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The Naked Tourist Paperback – 12 Jun 2007

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Press (12 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865477418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865477414
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 735,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for "The Accidental Connoisseur":
"Possibly the most entertaining book about wine ever written." --Jancis Robinson, "Financial Times
"


"ÝOsborne¨ grabs the bull by the horns . . . Through the most surreal environments (the fabricated islands of Dubai, the medical resorts of Thailand) he is funny, intelligent, insightful and honest." --Max Watman, "The New York Times Book Review""
"


" [Osborne] grabs the bull by the horns . . . Through the most surreal environments (the fabricated islands of Dubai, the medical resorts of Thailand) he is funny, intelligent, insightful and honest." -- Max Watman, "The New York Times Book Review""
"


"[Osborne] grabs the bull by the horns . . . Through the most surreal environments (the fabricated islands of Dubai, the medical resorts of Thailand) he is funny, intelligent, insightful and honest." --Max Watman, "The New York Times Book Review"""

[Osborne] grabs the bull by the horns . . . Through the most surreal environments (the fabricated islands of Dubai, the medical resorts of Thailand) he is funny, intelligent, insightful and honest. "Max Watman, The New York Times Book Review""

About the Author

Lawrence Osborne has written for "The New York Times Magazine," "The New Yorker," and other publications, and is the author of four previous books, including "The Accidental Connoisseur." Born in England, he lives in New York.


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By Miran Ali VINE VOICE on 6 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Osborne travels from Dubai, to Calcutta, the Andamans, Bangkok, Bali and finally Papua New Gineau. Well I've been to all of these places except the Andamans and PNG. Frankly I found Osboborne to be a bit dull, not very funny and not really anything new or insightful about his travels. I enjoyed his history of tourism though.

Let's say this is a travel magazine article quality book. I've read better. There was also atleast one factual error, where he refers to the 1973 war in Bangladesh. Methinks he meant 1971. Careless and a sure sign of bad editing. He also claimed to have stumbled accross the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok. To claim to have stumbled accross such a hospital is to imply that he did no research at all prior to setting off. That just doesn't ring true.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
He didn't appear to want to be in the places he explored!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa1edc144) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1e7a75c) out of 5 stars A Rather Crotchety Traveler Mired Most Entertainingly in Self-Discovery 20 Jun. 2006
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It's quite obvious that Alain de Botton, author of "The Art of Travel", and Lawrence Osborne are kindred spirits in their expert ability to discern the power of "whateverness" in experiencing locations foreign to one's sensibilities. Osborne's initial premise is to move from civilization to the bowels of the planet in order to show how the world has become less individualistic, that it seems one-size-fits-all tourism has diluted the cultural sense of locations and that the true allure of travel can only be found in the world's most remote pockets. I don't think he entirely proves his thesis, but his biting and entertaining travel tome is quite a treat, as he cuts a sharp swath through the Asian corridor from Dubai to Papua-New Guinea.

He is not your typical globe trekker but a traveler who shifts his motivations as the circumstances dictate. Sometimes the author reaches a cathartic point of self-discovery, but more often, he seems to be going back to something instinctual as if his travels satisfy a need simply to roam. His sense of adventure borders on the absurdly humiliating, for example, a high-colonic he has in Bangkok, which brings out the worst nightmares of medical treatment abroad. In Dubai, where he begins his journeys in earnest, he describes in vivid detail "The World", an extravagant project to be designed to recreate the entire globe with three-hundred man-made islands in the Persian Gulf, each up for sale to highest bidders among the world's nations. Bangkok beckons him for the luxury and potential debauchery of its Vegas-like spas, and with the plethora of party-seeking foreign tourists and American-style bars, Bali brings the author a faux-sense of its culture and people seemingly brainwashed to accommodate tourist expectations. He is enamored with the works of legendary anthropologist Margaret Mead and others of her field who have perhaps inadvertently built up the mystique and idyllic state of Bali.

However, the best part of the book focuses on the author's transformative moments in Papua, where the somewhat surreal existence of its native population gives him pause. He comes upon an abandoned missionary house in Wanggemalo where he is gawked at by members of the local tribe, the Kombai. A typical ritual of the Kombai is cutting potential sorcerers into four parts, then cooking their brains and viscera on hot stones and eating them. As Osborne delves deeper into the jungle, he is met with even greater peril where he eats pasty-floured grubs and meets natives who know nothing of an outside world. Osborne's cynicism wears away in this section as he develops an honest rapport with the Papuan jungle natives much to his chagrin. It is indeed a grand journey by a most English gentleman.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1c9ee94) out of 5 stars Author's Overall Tone Mostly Killed It For Me 27 May 2015
By EpicFehlReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hmm, didn't love this as much as I was hoping. I picked it up as my reading on a recent getaway -- thankfully, Miss Booknerd here also packed a few other reading options! This had its interesting moments but overall I struggled to like Osborne's tone / style of writing. Osborne admits at the very start that his inspiration for this particular trip stemmed from a sort of disillusionment with his craft (travel writing) and the travel industry as a whole.

I think part of my issue with this book is what Osborne himself deems his "disdain bordering on arrogance". There was just this whole tone of "ugh, why am I even here, I hate traveling" which had me saying Yeah, why are you there if you hate it so much?! It made for an off-putting style that left me thinking, Damn, don't think I want to travel so much now (but of course I still want to ;-) ). Also, can I just say how his descriptions of the arachnids in New Guinea -- "bright pink spiders the size of my hand" / "giant funnel spiders that can kill a parrot" -- left me shuddering at the imagery, fearful those images would work their way into my sleeptime (thankfully they didn't!).

That being said, I did learn some cool tidbits:

1) The word "spa" is actually an acronym for the Latin term Salus Per Aqua or "health through waters", derived from Roman warriors using natural water sources to clean & heal their wounds.

2) The traveler's check was invented in 1875 (had no idea it dated back that far!)

3) Modern day travel guides are the descendents of Thomas Nugent's 18th century travelogue, The Grand Tour.

So yeah, got a few fun facts out of it but largely it was just meh for me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2b2d054) out of 5 stars Opinionated and fascinating 31 Aug. 2007
By John Glines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I like a writer who's opinionated, and Osborned is certainly that. This is not a guidebook. It's one man's opinion of where he's been, what he's seen, and what he's experienced. For me, that makes fascinating reading. And as an expat living in Bangkok, I must say that his basic take on Bangkok is spot on. It seems just off the cuff but he has a real grasp of the city he calls "Hedonopolis", Bangkok being today what Venice was during the time of young Englishmen taking the Grand Tour. Chai yo!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2798eb8) out of 5 stars A Meditative Adventure 12 Oct. 2015
By Flimnap - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A vivid account of travel to the cultural end of the earth—Papua—and the trials of getting there. What Osborne wants to do is both to reach the isolated tribes of the forest, and to get away from us, from the world we've made, and from what he calls the "Wherever" quality—the franchised airport sameness—that we've accepted as background wherever we go. The book is a strange hybrid—a medititave adventure—that is both highly entertaining and thoughtful, and that works on both levels.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Miran Ali - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Osborne travels from Dubai, to Calcutta, the Andamans, Bangkok, Bali and finally Papua New Gineau. Well I've been to all of these places except the Andamans and PNG. Frankly I found Osboborne to be a bit dull, not very funny and not really anything new or insightful about his travels. I enjoyed his history of tourism though.
Let's say this is a travel magazine article quality book. I've read better. There was also atleast one factual error, where he refers to the 1973 war in Bangladesh. Methinks he meant 1971. Careless and a sure sign of bad editing. He also claimed to have stumbled accross the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok. To claim to have stumbled accross such a hospital is to imply that he did no research at all prior to setting off. That just doesn't ring true.
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