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The Gringo Trail: A Darkly Comic Road Trip Through South America [Kindle Edition]

Mark Mann
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Product Description


'... not for the faint hearted... an uncompromising account of
drugs on the road... a tumultuous trip through... South America'
-- St Christopher's Inn youth hostel website

'An entertaining and informative read.' -- Cambrian News, March 27 2008

It's a terrifically raw account, refusing to glamourise the trip... [captures] the essence of backpacking so perfectly. -- Andrew Lawless, Three Monkeys Online

St Christopher's Inn youth hostel website

'... not for the faint hearted... an uncompromising account of
drugs on the road... a tumultuous trip through... South America'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 511 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B001PBJ7RU
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers Ltd; 3 edition (27 Aug. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00413QMTU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,694 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a let down. 2 Nov. 2010
After reading the rave reviews, I had high hopes - especially as I have previously spent time in South America. I felt sure it would be gripping. However, I found the book to be weird, and wondered why the characters were trekking around hostels and taking drugs as they neared their 30s. Didn't have the care free tone a book about travelling and all the experiences that come with travelling around S.American should have (in my mind) because, as a reader, I couldn't help wondering why the characters were so aimless and immature. It seemed sad.

The writing style was not one that drew me in and, although the book picked up near the end when interesting events unfurled, I wouldn't read it again. The female character wasn't fleshed out much and I found I didn't really care what happened to the three protagonists. The fact there was very little dialogue didn't help. A big disappointment sadly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars :) 8 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
Although I've only recently become interested in travel literature, in comparison to some other novels in the genre I've read I wouldn't call this a 'must read'.
Basically, I wasn't really sure about the books purpose - was it trying to give a true insight into South America, past and present, or just tell us something about the Lonely Planet generation? Both, I suspect, but the outcome isn't entirely convincing. I have to admit, bits were dead funny and I liked Mark Mann's kinda offbeat style of writing, but by the end I couldn't help getting annoyed with these politically correct, middle-class gringos. However, I would still recommend the book for a couple of hours of escapism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick, entertaining read 13 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With an interest in travelling to South America in the coming years, I was looking for a book that was quick to read, light-hearted and would give me a first hand account of some of tourist trail without the over-describing quality of a Tolkien novel. This book was just that. It did feel a bit rushed in places but I think that it gives a good account of the trip of a lifetime, which I genuinely could not stop reading.

There's a good blend of the party-scene and the calls of nature, which gives the reader an overall feel of what the region is like. Its not the best written book. The style can be a rushed in places and its filled with quite brief and random historical facts, which could have been expanded on a bit more. Often scenes will end quite abruptly, leaving me craving for a bit more action. I also found that it dragged quite a bit towards the end, with the writer somewhat unwilling to move on from the beach life at Arrecife.

Overall, the book serves its purpose: providing a brief description of events taking place during a wild trip, without being too serious.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easily readable. 4 Jun. 2001
The Gringo Trail, or should the title be "The Gringo Trip" as Mark Mann relays his various drug induced trip(s) around South America? Trips also of emotional discovery with his developing close friendship with Melissa... The disturbing tension felt between the author and Mark are co-ordinated with the comical search for the buried dope. As the pages turn by and they become more at ease, Mark's images of the locations, its people and history produced a very readable book. It served more as a memory-jogger, than as a guide. I questioned the real aim of the travellers. Was it an attempt to escape conformity of England by going to South America, or, to produce a first-hand account and directory of the effects of the drugs available? Although I enjoyed the book, it is very easy to read and the vocabulary flowed, I can't help wondering whether the book would have been written had the [...] events at Arrecifies not occurred.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Unlike other travelogues I have read, this one has a very punchy story. Not a book for the faint hearted, but I suppose South American backpacking never is. The characters (Mark No.2 and Melissa)are seriously "larger then life" although Mann himself is the mundane comparison with which most of us would associate. Mann is a talented story-teller, who has researched the South American history well, He approaches it from a somewhat cynical, anti-capitalist perspective, which would not be everyone's cup of tea. But regardless of your politics, the story reaches out and grabs you by the throat. A great big rollercoaster of geographical, and self exploration (mostly drug enhanced) that spirals towards an all too real,nightmare conclusion. I fought with my wife over whose turn it was to read the book, and she had nightmares afterwards. There must be safer ways to explore South America, but they wouldn't make quite so compulsive a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read but don't pay Amazon price for it! 2 Jan. 2013
I picked this book up on a whim from a local discount book store. Having spent a small amount of time in South America I thought it would be fun to read, and as I want to travel the continent more extensively I thought I might find some inspiration. Mark Mann writes very informatively, and "chunks" the book into short, concise sections which makes this ideal for the casual reader (it's also good for the more hardened, "sit down and finish it in a day" kind of person like my sister as it gives her regular snack breaks). The descriptions are fantastic, the prose flows and the added educational aspects are well woven into the story. I enjoyed accompanying Mark and his friends through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Columbia. I laughed along with them when they experienced setbacks on the road, linguistic challenges in the cafes and overstuffed hostels. But I rate them as acquaintances, not friends, so I didn't really care when things went wrong for them. Even so, I would recommend this book as a travelling companion or as a bit of escapism when you're stuck at home, dreaming of adventures. Just don't go looking for luxury inside!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 21 days ago by Rebecca Marsh
1.0 out of 5 stars The 'book' received was a 'sampler' which I found out ...
The 'book' received was a 'sampler' which I found out is a quarter of the actual book so not as described
Published 1 month ago by David Watkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A well written book and great for ideas for places to visit, Arrecifes sounds like paradise.
Published 2 months ago by Mr Christopher Pinkstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by richard griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a witty and exciting journey
Published 4 months ago by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived quickly and in perfect condition. Finished with in a week - hilarious.
Published 5 months ago by alex mcaulay
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Story!
Great read!!
Published 5 months ago by Mingus Johnston
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
Easy entertaining read. Nothing demanding but keeps you page turning. Recommended for lazy days needing to be filled. Some interesting facts of south American history.
Published 10 months ago by Natasha Tuffley
4.0 out of 5 stars informative, charming and intreging
after travelling south America myself, I've turned to travel books to help me relive the incredible country, this book succeeded in doing this well, characters talked about that I... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Daizy Barker
3.0 out of 5 stars Didnt 'grab' me
The book is ok but doesn't grab me. Not as exciting as I thought it would be. Found it hard to finish and took me at least half the book to get into it.
Published 11 months ago by Missy_W
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