Friday, May 05, 2006

The Best American Travel Writing, 2000 Edited by Bill Bryson

I listened to the audio CD version of this. I was excited, because the container (and the description) said "unabridged" and my complaint about these collections is that they are always too short. I listened to it intermittently over the course of about two weeks, and finished it yesterday, and before writing this, I looked it up on Amazon to refresh my memory about some of the essays. But on Amazon I came across a reference to the essay about driving across Australia with the world's toughest trucker. And another reference to an essay about being kidnapped by Ugandan rebels! Wait, I didn't hear those! I want to hear those too! What happened? I looked the book up on the library's web site, and then I noticed this statement: "unabridged selections." Aahhh. Now I see. The essays themselves are not abridged, they just don't INCLUDE ALL OF THEM!

Why do they think listeners want the quickie version? I don't get it. Anyway, the essays that you DO get to hear on this are wonderful, except for an annoying one by David Halberstam about all the rich people who are moving to Nantucket and building McMansions, like I care. I fast-forwarded through that one. My favorite is by Dave Eggers about picking up hitchhikers in Cuba.

Now I just have to find the print version and read about that Australian trucker. I love this kind of thing.

(Book 20, 2006)


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