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Ox Travels: Meetings with Remarkable Travel Writers (Ox Tales)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  142 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Introduced by Michael Palin, OxTravels features original stories from twenty-five top travel writers, including Paul Theroux, Sara Wheeler, William Dalrymple, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Lloyd Jones, Rory Stewart, Jan Morris, Dervla Murphy, Rory MacLean, Nicholas Shakespeare, Peter Godwin, Victoria Hislop, and others. Each of the stories takes as its theme a meeting—life-changin ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Profile Books (first published May 19th 2011)
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Jan 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
Most of the excerpts were really too short for me to get very involved in the narratives. On the other hand, there were a number of authors I hadn't read before whose books I think I'll read now.
Tim Allen
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wouldn't bother reading this book, just give a tenner to Oxfam instead. It made me realise how the majority of 'travel writing' is trite, egotistical, derivative and tiresome. The authors often seem to patronise the reader and the people who feature in their anecdotes.

Many of the stories are full of vague platitudes based around the cliched metaphor that: 'it doesn't matter where you're going, but it's the journey that's important'. I don't really care if you understood what it means to be hum
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I confess I was not aware of the charitable organization Oxfam when I purchased this incredible collection of top notch travel writers. The credentials of the generous authors who gave their stories without compensation to this anthology are most impressive. Oxfam attempts to alleviate world poverty and uplift the condition of less fortunate around the globe. These stories are not for those looking for escapist armchair travel; rather it is for those who dare to care about the harsh realities pe
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
When I was in Portland, Oregon last year, I raided the travel section of Powell’s Books, and this was one of the books highlighted by the store. Ox Travels is a collection of 36 travel essays, and proceeds of the book go toward supporting the work of Oxfam. Some of the essays are adapted excerpts from books, especially in the case of well-known travel writers such as Paul Theroux and William Dalrymple. I hadn’t read any of the source books, so the re-use of this material didn’t bother me. As wit ...more
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a surprise and very welcome gift as I had had it on my list of books to read. I'd previously enjoyed one of an earlier Oxfam literary project on the four elements. Ox Travels was better - despite being a much fatter volume, the collection was less patchy, varied but coherent. It's also a very nicely produced book.

I thought I was a reader of travel books, or had been. I have to revise that description after being introduced to so many writers who were new to me (most of them about my own
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book came to me through BookCrossing. At first I thought it was something I would dip into from time to time being a collection of travel pieces edited by Michael Palin. However, once I had read the first piece, I was hooked and read straight through it in a short number of days.

Michale Palin had invited a number of well respected travel writers to submit a short piece describing a particular journey during which they had met an usual or interesting person. The writing is excellent, the sto
Chris Steeden
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great concept and some really good stories let down with some really poor ones which is not surprising as the book contains about 35 authors. The stories are about 10 pages long so very easy to dip in-and-out. I also found this a very good way to read about travel writers that I had not heard of before so will certainly be following-up by getting some of their books on my wish list.
Topping & Company Booksellers of Ely
Ox Travels is the perfect way to gain an insight into the personal experiences of some of todays most prominent travel writers.
Each story is a memorable page-turner, which will leave you both moved amused at different points. A must-have on your summer reading list.
This book was also published in aid of Oxfam, so is supporting an excellent cause!

Rebecca P
Clare Smith
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
One of my favourite genres but I found the short story format a tad underwhelming. Some were enjoyable in the way you would read a article I. The travel section of the newspaper but ultimately the stories just were not able to give the the depth of information required to feel like you were there. I personally found the book itself had far too many contributions making it a heavy tome!
Tom Price
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable and extensively diverse collection of travelling tales and voyaging vignettes. Though each is quite short, the potency and emotive hooks of the many writers really draw you into each encounter and narrative. For that reason, worth reading slowly, one story at a time.
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The 36 articles in this book have made me realize that I'm more a tourist than a traveler. They have reawakened my desire to see new parts of the world. It is an excellent collection of travel writers and all the stories are fascinating.
Carolyn Amson
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Definitely the best compilation of travel stories I have ever read. My copy is dogeared and marked of pages I want to reread or takes notes from. I was familiar with many of the contributors but there were a few new authors I will now be following. Just leaves me wanting to jump on a plane.....
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great read, more than a travelogue, a collection of 36 short stories. Excellent.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Terrific. Made the acquaintance of several new writers.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing by a bunch of supremely talented and interesting people. A must-read for anybody interested in the world and in travel writing.
Damien Evans
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Like all short story collections, it's a mixed bag. However there were some really good stories in here so it's worth a read.
Abbie Graham
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting collection of short travel stories, was perfect to read in small chunks before bed
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I keep next to my bed. I pick it up once or twice a year and it always keeps me smiling, guessing, and traveling through others.
Mar 30, 2011 rated it liked it
That sure took long enough.
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Some good stories, some so-so. The physical format of the book, unfortunately, didn't lend itself to comfortable reading.
Mary Ann
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Had to give it back before I could finish it. Looks great and will lead to further adventure/travel reads. Would make a great gift!
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Mark Ellingham was born in Wiltshire, UK, in 1959. After leaving Bristol University in 1981, he was unable to find an interesting job and decided to create his own, writing the first Rough Guide (to Greece). He secured a publishing contract – Routledge paying an advance of £900 ($1800) – midway through writing it. The book was an immediate success and Mark and various friends set to work turning t ...more
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