Great Journeys

Philip Jones-Griffiths, Author, Griffiths Philip Jones, Author, Naomi James, With Simon & Schuster $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-70834-4
Because it is a tie-in volume to a public-television series, and makes repeated references to location scouting, filming and refilming, this collection of travel pieces, which record the experiences of seven author/adventurers as they explore some of the world's most important trade routes and passageways, feels oddly two-dimensional. Unfortunately, while many of the abundant photographs are beautiful, they relate to the text only superficially. Nevertheless, much of the writing is lively and interesting. Noteworthy is Naomi James's no-nonsense account of her travels to the Polynesian islands of Tonga, Western Samoa, Tahiti, Society Islands and Easter Island. Her analysis of the effect of the West on the beguilingly laid-back cultures of this area is both clearheaded and compassionate. Not so enlightening is Hugo Williams's condescending record of his trip down the Pan American Highway from Texas to Panama. The author is more concerned with the boozy seediness of shabby Third World towns than in whatever g sociological and historical significance this area might hold. Each chapter is accompanied by a helpful map. Griffiths is a photojournalist; photographer Edmunds's books include Bhutan: The Land of the Thunder Dragons. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Hardcover - 978-0-671-70835-1
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