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Books and Travel Inspiration, Quests and Transformation Author: Jennifer Laing, Warwick Frost

Paperback - 224 pages
20 Jul 2012
Channel View Publications
210 x 148 (A5)


The books that we read, whether travel-focused or not, may influence the way in which we understand the process or experience of travel. This multidisciplinary work provides a critical analysis of the inspirational and transformational role that books play in travel imaginings. Does reading a book encourage us to think of travel as exotic, adventurous, transformative, dangerous or educative? Do different genres of books influence a reader's view of travel in multifarious ways? These questions are explored through a literary analysis of an eclectic selection of books spanning the period from the eighteenth century to the present day. Genres covered include historical fiction, children's books, westerns, science-fiction and crime fiction.


I have read this book with great pleasure. Laing and Frost make a valuable contribution to a fascinating, fast-growing research domain. Based on a textual analysis of a wide range of literary genres, they show how literature – more than any other medium – stimulates the imagination and creates wanderlust among its readers. I can recommend this work to all scholars interested in the relationship between literature and travel.
Stijn Reijnders, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

An enjoyable, broad (though structured) sweep across the spectrum of literary genres, this volume is a welcomed, quirky exploration of 'books and travel'- one that instils in the interested reader the desire to (re)visit many of the classic novels and accounts covered here. And to do so from a more insightful, reflective perspective.
Brian Wheeller, Visiting Professor, NHTV Breda, The Netherlands

An interesting gallop through the analogues of literature and tourism, with a chapter on the connections, proposed by theorists, between structural analysis of literary texts and travel narratives, followed by thumbnail synopses of 100+ works of fiction exemplifying them. A useful quick fix for non-readers of fiction, and those less familiar with more canonical works on literary/travel theory.
Tony Seaton, University of Limerick, Ireland

Books and travel: inspiration, quests, and transformation is an excellent addition to the tourism literature.
Young-joo Ahn, Clemson University, USA

I am fond of this book being used by researchers in the field of tourism for three primary reasons: the literature review is well done and exemplifies the most outstanding research in the field, the text is accessible for Master's students and those who are new to the field of tourism as well as new to this line of inquiry (narratives stemming from film and books in pop culture), and the book serves as more than a re-hashing of others' ideas and offers new insights within the field.
Justin M. Taillon, University of Guelph, Canada in Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change

Author Biography:

Jennifer Laing is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events at Monash University and Warwick Frost is an Associate Professor in Tourism and coordinator of the Events programs at La Trobe University. Their joint research interests include heritage, events, travel narratives, and the interaction between media, popular culture and tourism. They are co-convenors of the biennial International Tourism and Media Conferences.;

Readership Level:

General, Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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