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Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet…
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Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story

by Tony Wheeler, Maureen Wheeler (Author)

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Showing 5 of 5
A very, very average book. The better half is the last half where at least Tony can indulge in a story or two, although even those are for the most part quite dull. Otherwise, there seems to be an excessive amount of ego-tripping, name-dropping, and self indulgence going on. At the conclusion of the book (quite an easy read and not one to tax the mind in any way which is reflective of his guidebooks) I'm not sure that I was enlightened about any one single thing. That is pretty much my view of his guidebooks which is why I rarely purchase them. As to this book...a very lightweight read, that can easily be done on a train, plane, bus, etc. Finally, Tony is a poor storyteller which I found surprising for an author of guidebooks. But, then, his guidebooks are heavy on logistics and light on background. ( )
  untraveller | Nov 27, 2017 |
A unique mix of autobiography, business history and travel book.
  Alhickey1 | Oct 22, 2017 |
This book gives an interesting overview of the beginnings and evolution of Lonely Planet until 2005. It is not a difficult read, but in quite a few places I found it not very cohesive either, jumping abruptly from one subject to another. Many (personal) comments from Tony and Maureen Wheeler are scattered throughout the main text―several without any link to it. I would give many Lonely Planet guidebooks a higher rating than this story. ( )
  Akubra | Apr 14, 2013 |
In retrospect Wheeler makes it sound like the Lonely Planet endeavor, although it came to fruition only slowly and with a lot of hard work, was an inevitable eventual success. In reality there must have been many low points when the couple was ready to toss it in. What extraordinary and enviable lives this couple seems to have had. They caught the wave of low-budget tourism at just the right time. This book is chock full of anecdotes that will start any would-be adventurer itching to hit the road to start satisfying his wander-lust. How gratifying it is that they were able to turn their passion into a multi-million dollar enterprise! ( )
  mwhel | Aug 18, 2009 |
I picked this up from the library last Sunday and it was this week's train book. A long-time user of Lonely Planet guidebooks, I enjoyed this look into the history of the country and the people behind it.

I like how they didn't dwell on all the details of their trips, but rather created an overview for the reader to follow. Through it all, both Wheelers remained 'normal people' something that isn't always easy to remember with famous people. The tales of Tony's deaths are amusing, although I'd assume they'd be harrowing to those who heard it. They had the luck of being in a lot of the right places at the right time, wonder where LP would be if they hadn't.

My interest petered out by the end, but I enjoyed the book. ( )
  skinglist | Jan 8, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wheeler, TonyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheeler, MaureenAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0794605230, Paperback)

Founders of the phenomenally successful publishing company Lonely Planet, Tony and Maureen Wheeler have produced travel guides to just about every corner of the globe.

Lonely Planet Publications was born in 1973 when the Wheelers self-published a quirky travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap. This was quickly followed by what soon became the backpackers' bible, South-East Asia on a Shoestring. Going boldly where no other travel publisher had ventured, they catered to a new generation of independent, budget-conscious travelers long before the advent of mass tourism.

Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story is a unique mix of autobiography, business history and travel book. It traces Tony and Maureen Wheeler's personal story as well as the often bumpy evolution of their travel guide business into the world's largest independent travel publishing company.

Not surprisingly, after thirty years in the business the Wheelers have an unrivalled set of anecdotes which they share in Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story. They have been hassled by customs, cheated by accountants, let down by writers, banned in Malawi, berated for their Burma guide and had books pirated in Vietnam. Tony has been gored by a cow in Benares, declared dead around the world in an assortment of gruesome and greatly exaggerated accounts and their company has been accused of the "Lonely Planetization" of the world.

Through it all, from the heady days of discovery in the '70s to the rocky patch after the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Wheelers' passion for the planet and traveling certainly hasn't diminished, and comes shining through in this enthralling travelogue. But above all, their memoir reveals the spirit of adventure that has made them, according to the New York Daily News, "the specialists in guiding weird folks to weird places."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:11 -0400)

"...A unique mix of autobiography, business history and travel book. It traces Tony and Maureen Wheeler's personal story as well as the often bumpy evolution of their travel guide business..."--Cover p. 4.

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