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Backpack [Paperback]

Emily Barr
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2001
Tansy has to escape from her London life. She's desperate to get away from her media job, her coke habit, her dead mother and her selfish boyfriend. But she finds travelling through Asia more smelly than romantic and, besides, she's missing her boyfriend. However, she is determined not to give in, give up or go home. As she travels further east she begins to enjoy her journey - until murder starts to follow her and the trip becomes much more adventurous than she had anticipated.

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Backpack + The Life You Want + Stranded
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; 1st Paperback Edition edition (1 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074726676X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747266761
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emily Barr is the well-loved and bestselling author of BACKPACK, the original backpacking novel, and many other highly acclaimed novels. A former journalist, she has travelled around the world and written columns and travel pieces for the Observer and the Guardian. After living in France, Emily and her husband (whom she met backpacking) have settled in Cornwall with their three children. For more information on Emily Barr visit her website www.emilybarr.com.

Product Description

Amazon Review

It's New Year's Day and the year isn't kicking off well for Tansy: her mother's dead, she's a cocaine addict and her boyfriend has just left her. A trip around the world seems like the only option except that she's not interested in seeing the world, just escaping from it, and the last people she wants to hang out with are backpackers.

Like a lot of travellers on the Lonely-Planet-led Asian Grand Tour, Tansy is intensely irritating at first. Always on the look out for the "real" Vietnam--the one in which she can walk around "like a model, fanning myself gently, strolling into ancient temples and learning about inner peace"--she is opinionated, narrow-minded and remarkably naive (for a supposed media luvvy). Once she has shrugged off her addiction to lines of coke, skinny lattes and Nicole Fahri jumpers, she becomes more appealing. So by the time she's fallen for Max, a fellow traveller, she'll have won you over and you'll be just as worried as she is about the serial killer who appears to be on her trail.

Emily Barr is a former Westminster researcher who now writes for the Guardian and the Observer. Backpack is her first novel and, like Tansy, takes a while to find itself. City-girl pretensions jostle with shoestring-style travelogue and it is only when it hits full-throttle thriller mode that Barr's strength as a novelist becomes apparent. Be prepared for echoes of The Beach--hardly surprising given that Barr was an extra in the film. Also be prepared to get itchy feet--if nothing else, you'll be tempted to reach for that backpack and slap on the insect repellent.--Jane Honey

Review

'Barr's debut comes as a blast of fresh air' Sunday Express --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and intelligent, I loved it 13 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
What struck me most about Backpack was how intelligent it was whilst being so entertaining, this book has a strong voice and makes you really identify with Tansy (despite how brilliantly screwed-up she is at the beginning of the book - very funny indeed). I know several people who have read it after or while they were travelling, who loved the travel aspects of it. It's not just travelogue, though, it's a page turningly good plot, with enough of an intelligent viewpoint on travellers, politics and human relationships to make it way more thought-provoking than the chick-lit style of the cover would have you believe.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have no idea why I picked this up. Maybe it was the sticker offering a round world ticket from Bridge the World, maybe it was the title. It certainly wasn't the jacket which was atrocious and did no justice to the intelligent writing of Emily Barr. I loved it. Like many of the other reviewers I have also been travelling but you tend to forget your first impressions of countries. I found it refreshing to read a description of Vietnam which evoked the other side of the country. Yes it is amazing to look out of train windows and see paddy fields and workers in conical hats but you are also driven insane by the cacophony of scooter horns and nothing evokes travelling for me more than the smell of drains and rotting vegetables! I would have been happy with a book revolving around her development as a person, I thought the sub plot of murders was intriguing but it didn't need to all tie up so neatly at the end. I get the feeling Emily Barr felt she ought to do that for the book to be a novel rather than a travelogue and to be honest I prefer the latter. Tansy was a refreshing change to the angst ridden Bridget Jones heroine, she reminded me of Katya in What Katya Did Next...published a few years ago and resulting from a column in the Melbourne Age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars will give you wanderlust 9 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Fantastic book, clever and well written. i do have to agree the end was somewhat sickly sweet but don't we all love happy endings?! Laugh out loud funny in places but very very gripping throughout. i read it from start to finish in 5 hours!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of my favourite books now! 22 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Once I started reading this book, I just couldn't stop. It was THAT good! I just had to keep reading to find out what happened! At first, Tansy was a real cow, especially when she was at her mum's funeral and in the plane on the way to Asia. But through the course of the book, she grows as a person, especially when she has to choose between her old boyfriend and her new lover. The other thing that made me want to read to the end was the murders. It was obvious that it had to all come back to Tansy, but I only worked out who the murderer actually was about ten pages before she found out. It still came as a bit of a shock though! Anyway, I reckon everyone should read this book, but what else I have to say is it makes you feel really bored at home. I'm dying to just go away and travel the world now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 11 Mar 2012
By KS
Format:Kindle Edition
Love it! Well written, excellent plot and hilariously funny in places. Just re-read it (having run out of books whilst on holiday) and enjoyed just as much the second time round! I love all Emily Barr books however consider this the best by a long way. Highly recommended for the perfect summer read :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By flossy9
Format:Paperback
The gritty, realistic themes that run through others of Emily Barr's books are also there in 'Backpack'. She creates a main character who you can really get a sense and 'whole picture' of, who - as other reviewers have said - becomes softer and more likeable as the book goes on. I also agree (with some others) that the murder storyline is less important than that of Tansy's own personal journey and transformation. I have read 'The Life You Want' and 'Plan B' by Emily Barr and, if you're looking for a good first book, 'The Life You Want' is unputdownable and fantastic. My bugbear with books such as this one are the awful covers, that make them look trashy - the cover of 'Backpack' does not give an accurate impression of what a great writer Barr is or of the content of the actual book. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good interesting read! 6 April 2010
Format:Paperback
This is the first Emily Barr book I've read, so it took me a little while to get used to her style. It starts of jittery and jumpy, so isn't very easy to follow. But I think this is indicative of the character's mind and personality. It gets a easier to read. The characters grow and have many interesting dimensions.

The characters are realistic, they're interesting and there is an aray of personalities. It's very insightful to a living with an Alcoholic. This to be a very good and authentic description of what it's like having/living with a dysfunctional mother without getting too heavy about it. I guess some people will understand this aspect, if they don't it may be a little lost/weird for them.

The book reads very authentically and is very believable and you can really get into it (if you can bare with the jittery writing style!).

Love the characters. Love the description of emotions. Love the setting. The very articulate thoughts and descriptions. It's not only about romantic relationships, it's about 'travelling', about globalisation, culture, attitudes, family relations. It intelligently covers many topics, if only briefly on some.

Good fun read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!
I started my Emily Barr journey with a more recent book, so have started again from the beginning! Highly recommended
Published 11 days ago by freddie
3.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant main character
That's the problem really. It's difficult to warm to Tansy. When that happens the flow of the story is broken every time she is the main player in the chapter. So a tough read.
Published 3 months ago by Donald R. Sleigh
3.0 out of 5 stars Good travel writing but lacking in story & plot
I found this book quite a good read. The author portrays a good picture of the different places and people Tansy visits on her travels. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Emily Puffin
4.0 out of 5 stars book
I cant put this book down and havent finished it yet. What does bug me though is that when Tansy says the dutch girls have gone on to Thailand. Read more
Published 7 months ago by a leonard
4.0 out of 5 stars Visit various locations with Tansy - Thailand, Lao, Vietnam, China...
"Sometimes travelling alone can be murder".... Backpack by Emily Barr opens with Tansy burying her Mother, the end of a lifetime of care that frees her up to leave her job and go... Read more
Published 11 months ago by TripFiction
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time favourite
Easily one of my all times favourite books, a great story about the raw feelings of a recently bereaved angry girl coming of age while backpacking in Thailand. Read more
Published 12 months ago by ChristophFischerBooks
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking Kindle edition
Great first story spoilt by yet more bad editing for the Kindle Edition...wake up Amazon if you want to charge near paperback prices!! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Richmond designer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good... but not great
This is a decent read. Keeps you entertained but I found the main character hard to like. The plot was quite far fetched and the characters frustrating but I can't say I didn't... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Miss_d
5.0 out of 5 stars Good summer read
I was reading the book while being on trip in South-Asia and it kind of fit the atmosphere I experienced. Read more
Published 21 months ago by dominika
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining especially if you've backpacked.
Having left England in 2008 feeling disillusioned and narked off with the UK I can identify with Tansy and the scene at the airport when she barely makes her flight raised giggles,... Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2011 by Richard Mann
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