Scott's Reviews > The Royal Road to Romance: Travelers' Tales Classics

The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton
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's review
Nov 22, 10

bookshelves: 1920s, walks
Read from November 21 to 22, 2010

Richard Halliburton, the grandaddy of adventure tourism, left Princeton in the early 1920s to do the world. With hardly a penny to his name he tramped, mooched, and often stole his way from New Jersey to Europe, then Egypt, India, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Along the way he climbed the Matterhorn, was jailed in Gibraltar, swam the Nile, hunted tigers in Bengal, trekked to Leh, hacked his way through Malaysian jungles, reposed in Bali, lost his clothes to Chinese pirates, and scaled Fujiyama in the dead of winter. The Royal Road to Romance (1925) is his report of his grand adventure, a narrative of some sixteen months of "hobohemism" across the globe. His mother must have been mortified when she read it. It's a jolly tale told with dash in impetuous, flamboyant prose that fully captures the author's youthful energy. And it's very much a piece of its time, a product of the young author's entitled upbringing and waspish attitudes that can make a modern reader squirm almost as much as the hair-raising tales of his reckless escapades. Tuck into it if you're in the mood for a mad, jaunty, and sometimes embarrassing read that scores low on ethnology but off the scales on irrepressible enthusiasm for life.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Patricia (new)

Patricia I think your review is more fun than the book.

message 2: by Doug (new)

Doug He's quite the guy isn't he?! I read his 'complete book of marvels' about his visiting the wonders of the world (swimming the panama canal, etc) He very much had a large gusto for life!

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