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The Naked Tourist: In Search of Adventure…
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The Naked Tourist: In Search of Adventure and Beauty in the Age of the… (2006)

by Lawrence Osborne

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I always enjoy a Lawrence Osborne book, somewhat similar to an A.A. Gill book, this time he wrote about travel, tourism, and being a tourist. Are tourists and tourism destroying mystery and paradises around the world, are we becoming so homogeneous that everything needs to be perfectly packaged, a Disney experience if you will. Sadly, probably so, but you can learn and certainly laugh your way through the authors experiences. The book is from 2006, and I would love for him to write a part 2 with a different final destination. ( )
  zmagic69 | Dec 7, 2016 |
This is one of the more satisfying books I have read this year. The author begins with a quick spin through the history of western tourism - proving along the way that he is a traveller, and not a tourist. Subsequent chapters are about his generally amusingly described exploits on his way to the main event, an escorted trip through the remote and often unexplored Irian Jaya. Don't rush to sign up for an adventure in that part of the world - the Indonesians don't encourage visitors and many of the locals have never before seen a person with a white skin.

The contrast between this second part of the book and the civilised first which include an expedition to a Bangkok sex change clinic and thalassery provide food for thought. ( )
1 vote broughtonhouse | Sep 8, 2011 |
Ah, at last! I’m finished with reading children’s books and I’m back to reading whatever I wish. So for my first trip back into reading what I want I picked this book from my enormous TBR. Osborne is fed up with what he terms Whatever travel, travel that takes you to places that are as indistinguishable as bottled water. He decides to try Papua New Guinea. It’s an excellent choice for someone jaded to travel. If you are seeking being shot at with arrows, swimming with crocodiles, visiting with indigenous people wearing nothing but a shell, then this book might be a good destination for you. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
I liked the topic of the book and I was completely fascinated by the hotel development in Dubai (The World: a huge development selling beachfront hotel properties in the shape of all the countries of the world), the medical tourism in Bangkok (plastic surgery and sex changes), and the pseudo-anthropological visit to a native Papuan tribe. I think the author excelled in commenting on contemporary culture and was hilarous at times describing people and their odd habits. I wasn’t as keen on the “first contact” as tourism part. I guess, since I don’t have the desire to meet people who have never seen a white Anglo-I just cannot connect with the story.

Also, at times I couldn’t follow the author’s prose rhythm. it threw me off and I had to reread several sentences. It wasn’t exactly bad grammar, just a strange flow in the writing.

I share the author’s fear of flying and liked this quote: “It is in airports, in any case, that I always make a final reckoning with the life I have lived up till then as well as the unknown place that I am about to enter. If, like me, you think you are going to die every time you fly, you do this—it is like saying the Last Rites to yourself.” ( )
  zenhikers | Mar 25, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
Like many English travel writers, Mr. Osborne has a kind of death wish. By upbringing, he is acutely sensitive to embarrassment, yet he seeks it out wherever he goes. Browsing the cheap-treatment medical clinics in Bangkok, he undergoes a disastrous high-colonic irrigation that recalls the most harrowing moments of "The Poseidon Adventure." He checks into a luxury spa in Hua Hin, on the Gulf of Thailand, where, after sneaking out and bingeing on Thai street food and alcohol, he must look the doctors in the eye and try to explain how he managed to gain weight after a week of strenuous slimming.
added by John_Vaughan | editNYTimes, WILLIAM GRIMES (Jun 5, 2014)
 
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Epigraph
This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds; one man would like to suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health beside the window.
It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not, and this question of removal is one which I discuss incessantly with my soul. - Charles Baudelaire, "Anywhere Out of the World," Le Spleen de Paris
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For Tad many travels
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It came upon me quite suddenly, like a mental disorder unknown to psychiatry: the desire to stop everything in normal life, to uproot and leave.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865477094, Hardcover)

From the theme resorts of Dubai to the jungles of Papua New Guinea, a disturbing but hilarious tour of the exotic east—and of the tour itself
 
Sick of producing the bromides of the professional travel writer, Lawrence Osborne decided to explore the psychological underpinnings of tourism itself. He took a six-month journey across the so-called Asian Highway—a swathe of Southeast Asia that, since the Victorian era, has seduced generations of tourists with its manufactured dreams of the exotic Orient. And like many a lost soul on this same route, he ended up in the harrowing forests of Papua, searching for a people who have never seen a tourist.
 
What, Osborne asks, are millions of affluent itinerants looking for in these endless resorts, hotels, cosmetic-surgery packages, spas, spiritual retreats, sex clubs, and “back to nature” trips? What does tourism, the world’s single largest business, have to sell? A travelogue into that heart of darkness known as the Western
mind, The Naked Tourist is the most mordant and ambitious work to date from the author of The Accidental Connoisseu r, praised by The New York Times Book Review as “smart, generous, perceptive, funny, sensible.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"What are millions of affluent vacationers looking for in their endless resorts, hotels, cosmetic surgery packages, spas, spiritual retreats, sex clubs, and "back to nature" trips? What does tourism, the world's single largest business, have to sell?" "Sick of producing the bromides of the professional travel writer, Lawrence Osborne decided to explore the psychological underpinnings of the tourist trade. He took a six-month journey down the so-called Asian Highway - a trail from The Middle to the Far East that, since the Victorian era, has seduced generations of tourists with its manufactured dreams of the exotic Orient. And like many a lost soul on this same route, he ended up in the harrowing forests of Papua, searching for a people who have never seen a tourist." "A travelogue into that heart of darkness known as the Western mind, The Naked Tourist is the most mordant and ambitious work to date from the author of The Accidental Connoisseur."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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