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The End of Elsewhere: Travels Among the Tourists

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  78 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The End of Elsewhere is a kind of post-millennium Heart of Darkness, with Grescoe’s Marlowe on the trail of a hypothetical camera-toting, Hawaiian-shirted Kurtz . . . A powerful indictment of contemporary tourism and, more fundamentally, it’s a cry against the West’s exploitation of the Third world in the era of globalization”—Quill & Quire

Witty and provocative, The E
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Serpent's Tail (first published 2003)
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Sep 05, 2008 Alexis rated it really liked it
Another irreverent, fun book by Grescoe. In this book, he explores tourism and the history of tourism, following various tourist routes and ways of travel. I didn't like this one as much as the Devil's Picnic, but he's still one of my favourite authors at the moment.
Apr 21, 2016 Christopher rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-books
Let's face it - a lot of travel writing is pure crapola. How much more ink can be spilled about Machu Picchu, hidden gems on the Thai peninsula or places to eat under $10 in New York City? Then there are the stunt books - the guys who decide to row or walk from one country to another, visit every country that starts with the letter K, or To Hellholes and Back, a book that visits places that would be on no one's itinerary unless they were on a UN aid mission or insane. It's not surprising I find ...more
Sarah Jane
Jul 06, 2009 Sarah Jane rated it really liked it
This is not a quick read. It is an incredibly dense book about the tourism industry, a sort of anti-tourism manifesto. The author literally does "travel among the tourists" through various countries, staying in guidebook-recommended accommodations throughout his journey. We follow him on cruises and buses, to hostels and resorts - all the places that are watered down versions of real travel, made to order for the tourists who flock to them. There's a point made in this book, about how popular to ...more
Jun 06, 2009 DoctorM rated it really liked it
Shelves: far-foreign
A funny, yet rather sombre, look at tourists and tourism. Grescoe travels something like ten thousand miles, from Finisterre in Catalonia to a hideous beach on Hainan Island called "End of the Earth", all in the company of tourists and tour groups. He manages to have spectacularly awful and awful/funny adventures and still reflect on what it means to seek out an Elsewhere--- and on the costs of that search can be for local cultures.
Sep 30, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
An interesting look at all of the ways that tourists do travel and have historically traveled in bunches -- the pilgrimage to San Juan de Compostela, the Michelin Guides, Cooks tours, the German baden, hiking in the Swiss Alps, the 50s/60s migration to India for the ashrams, ecotourism in Asia, etc. The historical parts I found much more interesting than the actual tales of the author's trip, in part because of the amount of attention he seemed to pay to the negative aspects of traveling in grou ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Evan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys solo travel
As a former avid traveller, both solo and in groups, I found this book touched upon several of the experiences I have had even though I haven't been to most of the places in the book. Each chapter follows the author to a different city, country, or route. The quality of the travel writing is quite good with a mix of history, geography and personal opinion.
Although the book may be a bit dated (from 2003) many of his experiences likely still hold true (cruise ships, Thailand, hostels with teenage
Dec 24, 2014 Kaitlyn rated it it was ok
He chose to travel the tourist trap way, then endlessly complained about it so by the time he was sick of it, I was sick of him. He had to know how it would end.

Some of his perspectives were Orientalist and condescending, along with way too many jabs at people's appearances.

Mar 21, 2016 Leanne rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I like some of Grescoe's other work a lot, so I had high expectations for this book. However, since the focus is more on his observations and feelings than his other books (which are more journalistic in style) I did not enjoy this one as much. It's obvious that if you deliberately go to the worst tourist traps in the world you will encounter a lot of unpleasant people. Reading this put me, at times, in a gloomy frame of mind. The information peppered throughout the book about the impact of tour ...more
Maria (Ri)
Jan 15, 2011 Maria (Ri) rated it liked it
Finally finished this one. It held my interest for a while and then seemed to take a dip in the middle (how long are we going to be in Europe!?!). It picked up again in Asia. The sections I enjoyed the most, no surprise, were about the areas where I have some direct travel experience as well as interest in traveling in the future.

While most travel memoirs seek to discover the unbeaten path, this author seeks out the most beaten path there is, right along with all the guide book tourists. I loved
Deborah J.
May 06, 2012 Deborah J. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Backpackers headed towards Europe or Asia. But it is an broad overview.
I found the book interesting because of the distance he traveled, to many places I had either been to or will be going to in the next year or so, and his frequent tidbits of information about the places he was in and it's history with tourism.
I really didn't get why he was following the 'trail' set up by the 'Lonely Planet' book, especially since he really got no pleasure from it other than the low prices.
The title should have been: End of Elsewhere (reluctant) Travels Among the Tourists.

An alm
Mar 30, 2008 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-travel
Grescoe has a style of writing that works well to give the reader a glimpse of the way people travel, eat, and live while touring that tends to stick directly with historical trends. Similar to most Grescoe works, it tends to slow down upon examination of some of the historical aspects of his travels, but altogether provides an informative and entertaining read.
Shannon Bailey
Sep 17, 2013 Shannon Bailey rated it liked it
I liked the first half of the book a lot more than the second. The author's observations were fresher earlier in his trip. He got worn out and turned very negative toward the end of the journey, and complained way too much. Should have ended the trip, and the book, before he actually did, when he still had something positive to say.
Jessica Kluthe
Nov 15, 2012 Jessica Kluthe rated it really liked it
I read this book a few years ago, and still think about it when I travel. This travellogue provides a history of tourism, and speaks a lot about the tourist bubble vs. cultural exchange. A must read for any serious traveller!
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Taras Grescoe was born in 1967. He writes essays, articles, and books. He is something of a non-fiction specialist.

His first book was Sacré Blues, a portrait of contemporary Quebec that won Canada's Edna Staebler Award for Non-Fiction, two Quebec Writers' Federation Awards, a National Magazine Award (for an excerpted chapter), and was short-listed for the Writers' Trust Award. It was published in
More about Taras Grescoe...

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