Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer

Overview

"For the past ten years, Rolf Potts has taken his keen travel sensibility into the far reaches of five continents for publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys - from getting stranded without water in the Libyan Desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram." Marco Polo Didn't Go There is more than just an entertaining journey into
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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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Overview

"For the past ten years, Rolf Potts has taken his keen travel sensibility into the far reaches of five continents for publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys - from getting stranded without water in the Libyan Desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram." Marco Polo Didn't Go There is more than just an entertaining journey into fascinating corners of the world. It is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing a "commentary track" - endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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."
Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932361612
  • Publisher: Travelers' Tales Guides, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 820,779
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Marco Polo Didn't Go There

Pt. 1 Adventures and Misadventures

1 Storming The Beach 3

2 Road Roulette 28

3 Toura Incognita 40

4 Be Your Own Donkey 58

5 Something Approaching Enlightenment 71

6 Turkish Knockout 83

Pt. 2 I'm a Tourist, You're a Tourist

7 Tantric Sex for Dilettantes 103

8 The Barbecue Jesus and Other Epiphanies 115

9 Going Native in the Australian Outback 127

10 Backpackers' Ball at the Sultan Hotel 156

11 Death of an Adventure Traveler 175

Pt. 3 The Dubious Thrill of Press Trips

12 Cycladian Rhythm 191

13 Seven (or So) Sins on the Isle of Spice 201

14 Virgin Trail 217

Pt. 4 People You Don't Forget

15 My Beirut Hostage Crisis 247

16 Up Cambodia without a Phrasebook 266

17 Islam's Bloody Celebration 279

18 Digging Mr. Benny's Dead Uncle 289

19 The Living Museum of Everywhere and Nowhere 300

Pt. 5 Tutorial

20 The Art of Writing a Story about Walking across Andorra 311

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Travel writig 101

    While Rolf Potts, one of the finest chroniclers of our time, tells us to be travelers not tourists his stories are testimonies to the discomfort-if not downright terror-this can bring. These journeys take us into the heart of the backpacking culture fit for someone about 25. I enjoyed hitch hiking with him in Lithuania making friends with a band of reckless students, to a bone chilling night in a Himalayan village offset with an amusing encounter with some "blue movie" junkies. Rolf's self-deprecating humor, expertly crafted, well-informed narrative keep these encounters alive. He made me wish I had kept notes on my free-fall through Europe when my travels were filled with serendipitous and mystical happenings. Rather than live in regret, I will be grateful to have endnotes at the end of each story illuminating travel writing tricks that make Rolf's stories a treat. If you are a writer aspiring to spin gold from the straw of your own experiences, I suggest reading the tutorial at the end of the book before enjoying this award-winning collection highlighting the last ten years of Rolf's incredible life.
    Adventure travel writer-Linda Ballou-Author - Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales www.LindaBallouAuthor.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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