December 13, 2001
MarkBernstein.org
 

Lonely Planet: Unpacked Again

Lonely Planet Unpacked Again
Tony Wheeler et al.

An anthology of travel disasters, compiled by Lonely Planet founder founder Tony Wheeler (who contributes 14 pages of "Cast Away") and a host of other Lonely Planet writers. Travel writers confront police, parasites, wildlife, and a chronic lack of cash with wit and a stiff upper lip. Oddly, few of these writers really good at creating a sense of place -- perhaps because Lonely Planet is about the One World of Backpacking -- but they do know how to keep an adventure moving. The vignettes are short, most are amusing, and when something truly bad does happen (when Mark Honan decides to climb the pyramids after hours, and when Melita Granger takes a very wrong cab in Dehli) it comes as a shock.