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I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of Great Writers
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I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of Great Writers

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  245 ratings  ·  45 reviews
In this hilarious anthology 50 top travel writers, novelists and journalists, including Isabel Allende, Jan Morris, Barbara Kingsolver, Paul Theroux, Mary Morris, Dominique Lapierre, Eric Hansen, Rick Steves, Tony Wheeler and Helen Gurley Brown, tell the stories of their greatest travel disasters. Most of the writers of these original essays are contributing their royaltie ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by RDR Books
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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Dec 08, 2011 rated it liked it
The best part of this book was the opening essay by Mary Morris. She opines that the best memories come out of the worst experiences. I found it to be a marvelous viewpoint. Ironically, the best stories did not live up to the title of the book -- these were interesting and uplifting tales of redemption: Isabel Allende's story of camping in Paris and finding that the food in restaurants wasn't that much better than camp food; Muriel Dobbin's story of traveling around the world with LBJ; Mary Mack ...more
John Orman
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Travel horror stories by all types of writers!

Barbara Kingsolver was rejected from a restaurant while visiting New York.

Paul Theroux had an unfortunate hangover while in Zambia.

Rick Steves having a wild time on a bus with a stoned Afghan driver.

Other than those stories, there are many more--freezing campers, army ants, warfare crossfire, avoiding sexual predators, falsely arrested, and frozen solid at the North Pole!

Read if you dare, but most of all--travel if you dare!
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Some hysterically funny descriptions of trips-gone-wrong (scorpions falling from the ceiling) as well as some thought-provoking ones (spending a winter night in Grand Central Station with all the resident homeless). Also, just a lot of interesting places mentioned. Reading this made me want to get on a train/plane/boat & GO! Altho' p'raps not to Ceylon or Central America.... ...more
Amber the Human
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
So I bought the sequel to this book a few years ago and didn't much enjoy it. So why did I then buy this book? Probably because it's a dollar. Probably because it's been over a year since I've left the country and I felt like taking a trip in my mind. It had some good stories, some I still think about. Some more depressing than others. None super funny. But, you know, it was a dollar.
Kathy Webber
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book in an airport and it has provided me with entertaining reading for years. The experiences of being lost, horrible food, strange locals, being kidnapped by locals or worse are consistently intriguing and often hilarious. I keep this in my guest room.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book. But it was a bit of a disappointment. The stories were too short and quite annoying. The only thing good that came out of this book was that it made my own travel delays (which ironically happened the day Ifinished this book) seem almost trivial.
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My pop was being a wiseass, so he gave me this book before I went on a trip because it's a tome of terrible travel experiences. I dug it.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great bedtime reading! ~
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great fun! Some of their tales make any travel woes I may have experienced look pretty tame.
Shelley Guyton
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sometimes it's more fun to remember the bad stuff.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
The best thing about this book is that each chapter is written by travel writers who have gained notoriety in their given fields, usually for longer novels or magazine articles. Those tend to not include "things that go wrong" so the book itself promises the reader to learn about how even seasoned travel writers experience hardship and unexpected bumps while on the road. However, for a lot of the stories one would be hard pressed to categorize them as a "worst trip". I mean one story is about ho ...more
Ingrid Spera
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
I was definitely expecting something a bit more of a "hilarious" (as per the synopsis splurge) reading of people's worst trips and instead what I got what a very big roller coaster of humor and drama and introspection that I wasn't quite ready for. It was definitely a good collection though and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Several of the stories made me laugh out loud and one or two made me wish those had been MY worst trips! This is one we can appreciate for the realness of what it means to ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Like any compilation, some of these stories were great and hilarious. Others were blah or amazingly entitled. Definitely a good read for anyone who loves to travel. I have had this book on my shelf for many years and remember attempting to read it when I traveled weekly for work. It was too much then. I love it when a book can sit and wait for just the right time to be consumed appropriately. As for the irony of the title, I started reading in a couple weeks before the world shutdown and finishe ...more
Denise Spicer
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Although the subtitle is “The Worst Trips of Great Writers”, this 1994 Book Passage Press book with a few dozen short travel essays only boasts a few famous writers and even their contributions are mediocre at best. Some essays are mildly interesting , some mildly amusing, a few are gross, but none is really memorable.

Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great short stories (for a person who doesn't like short stories) of travel adventures that went horribly wrong & sort of wrong. Makes me not want to travel to a few places mentioned but the book was excellent! ...more
Alison O'Leary
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Parts of this book are fun to read, other chapters fall flat. Editing could have been stronger as these stories of travel gone bad are a dime a dozen. Still, a chapter or two at bedtime is a nice sedative.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Found this in my Little Free Library. It was kind of a fun read - nothing special, though. There were a lot of trips I was so glad I wasn't a party to - and I feel fortunate that most of my travel has been quite lovely, if the plane trips didn't take so long.
Cameron Griffin
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic Travel writing
Jan Yarnot
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I kind of thought this would be more fun. As it is, only a couple of the stories were amusing.
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: travels
Just OK
Mary Ann
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great stories!
Julie Yee
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I Should Have Stayed Home gave me some new insight into the world of travel. Being that I have travelled a lot, it surprised me how badly some trips went in contrast to where they were.
Reading about some of the things that went wrong really made me realize how lucky I was. I have gone to several of the places and it makes me realize how lucky I was to not have the situations happen to me when I did go there.
I felt a kind of personal connection to some of the stories because I've gone to the c
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
First of all, I had not heard of a number of these so called great writers, but I don't read much travel literature, either. Some of their problems seemed to be ones that they brought upon themselves--going to third world countries and expecting our standard of living, or trying to pinch pennies by taking a lesser form of tranportation, or driving along a primitive road after being told that it was impassable. I hadn't heard of anyone having an aerosol can of shaving cream explode inside a suitc ...more
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I don’t know why, but I found it rather tedious to read about other people’s travel mishaps. This book was replete with the usual (expected) assortments of tales about cockroaches roaming loose through dingy hotel rooms, shit (sic) strewn roads in Nepal, leeches, bats, marching armies of fire ants, raging tropical downpours and lost plane tickets, etc. Boring. (On the other hand, I do have a great tale to tell about Continental’s bad service in Newark, New Jersey…) I guess, what makes travel hor ...more
Stephanie Warnement
Jan 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
A collection of disastrous travel accounts that were somewhat entertaining. Some of the stories have a great build up, but then just cut off at the end leaving you with this incomplete feeling. Other stories are a tad on the lame side. The accounts are quick, so if the story isn't the greatest it'll be over in a couple pages. There were a few worth reading. It was just an okay book in my opinion.
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
Roger Rapoport has compiled an entertaining anthology of travel stories from several famous writers. Ranging from Rick Steves' hashish-stoned Afghani driver to Isabel Allende's morning sickness in Paris to Katherine Neville falling down a huge hole in Prague, the tales go from humor to disaster and back again.

As with any anthology, it's a trifle uneven. Overall, though, it's a good read for those who enjoy travel -- even from the vantage point of an armchair.
May 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This collection of travel mishaps just didn't hold my attention. I was looking for something with high entertainment value & this was not it. Everyone's got a bad travel story & that's exactly what this book is. I thought I would laugh more reading about other people's travel horror stories, but alas this book was just not that funny...I finally just read the few stories that had interesting titles. ...more
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad picked up this book to read. I am pushing 70 and have many regrets. Traveling around the world in NOT one of them, now that I have finished this book. Writers, Novelist and Journalists have done all the traveling for me and did all the suffering. I would never put my life on the line, Now that I know better., just to have a good time. Its amazing what some people will do. Do the every tell everything about their experiences? I doubt it. A good read.
Apr 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Some of the tales about fleabag hotels are horribly familiar. Others such as the one about the woman who saw a jet engine come apart in midair encourage me to keep my comfortable homebound existence.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
With lots of different contributors, "I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of Great Writers" is really uneven. There are a couple of gems in the book... but most of the stories weren't terribly interesting.
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As a newspaper and magazine writer and aviation specialist Roger Rapoport has written in all 50 states, 6 Canadian provinces, and 30 foreign countries. A lifelong sailor and enthusiastic kayaker, he has traveled extensively throughout the Great Lakes, along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic Coast.

Roger Rapoport graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism in 1968 from the University of

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