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The End of Elsewhere: Travels Among the Tourists Paperback – 31 Aug 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (31 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852428678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852428679
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,836,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

?The End of Elsewhere is the only kind of travel book possible today: at once enchanting and disenchanting. With rich and pungent prose, and a bite behind his smile, Taras Grescoe lays bare the highs and lows of wanderlust on our shrinking theme-park planet with an empathic scalpel.? Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis ?Grescoe weaves humour, anthropology and travelogue into an eclectic mix that makes The End of Elsewhere one of the most original travel books to come out in years. His perspective is fresh; his prose never dull or obvious? Globe and Mail ?The End of Elsewhere is a powerful indictment of contemporary tourism and, more fundamentally, it?s a cry against the West?s exploitation of the Third World in the era of globalization? Quill & Quire ?The greatest advantage of armchair travel is that you get to select your companions. Grescoe? could scarcely be a better guide? Vancouver Sun

About the Author

Born in Toronto in 1966, Taras Grescoe has written articles on travel for The Times, Independent, Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveler and the New York Times. His bestselling first book Sacré Blues: An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec won the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction and First Book Award, among numerous other awards. He lives in Montreal.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
People who have extensively travelled will really enjoy this book. Meticulously researched, it gives the backstory on many areas that even the most experienced wanderlust among us will appreciate. More engaging, however, is that this book almost sleepwalks into a renewed existentialism; Taras explores themes of Self, time and space, through movement (especially escaping). By concentrating on travelling in bad faith - or touristing - this is a very modern take on the essence of authenticity. Throughout, this book points out the Gibran stumbling stones and this will be an excellent book to read before one's gap year to save oneself from becoming at best a cliche, and at worst, part of the nightmare of modern tourism.
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Format: Paperback
This outstanding book by Canadian journalist Grescoe is an absolute must for anyone who, like me, likes to travel overseas or read a good travelogue. It combines a history of tourism (ranging from the Roman Empire to modern package tours) and participatory journalism (ranging from solo hiking pilgrimage to all-inclusive cruise ship) with a very personal examination of what compels the author's own wanderlust. This is all woven into a nine-month journey that takes Grescoe from the end of the Camino de Santiago on the West coast of Spain, to the Window to the World theme park in Shenzen, China.

Grescoe is the perfect kind of writer for a book with this broad a scope: erudite, witty, adventurous, insightful, and most importantly, reflective and honest. Seasoned travelers will enjoy the mini-histories, such as how the Romans established the first resort towns to indulge in outrageous behavior, how the first international travel agency (Cook's) grew from the temperance movement, the rise and fall of the "Grand Tour", the emergence of guidebook-led tourism from Michelin to Lonely Planet, and much more. As compelling as these bits are, the book's real strength lies in its provocative examination of the act of tourism.

Grescoe purposely sets himself an itinerary of "where the tourist ruts have been plowed the deepest" in order to play sociologist amongst the tourists. The book's main theme is how the tourist's quest for unspoiled terrain and/or a totally "authentic" experience leads to the exact opposite of these things. This is, of course, directly linked to themes of cultural imperialism, although Grescoe is careful not to become hectoring or pedantic about any of these matters.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book - it's an addictive read, very funny, but also thought-provoking. Grescoe tries out many different styles of travelling during the course of the book, observing his fellow travellers and their reactions to the places they are travelling in. It's full of amusing anecdotes, but there are also many observations about the impact of tourism in its many guises. His stories from routes that I had done, particularly Lonely Planet, made me laugh out loud because it was all so familiar. If you want to read about what other countries are like, this is NOT the book for you, but if you've ever done any travelling, I really recommend this book, something in this book will resonate with you.
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Format: Paperback
This is a superb book, which should be required reading for all travellers. Taras Grescoe samples many types of travel (pilgrimage, hire-car, cruise, Club Med, sex-tourism, etc.), and in the course of a compelling narrative, while providing factual information about the origins of certain types of journey (e.g. Thomas Cook, Lonely Planet, etc.), raises in an almost casual but thought-provoking way profound questions about the purposes and effects of travel. What are people trying to find by travelling? Are they deluding themselves? He explores the ambivalence of travel/tourism, through which the search for unspoiled innocence destroys what it is looking for. It is not a doctrinaire book, and he is a sympathetic listener to those he meets (some of whom are awful bores). He also does not excuse himself from the criticisms he makes of others. The book is a combination of travelogue, history, philosophy, psychology and wit, with a very personal voice. Though Bryson is enjoyable, Grescoe makes him seem utterly trivial. (I want to know whether Karen was there for Grescoe
when he got back to Canada!)
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By A Customer on 22 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
A really good idea for a book but the ennui of the author saps the project from the beginning to the end. It could have done with more desk research into the topic for one thing. So the writer doesnt like whirlwhind coach trips round 'auld Europe'?
I wouldnt expect him to. To really make the idea work the author would need more detachment or engagement- he just seems a travel addict that got a little bored and wanted to explore the 'tourist rut'. Sad thing is this is a much bigger topic than he could handle.
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