The Tao of Travel

The Tao of Travel

Enlightenments From Lives on the Road

Book - 2011
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Paul Theroux celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe by collecting the best writing on travel from the books that shaped him, as a reader and a traveler. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, The Tao of Travel enumerates "The Contents of Some Travelers' Bags" and exposes "Writers Who Wrote about Places They Never Visited"; tracks extreme journeys in "Travel as an Ordeal" and highlights some of "Travelers' Favorite Places." Excerpts from the best of Theroux's own work are interspersed with selections from travelers both familiar and unexpected:nbsp;

Vladimir Nabokovnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; J.R.R. Tolkiennbsp;
Samuel Johnsonnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Eudora Welty
Evelyn Waughnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Isak Dinesennbsp;
Charles Dickensnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; James Baldwinnbsp;
Henry David Thoreaunbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Pico Iyernbsp;
Mark Twainnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Anton Chekhovnbsp;
Bruce Chatwinnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; John McPhee
Freya Starknbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Peter Matthiessennbsp;
Graham Greenenbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Ernest Hemingway

nbsp; The Tao of Travel is a unique tribute to the pleasures and pains of travel in its golden age.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2011
ISBN: 9780547336916
Branch Call Number: Travel 910.4 The


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Jan 23, 2014

A good collection with lots of historical, practical and literary information.

Jul 16, 2012

This is a wide ranging and fascinating collection of travel writing, a sort of anthropology of the traveller's life, drawn from a variety of sources ranging from Theroux’s own books as well others who have written about travel over the past 1000 years including Marco Polo, Mary Kingsley, Freya Stark, Bruce Chatwin, Pico Iyer, and Mark Twain.

A beautifully designed book with thick, creamy pages, it's organized by themes such as "Evocative Name, Disappointing Place" (now I no longer need to be disappointed for not making it to Alexandria), “Travel as an Ordeal", "Fears, Neuroses and Other Conditions" and even "Imaginary Journeys".

This is one of those books that had me stopping to copy quotations into my journal and following people around saying "let me just read you this one part."

Highly recommended for those who enjoy armchair travel or reliving the experience of past voyages.

Sep 07, 2011

I have always been a little exasperated by Theroux's grumpiness in some of his travel writing. He makes me want to say "why don't you let me get on the train in that exotic place? and you go home!" This book shows a more thoughtful, more patient Theroux -- in his travel advice, and especially his manifesto about what constitutes "good travelling". Theroux also includes excerpts from books by a variety of writers - e.g., Greene and Hemingway. This is a book of snippets -- his own writing and others'- about journeys and the very nature of travel. Well worth reading if you sometimes wonder if travel is just another form of consumerism.

debwalker Jul 31, 2011

"The book’s most persistent and compelling themes are that we should travel light, travel simply, travel slowly – travel “mindfully,” as the Taoists say. If possible, Theroux says, we should travel on trains, “where anything is possible: a great meal, a binge … an intrigue … strangers’ monologues framed like Russian short stories.”

We should, we are informed, travel without companions: “The whole point of travelling,” Theroux writes, “is to arrive alone, like a spectre, in a strange country at nightfall, not in the brightly lit capital but by the back door, in the wooded countryside, hundreds of miles from the metropolis. … Arriving in the hinterland with only the vaguest plans is a liberating event. It can be a solemn occasion for discovery, or more like an irresponsible and random haunting of another planet.”

Charles Wilkins
Globe and Mail


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