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Unpacked: An Anthology of Lonely Planet Disaster Stories (Lonely Planet Journeys) [Paperback]

Tony Wheeler , et al
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1999 Lonely Planet Journeys
Every traveler has a horror story to tell: lost luggage, bad weather, illness or worse. In this lively collection of travel disaster tales, Lonely Planet writers share their worst moments of life on the road.
From Kenya to Sri Lanka, from Brazil to Finland, from the Australian outback to India, these travelers encounter hurricanes, road accidents, secret police and nasty parasites. Reading these funny and frightening stories from the dark side of the road will make you think twice about a career as a travel writer!

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; No Earlier Edition Stated edition (1 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186450062X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864500622
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,082,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Lonely Planet have a reputation for savvy writers--travellers who get the real story on the places they visit, who don't take payments from hotel bosses and travel bureaux, who go to superhuman lengths to find the authentic experience. But even they occasionally get lost, ill or simply stopped in their tracks. Drawing on the wealth of these writers, Lonely Planet Unpacked is a collection of real-life travellers' tales from hell.

Lonely Planet writers travel further and faster than most and they don't give up when the going gets tough. In "Three spies in a diamond tub" Suzanne Possehl is trailed then arrested in Mirny, a remote Siberian city. Andrew Draffen agrees to undergo a grim local cure to remove a parasite in Rio. Admirably, the contributors rarely complain, instead turning sour experience into illuminating prose.

Most interesting is the glimpse these tales offer into the life of the Lonely Planet travel writer. Alone in Vietnam, Daniel Robinson is less concerned for his own safety than for the safety of his voluminous notes for the first edition of a travel guide, which represented "many weeks of 16-hour days." Pat Yale writes about physical and emotional pain of fleeting love on the road. If you crave the glamour of the travel writer's life, think again. --Tamsin Todd

Review

that inescapable sense that the world contains possibilities you can never anticipate, magic and mysteries you'll never understand' -- Salon.com

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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I thought this would be an excellent read based on the premise that the travel writers had their fair share of adventures and good experience writing up their stories. Sadly the stories had huge potential but nearly all the stories lacked a good finish. While the tales were short they were not very engaging and failed to finish with sharpness or surprises. I have read several books by Greg Child who specialises in Mountaineering stories and for me, he epitomises what excellent short (adventure) story writing is all about.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly mundane 27 May 2012
Format:Paperback
As the other reviewers have noted, this is really boring. Here's the synopsises of 3 of the stories...

A woman and her friends are travelling the Australian outback, the car breaks down on a quiet road with no one around, they are forced to spend a single night sleeping in the car, the following morning someone drives past and picks them up.

A man is pick-pocketed, he fears that his wallet has been stolen but then it turns out that it wasn't his wallet that was taken after all.

A disabled man books a hotel in Italy and the doors to his bedroom aren't big enough for his wheelchair to pass through.

Thrilling!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not the best 14 Mar 2002
Format:Paperback
When I saw this book, it was next to a 'lonely planet unpacked two'. Thinking that if they had a sequel, then it can't be that bad, I made the purchase. Alas, I was disappointed.
Some of the stories range from a guy in a wheelchair who can't get in the door of a house in Italy to a guy who puts cambodian whiskey into his motorbike after he runs out of petrol.
Much amusement. Not.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing 22 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Despite the promising title and concept the book is very dissapointing, bland and boring. It is hard to believe that Lonely Planet authors did not have more engaging stories to tell. I think Lonely Planet has lost its edge trying to be all things to all travellers. I mean who needs $300 a night hotel listings in the "backpackers' bible"? Most of the stories in this collection are tame and uninspiring. If you are looking for "disaster" travel stories, check out the collection of twisted travel writing Fortune Hotel (ed. Sarah Champion) available through Amazon's UK website. That is a fantastic book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious account of boring people on the road 30 Nov 2005
By Andrius Uzkalnis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There are two aspects to this disappointing book.

Firstly, it is sad that Lonely Planet, which started as an honest guide for independent travellers, now turned into a money-making machine which sells everything but extended warranties on domestic appliances. This book is a collection of leftovers which were left out not because they don't fit in any of the guides but truly they do not belong anywhere.

Now, they thought, we will put some crap together and never mind that it's really poor writing the suckers will buy it 'cause we've got the BRAND!

This book can be educational: it shows, quite graphically, how tedious a journey can be if you are an immature good-for-nothing whose major (and sole) cultural experience is getting drunk with any foreigner in a third-world country who is happy for you to buy him a drink, and whose sole criteria for picking out a destination is whether you can get to a suitably exotic-sounding country cheaply so that you have stories to tell when you get to your next cheap destination and get drinking there.

Oh, and don't forget, for most of the dramatic personae in the book the highlight of any trip when you wake up in a Russian monastery with a bad hangover from Mongolian intestine vodka (or whatever) that you had with Malaysian ex-convicts last night and then you miss your plane because you are two hours late for your onward flight. This is, like SOOOO hilarious. What to do then? Why, you get drinking with a blind Ukrainian pilot's mate and eventually they get you on a military plane and get you out of there. Never mind that, you get REALLY plastered on that plane! How's that for fun?

These are not very good stories from people who less than accomplished writers. Ordinarily, you can get that sort of narrative at a local bar at around 10:30 p.m. The book is an absolute waste of money.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly disappointing 2 Jan 2002
By Patricia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I sure was expecting more from a Lonely Planet publication. As other reviewers wrote--most of these stories were boring and not well written. I gave it one shining star for the story by Ryan Ver Berkmoes! He wrote an interesting story with a few snide remarks scattered thru-out. His was the only story, really, fun to read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intruiging travel; good stories 16 Mar 2000
By Arion Potts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While travel "disasters" may be a stretch of things, this is still a good collection of stories. This book accomplishes what any travel anthology ought to: it intrigues and interests the reader, making one want to travel.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre 6 Dec 1999
By Craig Nerenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While purportedly a collection of travel horror stories, I couldn't help but think that I've routinely had worse encounters on my trips, and I'm not exactly an LP reviewer. Some of the stories are amusing, a few shocking, but most are quite mundane. My sense is that Lonely Planet had some content that they thought they could cram through their publishing channel. Don't get me wrong, I love their guides and enjoy reading about travels, but this book is not a particularly good value. The upside is that you do get exposed to many various cultures from far-flung locales in one short book.
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