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The Gringo Trail

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  551 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
With little more than backpacks and desire for adventure, Mark Mann and two friends set out on an expedition through Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia, submerging themselves in Latin culture. Through dense forests, daunting mountains, and pristine beaches, the trio makes its way — in a drug-induced haze. Soon the drugs become an all-consuming addiction that changes the lives ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published August 2nd 2002 by Green Candy Press (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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Sercan Vatansever
Bu kitabın sadece karakterlerin yabancı ülkelerde başlarına gelenler hakkında olduğunu sanıyorsanız çok yanılıyorsunuz. Bu kitap bir bilgi kaynağı olması yanı sıra soykırıma, faşistliğe, tarihe, kültürlere, siyasete cesurca değinmesi ve batı kültürüne göndermeleri benim için kitabın en önemli yanıydı. Ayrıca hepsini tek bir kefeye koymak doğru olmaz ancak İspanyollara eski gözle bakamıyorum.

Bir de, bu kitapta Türkiye'yi bulmanız çok yüksek. Okurken 'Acaba Türkiye'ye mi geçtiler de ben mi kaçı
Aslı Dağlı
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Çevirmeni olmaktan büyük mutluluk duyduğum kitap. Daha ne diyebilirim ki:)
Rachael Hassan
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's all good apart from the bit where he feels sorry for a rapist because he's a peasant and 'probably couldn't help himself around an exotic white woman' ERM.
Feb 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
At first, I was willing to go along with the author on his uneven tale through South America with his girlfriend and druggie jackass friend. It was almost a collection of brief vignettes from the travels interspersed with history and social commentary. Where he lost me was when he expressed sympathy toward a rapist in Colombia, a local who had raped a traveler from Europe, because he was tempted by all the scantily clad women about and got drunk and exhibited bad judgment. After that I was too a ...more
Chris Morton
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's good but has a few problems. Firtly the guy goes into too much detail about the history and politics of every place they arrive at. You get used to it, but this is not the way the book is advertised on the cover. In fact generally I'd say that the book can't quite decide if it's a novel or a travel guide. And then there's then end. Don't want to give too much away... but it's not exactly enjoyable reading.
Phil Price
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book. A true journey of discovery, set in a wondrous place. Top stuff.
South America is a continent of contrasts, from the northern Caribbean shores, corrupt officials in all the countries, deep jungles, amazing histories from the Incas to the Aztecs and the modern horrors of drugs and guerrilla warfare.

Mark Mann with his girlfriend Melissa and another friend Mark decide to travel there to undertake the Gringo trail, a uniquely South American experience. There is a little tension as the friends Mark is really there for the drugs, and really is not interested in und
Çağla Kosova
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Onlar Güney Afrika'yı gezerken, siz de kendi ruhani dünyanızda gezintiye çıkıyorsunuz...
Eren Nadir Akşamoğlu
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was really a disappointment.

It was badly-written, some of the conversations were a little unbelievable (the author, apparently, is the most intelligent of the three), and I think the whole thing wasn't going anywhere until the last few pages. The last few pages are quite gripping, but also strangely predictable. I just wonder, like many others, whether it would have been published if it wasn't for the end.

As someone who has been to South America, though, I did recognise parts of it and
Molly Frances
The Gringo Trail is creative non-fiction at its best. I almost put this book down after reading the first chapter. I couldn’t relate to Mark and his friends and I’d been expecting a wanderlust inducing travelogue. This is not absolutely not that (at least not for me).

This is an interesting story though. It’s filled with history and cultural observations. It’s a book about a normal group of friends backpacking a (fairly) well travelled path. They do drugs (and I mean loaads of drugs) and they cl
Stuart Chambers
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thought this a real gem, I found the book in Heathrow Airport, bored and with very little to do and with an incredibly bland selection of titles in the fiction section I wandered into the travel section and there it was. There are lots of things that I ADORED about this book and it’s got to be ten years since I first read it but I have read it three times since I bought it which is something I very, very rarely do. This to me shows how well written and insightful and funny this book really is. ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm over halfway through this book and don't see what all the fuss is about. I'm determined to finish it as I haven't yet started a book and not but I'm not enjoying it. I've been to South America and it isn't at all as of the book makes it out to be. I was recommended this after reading 'the backpacker' by John Harris as this is a "similar" book - could not be further from the truth.

So I've now finished the book and I must say t did get better. Whilst at first it was all about drugs the end bec
Jan 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This book chronicles the trail Mark Mann, his girlfriend Melissa and their eccentric drug loving friend Mark took through the North Western part of South America. It is funny because there were definitely some facts that didn't come together like the hours on a bus it took to get from Arequipa to Cusco. 20 hours? I don't think so. It's 12 hours maximum. Like many travel writers Mann sprinkled in quotations from historians. He had a strong liking for Eduardo Galeano. It definitely had an ending I ...more
Johnny Andrews
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never really read a travel book, but this seemed interesting and it really is, it's almost like a Fear and loathing farce throughout South America, Mark Mann, his girlfriend, Melissa and his opinionated slacker mate, Mark travel throughout the Gringo Trail taking drugs, drinking, meeting various locals and fellow travellers along the way.
Arguments, drug trips, corruption all go hand in hand. But what I like in this up and down book of darkly funny and shocking insight into another world and cult
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
As my first foray into the world of travelogs (I won this book as part of goodreads Firstreads) I wasn't overly sure how enjoyable I would find this genre.

No need to worry though and I really enjoyed the authors mix of story to fact, I loved reading of experiences so different from what I have myself experienced - about a place that I would love to visit. I also loved the factual parts of the book.

Also when having a discussion with a friend that has been to many of the places in the book I cou
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. After having a Gap Year in South America, I was missing my friends and being on the road. This book really brought me back to the good old South America, and the Gringo lifestyle. Mark is so easy to relate to, having worked and studied all his life, he made the decision to hit the Gringo Trail - something we all need to do!!

Its made me realize how lucky I was in my time in SA, and how careful I need to be in the future. Making good choices, and not dwelling on the past, sayin
Somewhat sophomoric and contrived in that Oxbridge-grad-trying-their hand-at-actual writing way. The segues into history always seemed a bit basic and also contrived, the jokes were a bit too obvious and the druggie episodes were taken from the perspective of an eighteen year old idiot on their first walk down Khao San Road rather than anyone with any insight or experience. Fear and Loathing this ain't.

Sadly it got unforgivably worse with an incredible dismissal of rape that left a very sour not
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me this book is what you get combing Irvine Welsh with travel guide. As the tittle gives away it will take you to journey through most of countries in South America and together with useful first-face tips about where and how to travel through Ecuador, Peru, Colombia it offers an interesting description of experiences on different drugs which apparently is unavoidable part of the traveling. Plus you also have three main characters very different on expectations, interests and perceptions and ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was horrible. I only really engaged with the last couple of chapters, mainly because the rest kept going off on tangents taken from other books and sources. When I'm reading a travelogue, I really want to know the personal experience of travelling, not a load of facts and figures I could Google if I wanted. It's so pretentious and reads like filler. A shame because I'm really interested in South America and would have loved to know more about what it's like to travel around. Not having a go ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-writing
Despite a tedious start (a few drug-related anecdotes) this actually gets better. Having spent a fair amount of time in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador it prompted me to remember some places I had forgotten. A smatterign of history and cluture, and a fair amount of commentary on gettign squashed into tiny minibuses to travel around. Overall quite interesting, though pretty lightweight. It probably is a "must read" for the gap-year hordes, all in search of a genuine South American "trip".
Finola Wennekes
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this a little before I headed off to South America to give me an idea of what to expect. An easy, light read that provides some recognisable cliches and characters, but I prefer Mann's The Good Alternative Travel Guide.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a good reads giveaway. Most of the book I found enjoyable as it brought back many happy memories of my travels in South America. It was an easy book to read interspersed with historical facts. However the attitude the author had regarding a Swiss girl raped by a local Colombian man made me furious. It spoilt the book for me and the book would have had a higher rating if it wasn't for this.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
An entertaining read with some good historical tidbits and insights dotted throughout. Sometimes Mann comes across as a little smug and travel-elitist as he is frequently scolding and patronising his companions, but I found that this just added to the entertainment value. If it was the author's intent to make the characters in this book unlikable, he has achieved this quite well. Some heavy issues are fumbled with in parts. Overall, a decent read.
Maris Zirnis
Well, pretty average. Though style of writing I found too simplistic and that was the main problem, also there was no build-up of some sort of drama. Well there was but the build-up was too obvious and predictable. I prefer to read my books not knowing how it will end, but with this one, you pretty quickly knew it!
Ian Evans
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much, as the felt I was actually on the trip as well. Their adventures and areas that they visited were very vivid and I could visualise all what the author saw, although I didn't always agree with his ideologies. Each chapter is short and concise, so managed to finish the book quite quickly.
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Terribly written and mostly all over the place. Some of the Spanish is incorrect, the most unforgivable the consistent incorrect spelling of the 'lost town' El Pueblito. Shocked to see English mistakes printed in an edition released nearly 20 years after the original!
Oli May
Jun 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Without question, the worst travel book I've read. Neither amusing not insightful (even though it thinks it is - rather like talking to a stoned guy at a house party, which is ironically a metaphor that's apt), and in places highly questionable. Avoid. Try Mike Carter.
Jessica Powell
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this - I tend to find travel memoirs pretty boring, but I found this one a real page turner. The short, snappy sections combined with the cutting insights into the socio-political realities of the area worked really well.
Cameron Baker
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Merely OK. Some redeeming passages and parts for sure, but lots of... average.
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Hi, I’m Mark Mann, author of The Stone Gate. I live in the small town of Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast, about an hour north of Sydney, and work as a journalist for a Sydney newspaper. Woy Woy is the inspiration for Baytown in The Stone Gate, a small coastal town surrounded by beautiful national parks and forests (in Australia we call it “bush”). I spend a lot of time bushwalking in these forest ...more
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