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The Best American Travel Writing 2003 (Best American Travel Writing)

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3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundred of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to the twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is w ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 10th 2003 by Mariner Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mitchell
Apr 30, 2007 Mitchell rated it did not like it
Shelves: travel-books
Each year (I usually wait for a used version on amazon) I pick up a copy of The Best American Travel Writing series. And each year there is a different editor, which for this purpose means a different person choosing the stories. And that is what makes all the difference. Being a little behind, I just finished reading 2003 Best American Travel Writing ed. by Iam Frazier.

I have to say that the 2002 version was edited by Frances Mayes most famous for Under The Tuscan Sun and both of these years ha
...more
Bethany Woodson
Well first I want to say that there was a couple of stories from this book I really liked, unfortunately they are largely overshadowed by some other not so interesting stories and some pretty crappy editing.

I don't understand why the editor just put the stories in alphabetical order by the authors name rather than ANY OTHER ORDER but yikes. Geographical would have been better or by general subject matter, literally anything resembling a narrative would have been better.

One story compared to th
...more
Sarah
Mar 01, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
I can usually count on the "Best American" series for interesting essays and have been pleased with other of the travel writing anthologies but this one fell short for me. I listened to the audio edition of the compilation and found the major drawback to be the readers. Some of the writers read their own pieces, most in a kind of timid monotone. None of the readers drew me into the writing and the worst was Ian Frazier himself. For such an accomplished writer he's a surprisingly terrible reader. ...more
Sissy
Aug 16, 2016 Sissy rated it it was ok
I found this book in a free pile and was excited because I thought the summery cover was beckoning me to exotic summery type places.

It was not beckoning me to islands and palms but bizarre marginally travel related tales, the best of which was about a free tour of a Japanese nuclear plant. I also enjoyed the one about JP2 skiing but again it odd just like the entire collection.

Someone please explain to me how the Puff Daddy selection was travel writing?
Tonya
Oct 18, 2012 Tonya rated it it was ok
I would say out of the twenty stories only two were actually about travel. Most seemed to be making points about environmental, political and social issues - which is perfectly fine, but don't call it a book about travel.
Most of the writing was great, the articles well written and some even interesting, but I was hoping for stories about cities that were positive, something fun. These were down-right depressing.
Oh well...
A
Feb 09, 2010 A rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
The Despair of Art Deco by Geoff Dyer started out this anthology, and I did like Lost in the Arctic by Lawrence Millman, as well. But it went down hill from there... although I also liked The Happiest Man in Cuba by Rebecca Barry. I can't really recommend this group of stories.

Travel writing should be interesting. Most of this seemed on the boring side, and there was enough self-centeredness in the writing that didn't help.
Erin
May 14, 2009 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
I love these collections of travel writing! This volume is a particularly good one. My favorites included "What Happened to Uncle Schmiel?" by Daniel Mendelsohn (which actually made me cry) and "Eternal Winter" by Tom Bissell about the disappearance of the Aral Sea. Each story gave a unique insight into a particular place and I found the collection inspiring.
Beth
Nov 07, 2007 Beth is currently reading it
Absorbing this in bits and chunks when I can't sleep, and am enjoying the great variety of writing styles and locations (from dingy homestays in modern Cuba, to traveling on the Concorde with Sean Puffy Combs, to visiting a Polish historic site and determining Pope John Paul II to be a daredevil skiier by the condition of his skiis on display)
Carol
Sep 11, 2007 Carol rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: It Depends
It was more of a social commentary than a travel book. Not really what I expected. After reading these stories, I felt depressed. If you wish to learn about all the terrible things humans do to the environment and each other throughout the world, I highly recommend this book. Definetely not light reading.
Bridgette Lehrer
Dec 14, 2011 Bridgette Lehrer rated it did not like it
For the first ever with this series, it was terrible. I did not like any of the passages. Usually the editor selects at least a fee interesting articles, but I did not read any all the way through. This one can be missed.
Dan Tasse
Jun 07, 2010 Dan Tasse rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
Really good! I love travel stories. And the people who write these are not writing "I took a vacation to the caribbean"; they've gone to the ends of the earth and the hearts of jungles for all sorts of reasons. Got this at a thrift store; what a good buy.
Heidi Schutt
Apr 29, 2016 Heidi Schutt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non_fiction, dad, travel, cuba
I only read Rebecca Barry's "The Happiest Man in Cuba" because I love Love LOVED her memoir Recipes for a Beautiful Life. Wonderful essay!
Great read before falling asleep to the sound of a train going through my small town.
Darusha Wehm
Jul 14, 2011 Darusha Wehm rated it really liked it
A fantastic and eclectic mix of travel tales from partying in Paris with P. Diddy to kayaking to Timbuktu in the wilds of Africa, these stories touch the core of why we travel. A great read for travelers and those who dream of travel alike.
Jenn
Dec 11, 2012 Jenn rated it liked it
The first story was phenomenally funny and a few were interesting. Overall a good reading experience.
Malbadeen
Apr 21, 2008 Malbadeen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bored people with nothing else around
If this is "The Best American Travel Writing", I think I'll not be reading any more travel writing. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Luxagraf
Oct 15, 2007 Luxagraf rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, non-fiction
I was surprised how many of these I had already read in magazines. Always good to see what other travel writers are up to. A great collection made even better by the welcome absence of Dave Eggers.
Andria
Andria rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2008
Denna
Denna rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2014
Aaron
May 10, 2014 Aaron rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, travel
A hit and miss collection of essays. I enjoyed the variety and about half of the stories.
Jeff Frank
Jeff Frank rated it liked it
Mar 31, 2007
Liz
Liz rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2015
Beata
Beata rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2012
Scott
Scott rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2016
Christian
Christian rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2013
Jessica Bennett
Jessica Bennett rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2011
Jimbrenock
Jimbrenock rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2013
Julia
Julia rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2009
Cindy Morales
Cindy Morales rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2011
André Darlington
André Darlington rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2010
Wendi
Wendi rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2012
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Ian Frazier (b.1951) is an American writer and humorist. He is the author of Travels in Siberia, Great Plains, On the Rez, Lamentations of the Father and Coyote V. Acme, among other works, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He graduated from Harvard University. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/ianfra...
More about Ian Frazier...

Other Books in the Series

Best American Travel Writing (7 books)
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2007
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2008
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2009
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2010
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2011
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2000

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