Marco Polo Didn't Go There

Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer

By Rolf Potts
(Travelers' Tales, Paperback, 9781932361612, 344pp.)

Publication Date: September 2008

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Description

Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is a collection of rollicking travel tales from a young writer USA Today has called “Jack Kerouac for the Internet Age.” For the past ten years, Rolf Potts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far fringes of five continents for such prestigious publications as National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, and The New York Times Magazine. This book documents his boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys—from getting stranded without water in the Libyan desert, to crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand, to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram.

Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is more than just an entertaining journey into fascinating corners of the world. The book is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing a “commentary track”—endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.




Praise For Marco Polo Didn't Go There

"Potts is one of the best travel writers to emerge in the last decade.
Intrepid and thoughtful, he's a Paul Theroux for the backpacker
generation, and Marco Polo reflects this."
San Francisco Chronicle

"This hilarious collection of stories provokes because Potts asks the
serious question of how to travel in a discovered world. ...If you aspire
to be a travel writer, read this book."
The Guardian (U.K.)

"Potts isn't so much a travel reporter as a story teller. ...He's more
about getting under the skin of a place — detailing a cast of characters
that would either enthrall or scare the hell out of most travelers,
depending on where they come down on the trust-paranoia continuum."
Orange County Register

"An equal mix of humor and enlightenment...Potts shows travelers and
would-be travelers the joy of immersing oneself in a foreign culture."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Best Books of 2008"

"Potts, Internet raconteur and travel-advice sage, is the kind of guy you
wish the pubs had more of: well traveled, generous with funny stories,
eager to listen to yours. You feel envious that you weren't with him in
Cairo to share the convivial squalor of a backpacker hotel, or at an
Indian ashram to study Tantric sex, or even in the Libyan Desert, in the
dark, out of water and lost. And he's able to draw insights from all that
without draining the fun out of the conversation — difficult to carry off
in a pub or a book."
The Washington Post

"Armchair travelers will get an enormous kick out of this thoroughly
entertaining book."
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