Sunday, August 10, 2008

Where does Wanderlust originate from?

While this book can't be said to be where my wanderlust originated, it surely fed to it. I was rambling around for years before I read Paul Theroux's 'The Great Railway Bazaar.' But the book definitely changed the way the I look at maps. When I see two places, I first wonder if it is possible to go from one to the other by road, traveling closer to the land.

It made me enjoy traveling by land (trains and buses) a lot more than simply flying in and flying out of a city. A lot of our trips are open-jaws (start in one city, end the trip at another and fly back) and this too was partly the result of reading TGRB.

In this book about his enviably long railway odyssey, Theroux starts out in London, and keeps going all across Europe and Asia, ending up in Japan. And then, he turns around and does the whole trip back to London, via a different route (Trans-Siberian). His astute observations and unpretentious style of writing make this, perhaps, my favorite travel book of all time. (Though I know that Peter Matthiessen's Snow Leopard is firmly perched as the number one travel book among scores of people.)

I own this book, but I actually listened to it as an audio-book the first time. Frank Muller (the narrator) doesn't merely read the lines, he performs them. I remember that for 2 weeks or so, I used to eagerly look forward to my commute to and from work which is when I listened to it.

If you love travel and haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

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