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BOOK REVIEW Europe From A Backpack is “Chicken Soup” for anyone who loves adventure and travel

Judging the book by its cover, Europe From A Backpack looks like another touristy travel aid meant to sit on the shelf until its readers muster enough courage to board a plane. However, Europe From A Backpack is not a travel book meant to drip with PR written pieces about the greatest restaurants and the best sights. It is however, a collection of stories of experienced backpackers. Boasting “real stories from young travelers abroad,” and a picture of the Coliseum in Rome, the rather attractive cover does not even compare to the stories held within the 384 page book. Sectioned by countries, starting with Spain, continuing through lands such as France, Germany, Hungry, and Italy, the book includes anywhere from one to eight stories about each country. Quite similar to the late nineties craze of the Chicken Soup series, each story tells a tale of adventure, romance, or pure comedy. Totaling 58 stories, the book is a journey, allowing the reader to live vicariously through the storytellers and their tales of running with the bulls in Pamplona or getting caught on the wrong train- four and five times. Perhaps it is the romance of being able to hear accounts of actual travelers or the sense of freedom communicated through the idea of traveling without an itinerary; either way, the book succeeds at grabbing the attention of the reader and not letting go until the last quest is finished. Succeeding at captivating readers, the stories are interestingly enough, not just written by regular someone’s, they are Harvard graduates, professors, successful businessmen, students, professionals, and educated free spirits; who all claim that their experience has only furthered their hunger for travel.

Whether read for the love of adventure, the love of travel, or pure intrigue with the idea of backpacking through Europe, Europe From A Backpack is an alluring compilation of some of the most interesting travel stories and will definitely entice any reader to pack up and just go.

Joanna Davila can be contacted at j.davila1@umiami.edu.

April 9, 2004

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.