Book reviews

After You, Marco Polo


I talked briefly about this book in my previous post, but After You, Marco Polo, deserves a blog post of its own.

There is a unique allurement to books that narrate trips before the Internet, trips to places that will not be found as they were at the time they were visited. This book has a triple bonus. First we have Marco Polo travels as our first stop, -and I have been reading about him with the girls-, second, we have the Shor’s trip in his footsteps, third, we have the trip from the eyes of mid twentieth century travelers. For me, it has a fourth layer, the Shors are North American. Add a fifth layer, she was Texan!… But don’t stop there, I was also raised in Europe, so all my political and cultural knowledge and references are engaged in the story, making this book a complete delight. I do not want this book to end. I am preparing for that moment, though. I believe I will pick up one of my two Halliburton books. Though I will hopefully read them with my girls, I don’t have to wait! I will probably read The Royal Road to Romance.

Jean Shor writing is generously sprinkled with humor. While preparing to lead a book club reading of Three Men in a Boat, I read that writing about travels is conducive to humor, it is the perfect occasion to expose your home place views of life, and to contrast and compare them with foreign beliefs; travel  nuisances afford plenty laughter too.
I want to know, after the exotic and singular places they got to see and sleep in, how their marriage ever fared in a more normal routine, or it may be the case they spent all their life together traveling! I am not finding much info about either on the web.


2 thoughts on “After You, Marco Polo”

  1. I too wondered how the day to day living compared to their travels and what affect it had on their marriage. One can only imagine, but I imagine it wasn't an easy transition 🙂


  2. Hi Kelly… I agree with you. Traveling at this scale, raises your expectations, it is full of hardship, but also of dreamlike moments… there is a risk of getting addicted to that adrenaline rush, and that amount of newness and meeting of different and exotic places and people… but maybe it is jealous ME talking, ha ha ha. I have spotted a few more of her photos for National Geographic, but there is not much on this couple and how they lived, apart from her book. on


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