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on 11 May 2017
Very well set out and easy to read, the language is well put and the descriptions of people and places visited are excellent. Well worth a read i only to understand more about the amazing life of people in the past. Distance was calculated by the number of days travelled - it was well before the use of maps, distance and sat navs!
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on 5 March 2016
Virtually unreadable. Has been scanned and OCRed with dreadful results. There has been no attempt to proof read it. The footnotes exceed the text and it is almost impossible to tell where one starts and the other finishes. I would give it zero stars if the system allowed. Even though it is cheap, do not waste your money!
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VINE VOICEon 5 January 2014
I read this as a paper back from a decent modern translation years ago and really enjoyed it. I decided to read it again and downloaded this Kindle version. It is terrible. Do not waste your money!!! A terrible translation and badly edited abortion of a book. It is bogged down with copious irrelevant translators notes in the middle of every page so that sometimes the notes take up more space than the actual book. which detracts from your ability to actually read the book in Kindle format and the translation is over 100 years old with all the english problems of what was even then a bad translation. Dont let this shoddy Kindle version prevent you from reading what is in essence a great adventure and an incredible read. But look for a decent translation. There are none in Kindle version. I think the paperback I read was a Penguin classic but I cant remember. But avoid this version like the plague
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on 12 December 2012
I found this impossible to read! How dam annoying! There are more NOTES than story! Look, get rid of the notes and just print the story OK! I'm not interested in the NOTES on the same page. Stuff them in the back where they belong! I never want to see another NOTE in my life!
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on 3 August 2011
'The Travels' is a frightfully interesting book, filled to the brim with tall tales, lavish description and contrasting cultures. From the Arabian peninsula to the far east of China, right down to India and Sri Lanka, this book takes in all the great sights of Eastern Asia. It's debated nowadays whether Polo actually conducted all of these travels himself, or if he merely recalled stories he had been told by others on his journeys. However, cast away your doubts and just sit back and enjoy an interesting ride. R.E. Latham, the translator of this edition, had added in extra footnotes at appropriate points, adding extra details from different translations. These add a new depth to some stories. He also clears up any confusing descriptions and points out errors Polo made.

One issue I do have with the book is its repetition of key phrases, especially once we have reached China and the land of Kubilai Khan. Things like "the people here are idolaters" (aka Buddhists), or "they use paper money" quickly become dull, and one sometimes questions the sheer number of cities Polo mentions, when often he just glosses over them in a paragraph. I personally would have preferred more of the interesting stories, and less of the filler, but you can be assured of one thing - this is the definitive travels of Marco Polo, and nothing is missed out.
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2007
Marco writes well enough of his travels and you feel that you are there. You can actually follow the trail if you have a map. He describes the flora and fauna of each region and describes the economics and industry of the region.

Example: "The women of the superior class are in like manner free from superfluous hairs; their skins are fare, and they are well formed."

It is interesting to see how little has changed from Marco Polo's 13th century and now.
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on 1 December 2002
This volume will enthrall anyone interested in true adventure. Marco Polo was the original Indiana Jones and then some. Please do not waste time on Gary Jennings' The Journeyer. This is the real deal and needs no dramatic embellishments.
The Travels takes you on a trip from 13th century Venice to "Cathay" and back again. You will learn how Europeans found out about fireworks, paper currency, printing and pasta. The harrowing journey across the Gobi desert is particularly well reported.
Marco Polo was more than an explorer. He was one of the world's first anthropologists. This is an exciting read, an account of how medieval Europe initially perceived China and the far east, and of how the Mongol rulers and Chinese emperors perceived them. Highly recommended. As to the print quality of Penguin editions, which some have denigrated, I have had my copy since the early eighties and it has yellowed only slightly. Viking is now printing on acid-free paper. One must remember that these editions were printed primarily to reach the widest audience for the least amount of expense at the time. For years, Penguins were accessible to students and to the collector who couldn't afford an elaborate, fully illustrated, fully mapped volume of a particular work. I couldn't have read as many of them as I did in my late teens and early twenties if that were not the case. I owe a lifelong debt to the editors for their efforts. I've also never read a bad translation in any Penguin Classic.
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Marco writes well enough of his travels and you feel that you are there. You can actually follow the trail if you have a map. He describes the flora and fauna of each region and describes the economics and industry of the region.
Example: "The women of the superior class are in like manner free from superfluous hairs; their skins are fare, and they are well formed."
It is interesting to see how little has changed from Marco Polo's 13th century and now.
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on 24 November 2016
The Travels of Marco Polo may be perhaps the most challenging travelogue ever put together. While Marco Polo was not the first to write about lands distant and alien to one’s own, he wrote of a journey of immense challenge and difficulty. Difficulty that is difficult to appreciate in our modern world.
First of all, the most notable controversy; was Maro Polo a fraud? This reader disagrees. While some regard it as suspect that he traveled to Yuan Dynasty China and did not mention the largely Han practice of foot binding, one needs to remember that he was employed in the court of Kubilai Khan, a Mongol Emperor who headed a very multicultural court.
While this reader is not a first class scholar of medieval China, the narrative through which Marco Polo describes the China of then corresponds somewhat to the cultural mosaic of today. While in the Southwest of China, he describes people of rather relaxed sexual practices, which have an eery similarity to the Naxi of Yunnan Province, he describes a religious mosaic that regularly alternates between either Christian, Muslim or, as he terms it, idolatory, he describes funerary practices, the choice of clothing, and dietary practices. Therefore, this reader rules favorably in the authenticity of Marco Polo’s account.
The book in itself is mainly a travelogue, and describes everywhere from Armenia and the Caspian Sea region, China, India, the Middle East, and in the final chapter, Russia.
Toward the end, the book becomes something of a commentary of the then current affairs, describing a conflict in what was then an area close to Russia’s frontier, and earlier parts of the book describe the conflict and intrigue in the court of the Great Khan. However, the book, for the most part, is a travelogue.
The book is an immensely entertaining and readable account. With just simple relaxation and the right approach, one feels themselves there with Marco Polo, exploring unknown lands, and traveling a greater distance traveled by no man since the creation, in the words of the introduction.
Marco Polo’s Travels, or to give it it’s actual title, Il Milione, is a timeless classic. A timeless work of inquiry and observation that is both intriguing and fascinating, and a pleasure for the soul.
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on 29 July 2004
Every fantastic location and creature and event described and experienced by the Polo family really existed. And yet the world still doubts the authenticity of this 13th century trader's experiences.
I have seen many of these locations and cultures for myself, some of which have hardly changed, and I continue to be amazed by the detail of his descriptions.
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