travel stories...threaded with great warmth, as readers are invited to travel in the company of these famous authors and experience their passions and revelations." BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHER

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places where they travel.

TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

*#1 in the world market share - source: Nielsen Bookscan. Australia, UK and USA. March 2012-January 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This refreshing compilation of 32 travel essays by some of the world's best-known fiction writers offers intimate and offbeat impressions of places near and far. Included in this gem of a book are works by many familiar stylists, including Peter Matthiessen, Joyce Carol Oates, Frances Mayes, Pico Iyer, Jan Morris, and Kurt Anderson; others such as Saudi-born Keija Parssinen, 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction winner Marina Lewycka, and Booker- and Whitbread-prize winner DBC Pierre are less well-known but hardly less accomplished. Snaking around the globe via multiple modes of transport, the storytellers explore the Solomon Islands, the American highway, central Mexico, San Quentin prison, Antarctica, the Watts Towers, Malawi, the Sudan, and Bear Trap Canyon near Bozeman, Mont. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Perceptive Travel, September 2013

“A fine anthology, with numerous fiction writers from Australia and New Zealand joining their colleagues from the UK and the US.”

Alaskan Apple Users Group Blog, February 7, 2013

Better Than Fiction is a fun collection of travel tales, that I enjoyed reading a few at a time, each joyously took me away from the daily world into a far away place with a few laughs along the way.”

A Traveler’s Library, January 18, 2013

“The best of the essays are very personal experiences with meticulous description of place.”

Gadling, January 7, 2013

“For anyone who considers themselves a voracious consumer of travel writing, Better Than Fiction will make for a refreshing and illuminating read. . . . Great travel storytelling, like the work showcased in Better Than Fiction, reminds us that ultimately discovering the truth about the places we visit involves more than just restating the facts.”

Midwest Book Review, January 2013

“Isabel Allende, Joyce Carol Oates, and more provide warm and lovely stories from an account of an adventure off the beaten path in Malawai to visiting San Quentin Prison and chasing missionaries in far-away regions of Asia. The result is a powerful survey highly recommended for any literary travel collection.”

Library Journal
While the adage is that truth is stranger than fiction, readers may find this collection of true stories—as its title promises—not only stranger, but better than fiction. This fantastic collection of 32 travel stories, edited by George (global travel editor, Lonely Planet; Lonely Planet Travel Writing), comes from some of the best fiction writers publishing today. These true travel tales range from events in the writer's distant past to recent adventures. They cover the globe from India to Alaska to San Quentin to Ireland and include entries from an eclectic mix of international writers, including Isabel Allende, Pico Iyer, Alexander McCall Smith, Jan Morris, and Tea Obreht. VERDICT A festive collection of travel stories from some amazing writers. The only thing lacking in this collection is more entries! Lovers of travel writing, as well as fans of fiction, will thoroughly enjoy this collection.—Melissa Aho, Univ. of Minnesota Lib., Minneapolis
Kirkus Reviews
An uneven collection of pieces that extend and expand the typical notion of travel writing. The subtitle proclaims these "True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers," though the contents raise some issues. All of the included writers have written some fiction, but many are known as well (or even more) for their journalism, including Jan Morris, who has earned her reputation primarily as a travel writer (yet here writes of an imaginary destination). Some of the authors write not as travelers, but as immigrants who have made adjustments to a different home or adults who have made a homecoming. Others write of places where no traveler would likely visit--e.g., the cellblock of San Quentin, explored by Joyce Carol Oates in the longest and most emotionally powerful piece. Yet, cumulatively, they reinforce the assertion of Bryce Courtenay ("Australia's top-selling novelist") that "[g]ood travel is returning home a slightly bigger part of everyone and not quite the same person as when you set out." His essay, more of a trend piece than an illumination of a destination, is about how "personal adventure travel has come of age. For a great many of us, our travel mindset has largely changed from seeing to doing and from observing to participating." The most affectingly literary of the inclusions is by Britain's Stephen Kelman, on a reporting trip to India, where he realized that "the world is as weird and sad and beautiful as I would have it be, and that my place in it is as inevitable as the wind in the trees." Other notable contributors include Isabel Allende, Kurt Andersen, Pico Iyer, Alexander McCall Smith and Frances Mayes. Some interesting reading for armchair travelers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781742205946
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
  • Publication date: 12/1/2012
  • Series: Travel Literature Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 261,103
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.48 (h) x 0.96 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Travel. What does it mean? Is it going to the National Parks in

    Travel. What does it mean? Is it going to the National Parks in the rear of my parent's station wagon? Well. yeah... What about sunny Hawaii? Yes again.. What about a job in Antarctica? Yes again!

    In reality the concept of travel encompasses so much more than just 'vacation' that we look forward to two weeks out of every year. Each of the over thirty stories that make up this book explore destination as varied as an ice bound camp in Alaska to Tahiti. You travel along with the travel guides (instead of writers) who bring you along as a passenger on their jaunts.
    The stories are incredibly different as befits the idea of travel. You might not love every place you visit.

    You need a sense of adventure to travel You don't just want the same old thing. But it's still fun to go.Experience the unexpected. I'm glad I did!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Well worth the journey; though not every destination is one you

    Well worth the journey; though not every destination is one you might consider... but even the reading is experiential. You will be entertained, forewarned, intrigued, saddened and delighted. This book is full of surprises and a worthy travel companion. VP

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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