Steve Hely, writer for The Office and American Dad!, and recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, presents a travel book about his journey through Central and South America. Part travel book, part pop history, part comic memoir, Hely's writing will make listeners want to reach for their backpacks and hiking boots.
The Wonder Trail is the story of Steve's trip from Los Angeles to the bottom of South America, presented in 102 short chapters. The trip was ambitious - Steve traveled through Mexico City, ancient Mayan ruins, and the jungles, coffee plantations, and remote beaches of Central America; across the Panama Canal; by sea to Colombia; to the wild Easter celebration of Popayán; to the Amazon rainforest, the Inca sites of Cuzco and Machu Picchu; to the Galápagos Islands and the Atacama Desert of Chile; and down to the jagged and wind-worn land of Patagonia at the very end of the Western Hemisphere.
Steve's plan was to discover the weird, wonderful, and absurd in Central and South America, to seek and find the incredible, delightful people and experiences that came his way. And the book that resulted is just as fun. A blend of travel writing, history, and comic memoir, The Wonder Trail will inspire, inform, and delight.
©2016 Steve Hely (P)2016 Penguin Audio
"With an authentic and self-effacing voice, author and narrator Steve Hely brings his sharp sense of humor to the task of describing his trip from Los Angeles to Punta Arenas.... He also does clever impressions of his guides and fellow travelers. He has read widely and does a good job pronouncing Spanish names and interpreting sites. Overall, his insights are entertaining, his audiobook whimsical and fun." (AudioFile)
This is a book that may be even better told by the author than read by myself because of his humor. I enjoyed it beginning to end, although the history of places became a bit in depth and confusing at times. This was a very funny, entertaining and informative book.
SciFi starter, Travel Adventure main course, RomCom pallet cleanser. I love to eat, read, travel, and sleep in hammocks.
I was surprised how much history and back story was included in the book. Steve Hely comes of as incredibly invested in the world around him and they possible ways it has shaped the people and places he is visiting. This is not a backpackers story, he jumps from place to place in planes, but he takes the time to set up why he is going to each place. Steven explains what drew him there, which author or historic event sparked his interest, or how he met the person he is visiting. I enjoyed this because while educational it was also very entertaining.
I love when the author reads the audio version of their own books because they know where to put the emphasis, know where to pause, and know where the punch line is supposed to go. So for that reason, I would say yes, the audio version is better than the print. Steve Hely did a fantastic job with this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it until the end.
I am American born, raised in Central America, so going through this journey with him, I could relate soo much to what he was seeing, experiencing, and it was so realistic and exact that I could imagine myself actually on this journey.
He's a funny writer! And a great story teller too. As soon as I finished listening to The Wonder Trail, I came straight to audible.com to see what else he had done because he simply left me wanting more.
Great book, and listening to Steve's rendition of his own adventures made it so incredibly enjoyable. Would recommend to anyone!
Maybe overboard on the five stars for overall, performance AND story. No, it's not. A book read by the author is a gift. And Hely has a great delivery. THat he had to likely rehearse how to get through some of his long sentences in one breath is just poetic justice. This book would be super on a road trip - but actually I listened while organizing my son's sock and tshirt drawers, canning tomatoes and doing other mundane house chores! This book ramped up our wanderlust and opened a whole new trove of historical interest that I'm embarrassed that I didn't know I didn't know. Shame on me for not being a better student of the Americas. This book helped. Enjoy it!
Good audiobook, but really more of a collection of short stories and observations than a hard core travel adventure book. Still, well written and clever. Very easy to listen to. finished it in about a week
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