Buy Used
£2.30
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Tree Savers
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: A used book that is in good, clean condition. Your item will be picked, packed and posted FREE to you within the UK by Amazon, also eligible for super saver delivery
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Backpack Paperback – 1 Feb 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 1 Feb 2001
£4.47 £0.01
Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; Reprint edition (1 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747267359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747267355
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,477,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'Barr's debut comes as a blast of fresh air' Sunday Express

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. I have now read several of Emily Barr's novels, and this one I personally found not as good due to the fact that there was very little story and plot. I prefer novels with more story line and plot that keep me gripped.
The focus of the book is on the travelling aspect - the different countries, places and politics.
There is also a great deal of unnecessary psychological rambling going on in Tansy's mind, as told in the first person, and I found a lot of it didn't seem to make sense eg the odd sentence often appears in a paragraph which is not coherent. There is just a bit too much of this. It just lacks clarity.
However the book as a whole does portray a good atmosphere of the places visited.
I found the best Emily Barr's books I have read so far are 'A Perfect Lie' and 'The Sleeper' as these novels are very gripping throughout. 'Backpack' is very differently written with hardly any plot or story at all. But obviously this is a matter of personal taste. 'Backpack' is a good and deeply descriptive book on SE Asia, so if you're looking for a travel book which alternates richly with psychological rambling, then this book is recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"Backpack" ain't your typical travelogue and Tansy ain't your typical heroine. But beyond this sharp-tongued, foul-mouthed exterior is a deeply endearing protagonist who develops together with this wonderfully tongue-in-cheek book. Join cokehead Tansy as she comes to terms with her turbulent past, discovers Asia and flirts with death - both voluntarily and otherwise.
"Backpack" will make you question your own notions of tourism and colonialism. Did you know, for example, that Laos got bombed by the Americans every eight minutes every day for nine years?
Fantastically written, there are many observations that ring true to anyone who's ever been globetrotting - and many of Tansy's cynical comments regarding the institution of "backpacking" had me laughing out loud!
Add a chilling thriller into the equation and you've got one mindblowing read. And what a wicked twist!
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 9 April 2002
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!!
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I took an instant dislike to the main character but as she mellows so do your feelings towards her (I imagine this is what the author wants).

I lived and travelled in Southeast Asia and recall some similar experiences! It's well researched and really did being back some of my memories!

It's a well written book, the murderer sub plot adds to it and it's certainly a book I would recommend to others.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"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 travelling. Young Tansy is not a likeable character as she jets off to Vietnam, her demons plague the prose - alcoholism, drug-taking...you name it. To begin with she is a hugely self-referring character, critical of others, desultory about events, and just plain angry. It is, to be frank, a huge struggle to stick with her. But stick with her you should, because she takes her readers to all kinds of wonderful places on the backpacker trail, and introduces us to the obvious places like the Khao San Road in Bangkok, and amazing Lao and the Plain Jars (and what their purpose was, nobody knows) as well as China and Tibet. So, enjoy the read as she grapples with her sense of self in exotic surroundings, as the pathos builds with a rolling backstory of the murders of young women, all of whom bare a scary resemblance to her....
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback