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An Innocent Abroad: Life-changing Trips from 35 Great Writers

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  605 ratings  ·  79 reviews

More than 20 well-known writers and celebrities share the travel experiences that shaped their personalities and changed their lives. Contributors include Dave Eggers, Richard Ford, Pico Iyer, John Berendt, Alexander McCall Smith and Jane Smiley.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to

Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by Lonely Planet
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Kat (Lost in Neverland)

This isn't a book you can read in one sitting. Several times, in fact, I had to read something else in order to be able to come back to this one and be genuinely interested.

The stories in the beginning, especially, have no rhyme or reason. Some made me think "Why?" at the author's choice of their travel story. For instance, Ann Patchett writes about a girl in France with a fake tattoo. She goes on in detail about this girl and her tattoo and, as we're waiting for a deeper conclusion, she then
Our most cherished travel memories often transpire off to the side of our itinerary. The tales in this collection celebrate pivotal moments that put the writer on the spot, not anywhere you might be inclined to go.
Errol Mortland
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you read, and you travel, then here you go. I actually love fast & furious tours of different writing styles,
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was just the book I needed. I think it would make a great single-day read but you will probably want go slow and savor it instead. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me feel.
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-tales
Like an anthology of Poems, this is a collection of travel stories from writers who have both experienced both miracles and mayhem in their sojourns. Travelling in itself is a very soulful experience made more so by the amazing penmanship of the authors of these tales.
David Baldacci experiences a different kind of homecoming while Stanley Stewart experiences life in full circle at Rome. Some stories resonate more than others but that's primarily cause I have not had the experience in my
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
These travel stories written by 35 different writers will probably be most appreciated if you are a travel bug. As in most fiction short story collections, this non-fiction group is difficult to star value. It was for me. Some stories are 5's and some are 1's. Some are centered on travel reactions and circumstance. Others are structured mainly and basically to impart a personal philosophy or politico supported or demonstrated in their travel. But just taking the value of the experiences ...more
Pamela Barrett
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read An Innocent Abroad the week I was home sick and couldnt digest anything more taxing than a few short stories at a time; it was just what the doctor ordered, and by the time I finished reading this book I was back on my feet, refreshed in my mind and wanting to travel. These 35 stories that changed each author, brought back memories of when I was an innocent broad, okay I know thats not the title couldnt resist the joke. Still the memory of my own life changing journey, at 22, with a man I ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recollections by top travel writers of trips that changed them early on in their writing careers make a pleasant read. Tim Cahill remains my favorite of the travel writing darlings of our day. He always imparts good information while making me smile. No slacker, Pico Iyer can be counted on for an informed story with a literary flare. Larry Haebeggers Face Youll Never Forget is a model of the crisply written travel story and why not, he is the publisher of the esteemed Travelers Tales. Tony ...more
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Needs more stories about travel.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I began, I'm not sure what I was expecting. What I found was an interesting compilation of styles and topics on travel to places I now want to go and explore.
Short stories about traveling; some were self-indulgent and not that interesting. Skimmed many.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good for a subway read when you forget the book you actually are reading. Gives a bit of wanderlust!
Alys Penfold
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this anthology allowed some interpretation, so there was a real mix of stories in here.

The ones I felt were done best were the ones that focussed on a specific moment or instance. I felt that some of the writers in here were far too self-indulgent and unfortunately theirs didn't quite stack up to the others. But you take the good with the bad!

I felt it started off with a strong story, got a bit shit for the few stories and then picked up and dropped back down within the book.

This collection of travel essays encompasses a broad spectrum of experiences. Some are stories of traveling abroad for the very first time. Others are tales of people who have traveled many times in the past but who have come upon a unique experience that made them grow. This is a great read for lovers of travelogues and anyone who wishes to dip their toes into the world of travel essays.
Keri Franklin
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book as I began a trip to Costa Rica. Most of the stories are excellent. A few less so, but I enjoyed reading this as I traveled. It helped me thinking of my own writing notes in a new waymaybe Im a travel writer but I had thought these stories were for myself. I would recommend this book. ...more
Kate Arrowsmith
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stories were a 3, some a 5; so I split the difference and gave it an overall 4.

The book made the world and our shared humanity feel accessible. Plus it was full of heartwarming & funny moments. Fab read!
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Travel essays that made me want to learn more about some of the destinations and perhaps travel there, but also encouraged my interest in a number of the writers. I am looking forward to following up on both.
Megan Penner
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm typically not a fan of books of short stories but in this case I loved it. Some of the stories I didn't connect with and other I felt so incredibly connected with. Overall, it was great to read these differing takes on being an 'innocent abroad', as I certainly have my own perspective.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun collection of travel stories. Gave me the travel bug.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Pretty good collection, but wish it wasn't quite so Eurocentric. There's no China or Japan, little India, very little South America (although a decent amount of Central America)
Barbara M
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed these short stories written by 35 great writers about their most memorable travel experiences.

I especially enjoyed the story by David Balducci. It was one of my favorites!
Katherine Thomas
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent collection of stories, some very inspiring. Good to read on a trip.
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several good stories that stood out and also a few weird ones. Many had a clear message, while others I thought were a bit random. But I think that's the point - the stories are diverse and each reader is going to have different favorites. My personal favorite was Colleen Kinder's in Mexico and about "to wonder."
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a compilation of travel stories by authors, some of whose names I recognized. Some of the stories were more interesting than others, for me most of them were in the second half of the book (honestly I struggled with some of the beginning stories; the better ones come later). Some of the ones I enjoyed more than others were: Voice Lessons (a teenage girl is encouraged to find God and call others to him at a youth retreat she desperately wanted to go to because it was led by ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Lonely Planet's An Innocent Abroad contains the individual tales of 35 authors and their trips across the world as young (and sometimes, not as young) adults. The stories all have the same sort of central theme - innocence turning into knowledge and experience. As is the case with any anthology, I really resonated with some stories and found myself bored (or, in one case, offended) by others. Some of the authors, I enjoyed because I felt like, having read their works, I knew them (Cheryl ...more
Tom Romig
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thirty-five writers provide short pieces (4-12 pages) on trips that--even when they didn't actually change their lives as the subtitle suggests--were memorable. As you'd expect in such an anthology, the contributions are uneven, which is not at all to say this isn't a satisfying read.

Of the 35, I highlighted 14 that were especially engaging, usually for both the excellence of the writing and the experiences written about. For me, three in particular are notable for excellent writing and
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating stories of travels and tribulations. The theme of these narratives is how one loses a type of innocence when they travel and what that loss reveals. There are many "big name" writers featured, but I would recommend this book for the other writers-- the ones who are not as familiar. Their stories seemed to be more sincere, as if they really wanted to convey the import of the moment to you. The big names seemed more polished, stylized, and distant. But one thing is for certain: you ...more
Bill Glose
Aug 10, 2015 rated it liked it
35 noted authors share personal stories of ventures into unfamiliar situations in foreign lands. While their excursions are as often misadventures as adventures, the lessons gained from all of them are impactful. David Baldacci discourses on the importance of family during a vacation to the town of his forebears in Italy; Mary Karr tells how she came to love the jungle; and Dave Eggers tells of unintended (and non-sexual) encounters with prostitution in Asia and Africa. An Innocent Abroad is a ...more
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was the perfect book to read while travelling abroad, especially on the 10-hour shuttle ride we took from Antigua, Guatemala to Semuc Champey. Suffering from food poisoning and inhaling diesel fumes, these stories showed me that any average human being can survive just about anything. Being a freelance writer, I thought these stories were funny, well-written, and provided some much needed inspiration.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Happy to stumble upon a non-famous, unheard of book and truly liking it.

It is a collection of life-changing trips undertaken by 35 writers including Cheryl Strayed, David Baldacci, Alexander McCall Smith, Pico Iyer and some travel writers. This book tempts you to pack your bag and set off. So many places I hadnt heard of anywhere like Andorra(county betweeen Spain & France), Barga(a town in Italy), Swaziland( a country in Africa) and so on..

This book is available on KU.
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