Better Than Fiction : True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher*A collection of original travel stories told by some of the world's best novelists, including Isabel Allende, Peter Matthiessen, Alexander McCall Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, Tea Obreht and DBC Pierre.Exhilaratingly varied in place, plot, and voice, these tales all share one common characteristic: They manifest a passion for the precious gifts that travel confers, from its unexpected but inevitably enriching lessons about other peoples and places to the truths - sometimes uncomfortable but always enlarging - it reveals about ourselves."...a brilliant collection of travel stories...threaded with great warmth, as readers are invited to travel in the company of these famous authors and experience their passions and revelations." BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHERAuthors: Written and researched by Lonely PlanetAbout Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community.

Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places where they travel.TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times'Lonely Planet.

It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands.

It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia) *#1 in the world market share - source: Nielsen Bookscan.

Australia, UK and USA. March 2012-January 2013


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9781742205946

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Travel. What does it mean? Is it going to the National Parks in the rear of my parent's station wagon? Well. yeah... What about sunny Hawaii? Yes again.. What about a job in Antarctica? Yes again!In reality the concept of travel encompasses so much more than just 'vacation' that we look forward to two weeks out of every year. Each of the over thirty stories that make up this book explore destination as varied as an ice bound camp in Alaska to Tahiti. You travel along with the travel guides (instead of writers) who bring you along as a passenger on their jaunts.The stories are incredibly different as befits the idea of travel. You might not love every place you visit.You need a sense of adventure to travel You don't just want the same old thing. But it's still fun to go.Experience the unexpected. I'm glad I did!

Review by

There are lots of places on the planet that I'd love to visit. I most likely won't make to many, if not most, of them. There's just not the time or the money to see all I'd like to see. And that's where books come in. I've traveled all over the world between the pages of a book and if it's just a vicarious experience, it's been a delight anyway. Don George has collected true travel stories from many of today's highly acclaimed fiction writers in his collection, Better Than Fiction, a collection that allows readers to travel widely through the pens and eyes of their favorite current writers. As is almost always the case, some of the stories were stronger than others and some of them were of more interest to me as a reader than others. The notion of travel and the destinations were wildly varying as well. Written by fiction writers rather than travel writers, it was surprising to see that some of the offerings were quite weak in narrative structure, coming across as meandering anecdotes with no clear story to them. Some of the stories were very personal, such as Isabel Allende's tale of visiting India and finding the inspiration to celebrate the memory of her daughter by creating a much needed charitable organization. Some of the stories told of traveling into not a different country but a different state of being, such as Joyce Carol Oates' story of a tour through San Quentin. Many of the stories, though, did capture the writers' journeys into cultures not their own and the adventures they stumbled on or, in some cases, caused to happen to them in these foreign places. Because the stories are relatively short, readers can dip into the book when they only have a brief amount of reading time There's no reason to read the tales in order either. It is most assuredly a sampler.While it was interesting to be introduced to the different writers' voices in these brief snapshots, I'm not certain I've added to my list of places to see before I die nor was I inspired to search out the fiction of anyone I hadn't already read, which was a disappointment but perhaps not wholly fair either since non-fiction travel tales are not the general métier of the selected authors. In general, it was a pleasant and occasionally diverting read but not quite all I expected.

Review by

This is a wonderful mix of true travel stories written by some of our best novelists. There is humor, passion, poignancy, life lessons, and nuggets of wisdom. This would be a great one for road trips.

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