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The Gringo Trail
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The Gringo Trail

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  31 reviews
With little more than backpacks and desire for adventure, Mark Mann and two friends set out on an expedition through Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia, submerging themselves in Latin culture. Through dense forests, daunting mountains, and pristine beaches, the trio makes its way — in a drug-induced haze. Soon the drugs become an all-consuming addiction that changes the lives...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published August 2nd 2002 by Green Candy Press (first published 1999)
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Çevirmeni olmaktan büyük mutluluk duyduğum kitap. Daha ne diyebilirim ki:)
This book was really a disappointment.

It was badly-written, some of the conversations were a little unbelievable (the author, apparently, is the most intelligent of the three), and I think the whole thing wasn't going anywhere until the last few pages. The last few pages are quite gripping, but also strangely predictable. I just wonder, like many others, whether it would have been published if it wasn't for the end.

As someone who has been to South America, though, I did recognise parts of it and...more
Chris Morton
It's good but has a few problems. Firtly the guy goes into too much detail about the history and politics of every place they arrive at. You get used to it, but this is not the way the book is advertised on the cover. In fact generally I'd say that the book can't quite decide if it's a novel or a travel guide. And then there's then end. Don't want to give too much away... but it's not exactly enjoyable reading.
I'm over halfway through this book and don't see what all the fuss is about. I'm determined to finish it as I haven't yet started a book and not but I'm not enjoying it. I've been to South America and it isn't at all as of the book makes it out to be. I was recommended this after reading 'the backpacker' by John Harris as this is a "similar" book - could not be further from the truth.

So I've now finished the book and I must say t did get better. Whilst at first it was all about drugs the end bec...more
Stuart Chambers
I thought this a real gem, I found the book in Heathrow Airport, bored and with very little to do and with an incredibly bland selection of titles in the fiction section I wandered into the travel section and there it was. There are lots of things that I ADORED about this book and it’s got to be ten years since I first read it but I have read it three times since I bought it which is something I very, very rarely do. This to me shows how well written and insightful and funny this book really is....more
This book chronicles the trail Mark Mann, his girlfriend Melissa and their eccentric drug loving friend Mark took through the North Western part of South America. It is funny because there were definitely some facts that didn't come together like the hours on a bus it took to get from Arequipa to Cusco. 20 hours? I don't think so. It's 12 hours maximum. Like many travel writers Mann sprinkled in quotations from historians. He had a strong liking for Eduardo Galeano. It definitely had an ending I...more
As my first foray into the world of travelogs (I won this book as part of goodreads Firstreads) I wasn't overly sure how enjoyable I would find this genre.

No need to worry though and I really enjoyed the authors mix of story to fact, I loved reading of experiences so different from what I have myself experienced - about a place that I would love to visit. I also loved the factual parts of the book.

Also when having a discussion with a friend that has been to many of the places in the book I cou...more
Rachael Hassan
It's all good apart from the bit where he feels sorry for a rapist because he's a peasant and 'probably couldn't help himself around an exotic white woman' ERM.
Jessica Powell
Really enjoyed this - I tend to find travel memoirs pretty boring, but I found this one a real page turner. The short, snappy sections combined with the cutting insights into the socio-political realities of the area worked really well.
At first, I was willing to go along with the author on his uneven tale through South America with his girlfriend and druggie jackass friend. It was almost a collection of brief vignettes from the travels interspersed with history and social commentary. Where he lost me was when he expressed sympathy toward a rapist in Colombia, a local who had raped a traveler from Europe, because he was tempted by all the scantily clad women about and got drunk and exhibited bad judgment. After that I was too a...more
To me this book is what you get combing Irvine Welsh with travel guide. As the tittle gives away it will take you to journey through most of countries in South America and together with useful first-face tips about where and how to travel through Ecuador, Peru, Colombia it offers an interesting description of experiences on different drugs which apparently is unavoidable part of the traveling. Plus you also have three main characters very different on expectations, interests and perceptions and...more
I adored this book. After having a Gap Year in South America, I was missing my friends and being on the road. This book really brought me back to the good old South America, and the Gringo lifestyle. Mark is so easy to relate to, having worked and studied all his life, he made the decision to hit the Gringo Trail - something we all need to do!!

Its made me realize how lucky I was in my time in SA, and how careful I need to be in the future. Making good choices, and not dwelling on the past, sayin...more
This was a good reads giveaway. Most of the book I found enjoyable as it brought back many happy memories of my travels in South America. It was an easy book to read interspersed with historical facts. However the attitude the author had regarding a Swiss girl raped by a local Colombian man made me furious. It spoilt the book for me and the book would have had a higher rating if it wasn't for this.
Cameron Baker
Merely OK. Some redeeming passages and parts for sure, but lots of... average.
Despite a tedious start (a few drug-related anecdotes) this actually gets better. Having spent a fair amount of time in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador it prompted me to remember some places I had forgotten. A smatterign of history and cluture, and a fair amount of commentary on gettign squashed into tiny minibuses to travel around. Overall quite interesting, though pretty lightweight. It probably is a "must read" for the gap-year hordes, all in search of a genuine South American "trip".
Finola Wennekes
I read this a little before I headed off to South America to give me an idea of what to expect. An easy, light read that provides some recognisable cliches and characters, but I prefer Mann's The Good Alternative Travel Guide.
Maris Zirnis
Well, pretty average. Though style of writing I found too simplistic and that was the main problem, also there was no build-up of some sort of drama. Well there was but the build-up was too obvious and predictable. I prefer to read my books not knowing how it will end, but with this one, you pretty quickly knew it!
Ian Evans
I enjoyed this book very much, as the felt I was actually on the trip as well. Their adventures and areas that they visited were very vivid and I could visualise all what the author saw, although I didn't always agree with his ideologies. Each chapter is short and concise, so managed to finish the book quite quickly.
Was bought this, and just found it too cliched - drugs, man, yeah.

I only got 50 pages in, so don't take my review too seriously. I just found it too stereotypical to continue with.
3 brits go backpacking in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. An entertaining book, with references to south-american mountains, jungle, cities, drugs and backpackers.
An interesting story of travelling in South America, and all that comes with it. Surprisingly emotional ending, but the rest is not as engaging as I'd hoped.
Brilliant. I really enjoyed the mixture of comical calamities and South American history. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good old adventure
Read this awhile ago but from what I remember this was a pretty entertaining read.

Definitely worth a re-read, if only I can find my damned copy...
Great book, a fantastic blend of hedonistic traveller's tales and the frightening truth of Spanish colonialism in South America.
Jo Anne
Interesting read - but very sad at the end especially since its a true story of three travellers across south america.
at the start of the book it put me off but after some pages i ve got engaged with the story.
Salomé Neves
Entertaining and with interesting points on the history of South America. Well worth it!
I really liked this book when I was sixteen, so it probably sucked, but whatever.
If you are traveling through South America, this is a must read
Lindie Orth
Great read about a backpacking trip through South America.
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