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The Royal Road to Romance: Travelers' Tales Classics

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  497 ratings  ·  63 reviews
When Richard Halliburton graduated from Princeton, he chose adventure over a career, traveling to far away places. This vivid book, one of many he wrote, tells what happened, from a breakthrough Matterhorn ascent to being jailed for taking forbidden pictures on Gibraltar. "One of the most fascinating books of its kind ever written." (In 1939 the swashbuckler was lost at se ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 24th 2000 by Travelers' Tales (first published 1925)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Abby
This is an incredible book that could make the most stable homebody want to store all their junk and take a long trip. When I turned 16 I didn't know what I wanted for my birthday so I asked all of my relatives to give me a copy of of their favorite book from when they were 16- and the only person that delivered was my grandmother who gave me this book. Halliburton inspired in her a love of travel and adventure that never faded- and it's done the same for me. From sneaking back into the Taj Maha ...more
John Alt
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I think of Richard Halliburton, I think of a poem, "The Truly Great," by Stephen Spender. Spender writes of those,

. . . who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they traveled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.

Halliburton traveled a short while toward the sun before his untimely death at 39, and the air was vivid with his life, leaving on earth his books, a testament to his honor. I think of him
...more
Nancy
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Travel a century ago, to experience the Alhambra, Great Pyramid, Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat alone and tourist-free. Romance, indeed. And how very pleasant to have the concomitant white man's privilege that made it possible; fortunately Halliburton's prose while unconscious of his privilege can convey the experience.
Scott
Nov 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1920s, walks
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 ...more
Amber
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I might say 2.5 stars. It was better than just "okay," but I didn't "like" it wholeheartedly, either. A lot of the accounts of what Halliburton did and the places he saw are pretty interesting, though some I had moral objections to, and some chapters weren't that interesting to me. The book is good for gaining a better understanding of the places discussed, as well as the time period (written 1925).

While I appreciate Richard Halliburton's writing and stories in some ways, he isn't my favorite ch
...more
Jeff
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Undoubtedly one of my favorite travel writers / authors ever since I stumbled upon my first Halliburton adventure in a book shop in Norway last summer. We join our intrepid and bold explorer once again as he globe trots from Princeton to Germany, the first stop on yet another "glorious adventure;" and ultimately to the heights of Fujiyama in Japan; and stopping along the way at the most romantic places on earth; albeit romance holds many a meaning as we follow Halliburton on his journey.

"The Ro
...more
Christopher
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it

At first I got a little bored of this book. That's probably why it took me three or four months to read but that is neither here nor there. What is of significance is that I picked it up last week and finished reading the 2'nd half of the book. And I finished it in enjoyment.
My complaint against the beginning of "Royal Road to Romance" was that Halliburton’s lofty speech got to me, in an annoying way. I found his writing to be overdone yet I kept reading because although he can give too many de
...more
Erin O'Connor {If The Review Fits}
A autobiography of my favorite explorer Richard Halliburton. What wonderful stories and experiences!
Carel
Mar 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorites! Halliburton made his living by LIVING and then writing about all his fantastic adventures. He did what I can only dream about. He was a fun character; positive & happy and relays this in his writings. ...more
Scott
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the best travelogues I have read. This book should be standard reading when it comes to the travelogue genre. From breaking into the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra, being arrested in Gibraltar you cant help but be captivated by Haliburton's adventure.
Josh Kienzle
Apr 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to rediscover adventure
This is amazing book about the beauty of adventure. I am a huge traveler and this book inspires that part of me!
Randy
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to me many years ago by my good friend Paul -- a famously prolific reader. I've finally read and enjoyed this 1920s true life adventure tale. My takeaways are ... Adventure and beauty exist all over this planet, and daring curiosity is a good way to find it.
Brad Blakey
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brad by: Ben B.
This guy travelled around the world immediately following his graduation from Princeton, logging over 40,000 miles by ship, train and bicycle, and living only on the money he made along the way publishing his writing. What amazes me is that he accomplished this in the 1920's, prior to the days of a real commercial tourism/travel industry.

I think part of what makes his stories good - or more interesting than the occurances of ordinary tourist - is that he would put himself "in harms way" for the
...more
Melissa
Still an enjoyable book by Halliburton but not my favorite. Some of the stories in here are retold in Halliburton's Book of Marvels but they do not always match. This has lead me to the conclusion that Halliburton embellishes some or maybe all of his stories in order to sell them. I am very disappointed by this conclusion but will still continue to enjoy the poetical prose of his writings in his other books.
Mitch Albom
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love
I read this as a boy, and it is a hard book to find, but Haliburton was a privileged kid who chucked it all in favor of adventure, and to hear it told in his 1930's voice transports you to a time when you had to actually go places to see things.
Tim
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
A classic of adventure travel. You won't realize just how much Halliburton defined the modern adventure traveller. He is the forefather of an industry.
CarlyQ
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this book every year! It reminds me that there is a big world out there to explore and that where there is a will there is a way.
Catdogtamara
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back when I was in high school and it is just as enjoyable now!
Kristin
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
reading with Grace for school
Jimmy Lee
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
When this book was published, racial equality was unknown as even an option, let alone attainable, in many places of the world. And Richard Halliburton was a very young man, filled with the thrill of being young, healthy and able to travel, with no idea of his own mortality or the contribution he could make just by trying to understand humanity in some of the countries he visited.

I had to keep this in mind as, for what seemed like the sixth or seventh time, he found the smell and discomfort of h
...more
Vance
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
Mixed emotions. Being a big travel fan, I had been seeking ANYTHING by Richard Halliburton for more than ten years (only casually) after coming across accolades about his life, adventures and writing. Several years ago I settled on a biography, which left me more intrigued to unearth his actual writing (everything is out of print and ridiculously priced).

Although I admire Halliburton's adventurous spirit and poetical writing style, several things diminished my regard: most notably his self-cente
...more
Bonnie
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
HA! --- What a crazy traveler was Richard Halliburton! Quick read book about his around-the-world route from Princeton, NJ through Switzerland, Greece, Khyber Pass, Bali, Tokyo, Seattle and then after 17 months and many countries not already mentioned, finally home to Tennessee using as little money as possible -- really! Trip taken and book written in 1925. Halliburton died just over a decade later drowning while trying to sail a Chinese junk from Hong Kong to San Francisco. It was fun to count ...more
Sherry Hession
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
The author decides, upon graduating from Princeton, that he wants adventure. He travels the world with very little money. Some of the places and people he meets are way outside the typical tourist experience because he deliberately seeks out the unusual, little seen or known peoples of the world. The author takes terrible risks, like climbing mountains even though all of the experts in the area say it's too late in the season to climb and refuse to act as his guide, and somehow succeeds in his e ...more
Neeta
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The wonderful adventure of Richard Halliburton, a 21 year old Princeton grad who decided to travel the world in the early 1900s and became known for articles and lectures regarding his travels. He embarked with no money but rather stowed away or worked as a seaman on ships to pay his way, traveled third class or snuck onto trains when he was out of money, tricked or dodged border control, and sometimes encountered generous benefactors in the countries he visited and lived like a king for a few w ...more
Sherry
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the last half of the book better than the first. However, All his adventures were interesting and his writing is very good. He took me along in my minds eye especially when he was awed at some of the things he was seeing. He disappointed me when he cheated others because he ran out of money. Those adventures I did not like but his other discriptions made me google many of the places he was seeing. He is a great travel writer and certainly a brave adventurer and lover of life and seeker ...more
Mandy
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I cannot tell you how much I loved this book and how highly I recommend it. It was a genuinely fun read and I had such a hard time putting it down.

The copy that I read was an older version titled "The Romantic World of Richard Halliburton," but appears to be the same book as named above. The second half included tales from his adventure around Italy to retrace the steps of Odysseus in The Odyssey.

I absolutely LOVED this book. It was so well written and immersive. I felt like I was there- I cou
...more
Jeanine Malarsky
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel-adventure
Loved Halliburton's adventures. He was a young, impetuous, well-educated man who put his money where his mouth was. He did what he set out to do, roaming the globe, and wrote of his experiences for us to enjoy. I'm not sure which book I loved more, this one or "Seven League Boots". I read them back in the sixties but keep them in my library hoping others will enjoy them as much as I did.
Michele
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! - highly recommend for anyone with wanderlust!
Benjamin Friday
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Highly readable and very entertaining travelogue. Fun to see the world at that time through his very descriptive dispatches from abroad.
Kim
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was essentially a travel log. It was interesting to learn about the different places, but you kind of felt like the author wrote a literary version of a “selfie.”
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Travelogue from late 1800s early 1900s [s] 5 61 Mar 19, 2014 06:05PM  
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Writer, Lecturer, and World Traveler, Richard Halliburton published numerous books during his short lifetime. During his world travels, he visited exotic locales such as the Taj Mahal in India, climbed the Matterhorn, flew across the Sahara desert in a bi-winged plane, and swam the entire length of the Panama Canal. He also roamed the Mediterranean Sea retracing the route followed by Ulysses in Ho ...more

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