Thursday, January 13, 2011
Grounded by Seth Stevenson
Slate writer Seth Stevenson and his girlfriend spent several months traveling around the world without ever leaving the ground--crossing the Atlantic on a cargo freighter, driving through the Australian outback, traveling the Trans-Siberian Railway, bicycling in Vietnam, and so on. The concept of this book seemed really interesting, but I have to say I was pretty disappointed in the execution. Most of the book is spent describing the modes of transportation, which is certainly important to the story, but there's not a whole lot about the places they visited, namely because they never seemed to have enough time to actually see anything. They went out of their way to go to New Zealand, only to have about two hours to race around the city, mostly trying to find some clean clothes to buy. I guess it just goes to show you that air travel, while less romantic, is a bit more practical. At least that way you actually have time to see the place you're traveling to!