Yes, I love reading. Especially about travel (and food, of course). Even when I don’t immediately get immersed in the story of a book I will usually keep reading: To find out if it gets better and sometimes simply to finish it (I’ve come so far, I may as well).
At times I will be completely captivated a few pages on. At other times, upon finishing the book, I will wonder what all those people praising it had found in it that I couldn’t.
Or if they ever read it at all.
7 travel-related books I didn’t enjoy nearly as much as they were hyped
On the Road by Jack Kerouack
“Get your life together” was all I wanted to scream at the main character of this novel. I could not get into the mood for it, I suppose, and let myself get carried along. However, I would like to see the film they recently made of this novel.
Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert
The main character has it all – and gives it up to travel. So far, so good. However, she keeps complaining. No matter what happens to her, she finds fault with it. I gave my copy to a friend and her dog ate it. I wasn’t at all upset about it.
The Glass Palace by Amitav Gosh
Besides the brilliant Shantaram, another one of the books everyone seemed to be reading when I was travelling. Especially in Nepal, copies of it were abundant. I wasn’t captivated.
The God of Small Thingsby Arundhati Roy.
The story of twins growing up in India. Rushdie does it better.
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin
This could have been a case of “wrong time for the right book” because I absolutely loved his “Songlines”. I could not at all relate to the author’s sheer endless musings and descriptions.
Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
Two guys set off for an amazing adventure – with a backup truck (which – in my humble opinion – lessens the “adventure” part of it). Still, they are whining constantly about everything and missing their significant others. Which is nice in a way, except that it’s not since they get to meet along the way anyways.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
THE backpackers’ bible. If you haven’t read it, you have never travelled (or so I was told). I finally got it at a book exchange in Vang Vieng, Laos, by which time I had travelled for the better part of half a year. If you haven’t found out what this book talks about by that time you better take the next flight out and home. I couldn’t find anything revealing or much thought-provoking in this book. Also, I tend to find Coelho’s stories to ramble on endlessly before coming to the point and his style more than slightly self-congratulating (and therefore off-putting).
Which travel-related books did not live up to your expectations?
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