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Travels with Herodotus Paperback – 1 May 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141021144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141021140
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Luminous. . . . Like Herodotus, Ryszard Kapuscinski was a reporter, a historian, an adventurer and, truly, an artist." --"The Wall Street Journal""Enchanting. . . . Underneath its shimmering prose beats the unquiet heart of a fundamentally decent man and an uncommonly gifted observer. . . . It has a startling clarity and power." --"The New Republic""A work of art: so eloquent, so simple, that you find yourself marveling at its prose....a travel book that all students of writing and of literature ought to read." --"The Washington Post Book World"

About the Author

Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in Poland in 1932. As a foreign correspondent for PAP, the Polish news agency, until 1981 he was an eyewitness to revolutions and civil wars in Africa, Asia and Latin America. His books include The Shadow of the Sun, The Emperor, Shah of Shahs and Another Day of Life, all of which are published by Penguin. He has won dozens of major literary prizes all over the world, and was recently made 'journalist of the century' in Poland. He died in January 2007.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Sally Wilton VINE VOICE on 13 July 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ryszard Kapinscinski was made Poland's journalist of the century in 1999 and judging by his writing must have been truly deserved. He wrote thrillingly of his travels as a foreign correspondant in the worlds toughest countries. Sadly 'Travels' is his final book due to his death in January this year.

Having recently read Shadow of the Sun I was eager to seek out more of his writing and was therefore delighted that this publication from 2004 has been translated. It does not disappoint.

This non fiction book covers three areas. His youth in post war Poland, his travels as a reporter for PAP in the 50s and early 60s and through out the book it is bulked up by his musings on the travels of the 3rd Century BC Greek Herodotus. All of this make fascinating and gripping reading.

RK always writes with humility and understanding of the hardship and bleak poverty he encounters. His empathy clearly stems from his childhood in Poland and he relates a moving story about himself at 10 years old with no shoes trying to fund a new pair for the cold winter by selling green home made soap door to door with very little luck. His stoicism in these harsh circumstances must have helped to give him his unique and intrepid personality. He goes forth with a sort of naive bravado setting foot in countries where there is civil war, disease and unbearable climate and in the begining at least unable to speak any language but Polish and Russian.

The stories of Herodotus are interspersed thorughout and are not always obviously relevant. Nevertheless it has made me want to read more about the Greek and I will be seeking a copy soon.

RK has perfected a simplicity of writing which is always interesting.
Read more ›
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By S. K. Lewicki on 28 Jun 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have read any other of his travel books, this one is different. It's almost as if he knew it would be his last, and in it he reflects on his travels, and the reasons people travel, in a developing dialogue with a writer who could be described as the world's first travel writer, Herodotus. What comes through the book very strongly is Kapuscinski's humanity, and his genuine curiosity about the places and the people he comes across - and this aspect does link with all his other writing. There is clearly a serious level of allegory in what he writes, as one might expect from a writer who developed and wrote under the shadow of Eastern European regimes. It's worth the reading and thinking time - and he has made me want to go off and read Herodotus for myself. In a world which is riven with strife and warfare, his plea for openness to the other and curiosity about that which is different, rather than the rejection and destruction of it, is his most important message for me.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Herr Doktor on 13 Aug 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an unusual book, a memoir of an extraordinary life on the cusp of world events, interwoven with the fabric of Herodotus's Histories, a book given to the author early in his journalistic career. Kapuscinski has provided some of the most perceptive observations on the history of the second half of the 20th century and this beautifully written document provides us with an insight into his development from a young naive reporter in Poland to the alert instinctive scribe of his international reporting career. It seems that Herodotus, his constant companion, played a formative role in this progression. Herodotus's Histories are written in an intriguing style in which many interleaving strands come to their natural conclusions at the end of each section and in which no seemingly insignificant detail is too slight to mention. Kapuscinski in some ways follows this stylistic approach with what appear frequently to be digressions from the main text demonstrating their profundity as you conclude the chapter. The descriptions of ordinary and extraordinary events in Kapuscinski's life, Louis Armstrongs's concert in Khartoum, being fleeced by a secret policeman in Cairo and his arrival at the epicentre of a coup in Algiers reflect the humanity of the writer at the centre of frequently appaling events. However, the perspective of Herodotus in placing man's inhumanity in context is never far away from the centre of the narrative. Several themes predominate in his musings on the Histories. Firstly, the inability of great leaders to take good advice as frequently reflected in adverse decisions made by Persian emporors Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes in their attempts at world domination.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sally Wilton VINE VOICE on 6 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ryszard Kapinscinski was made Poland's journalist of the century in 1999 and judging by his writing must have been truly deserved. He wrote thrillingly of his travels as a foreign correspondant in the worlds toughest countries. Sadly 'Travels' is his final book due to his death in January this year.

Having recently read Shadow of the Sun I was eager to seek out more of his writing and was therefore delighted that this publication from 2004 has been translated. It does not disappoint.

This non fiction book covers three areas. His youth in post war Poland, his travels as a reporter for PAP in the 50s and early 60s and through out the book it is bulked up by his musings on the travels of the 3rd Century BC Greek Herodotus. All of this make fascinating and gripping reading.

RK always writes with humility and understanding of the hardship and bleak poverty he encounters. His empathy clearly stems from his childhood in Poland and he relates a moving story about himself at 10 years old with no shoes trying to fund a new pair for the cold winter by selling green home made soap door to door with very little luck. His stoicism in these harsh circumstances must have helped to give him his unique and intrepid personality. He goes forth with a sort of naive bravado setting foot in countries where there is civil war, disease and unbearable climate and in the begining at least unable to speak any language but Polish and Russian.

The stories of Herodotus are interspersed thorughout and are not always obviously relevant. Nevertheless it has made me want to read more about the Greek and I will be seeking a copy soon.

RK has perfected a simplicity of writing which is always interesting. He give the reader gold nuggets of information and insights into other worlds.
Read more ›
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