A Book of Traveller's Tales

Eric Newly, Author, Eric Newby, Editor Viking Books $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-81049-9
This massive anthology is a ticket to join Sir Richard Francis Burton on a trek to Medina, observe a Hollywood dinner party with Henry Miller, stroll down Broadway in New York with English actress Fanny Kemble, and watch Magellan discover a Patagonian cure for stomachache. Newby (A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush has assembled tantalizing snippets by explorers, novelists, poets, adventurers, diplomats and soldiers, both famous and obscure. Most of these short selections focus on a dramatic moment or exotic scene; the reader has a sense of viewing a fast-moving blur outside a train window. For casual browsing, this omnibus is diverting. Organized goegraphically by continent, it lets you glimpse a Persian king with his concubines or stand atop a pyramid with Thackeray. Yet from Newby, a gifted travel writer, one would have expected more than this confection. (August 1)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1986
Release date: 08/01/1986
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