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BOOK REVIEW Literary Trips, Volume 2

Editor: Victoria Brooks
Publisher: GreatestEscapes.com Publishing
Rating: *****

Sitting on my sun-drenched Canadian deck this summer, I shivered as I followed Tolstoy through the chilly Volga Steppes, sweated as I waded through Graham Greene's steamy Vietnam, then shuddered as I peered through the fog in Charles Dickens' eerie London. Finally, I relaxed on a breezy hilltop in Robert Louis Stevenson's Hawaii.

Literary Trips 2So well does Literary Trips 2 transport the reader into the spaces of 22 famous writers that it's easy to feel the air, hear the streets, taste the food and smell the waterfronts in faraway places without ever leaving that deck chair.

The writers of this tome's round-the-globe travel snapshots have captured the essence of each literary figure in a few short pages. This is no small feat, given the complexity of their subjects' worlds, genius, talent and sometimes eccentricities. Weaving together old and new, the writers have reached deep into literary souls to draw out the passions and purpose of those famous spirits. They have found uncommon places comprising extraordinary spaces. They have unearthed antique possessions and imbued them with life and personality. And they have added charm and zest to history and travel.

These modern storytellers have also dug up amusing anecdotes:

  • Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda (subject of the Oscar-winning 1994 film, Il Postino), loved the sea but was afraid of the water. His last home, built to resemble a ship, contains vast collections of sea paraphernalia from seashells to ships' bells.
  • Anna Leonowens (of The King and I fame) wrote books about her life as teacher and governess to the King of Siam (Thailand) and his family that made her world-famous. But her work is banned in Thailand because she demeaned the monarch.
  • Maeve Binchy and her husband love to lunch in the pub next door to their house in Ireland. Binchy started her career as a travel writer and journalist with the Irish Times, for which she still writes a Saturday advice column.

Fitting travel companions to the romantic stories are the practical Writers' Trails, which map out how today's travelers can follow in those famous footsteps. The 'Literary Sleeps' section in each snapshot lists a range of places to stay; 'Literary Sites' is a tour guide for famous spots; and 'In a Literary Mood' lists each author's works and local guidebooks.

Introduced by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Christopher Ondaatje, punctuated by black-and-white photos and illustrations and written by talented travel scribes, Literary Trips 2 opens doors not only to the imagination, but also to the private universes of famous literary figures. A trip worth taking.


Delight and impress your literary friends with a gift of the highly acclaimed Literary Trips: Following in the Footsteps of Fame. The Chicago Tribune deemed this armchair traveler's read "irresistible." Gift a combo, or choose from the riveting original volume or the newly released Literary Trips 2. Both volumes will take you vicariously around the world with literary greats from the safety of your armchair. Or, use the additional guidebook info tucked at the end to follow in the footsteps of the famous to the near and far corners of the world. If a gift, Literary Trips will be mailed wrapped in ribbon and signed by editor Victoria Brooks. The gift will include a beautiful bookmark and an original illustrated greeting card with memorable words by the late literary lion Paul Bowles. From Sir Arthur C. Clarke's war torn Sri Lanka to Steinbeck's California and more, you and your reading friends will be thrilled.

Go to www.LiteraryTrips.com for more details.