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Publisher's Summary

The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo Read by Walter Covell. Take a fascinating journey through strange and exotic countries. Marco Polo (1254-1324), is probably the most famous Westerner who traveled on the "Silk Road." With his 24-year journey through Asia he surpassed all other travelers in his determination, his writing, and his influence. He reached further than any of his predecessors, beyond Mongolia to China. He became a confidant of Kublai Khan (1214-1294). He traveled the whole of China and returned to tell the tale, which became one of the world's greatest travelogues.
©1991 Jimcin Recordings; cover design © 2003 Brian J. Killavey (P)16 Jimcin Recordings; 1991 Jimcin Recordings; 2003 Jimcin Recordings

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    53
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    24
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    23
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  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Doug
  • Pittsboro, NC, USA
  • 06-23-03

An educational experience.

This book was not what I expected. I thought it would be a narrative travelogue of the travels of Marco Polo, however it turned out to be more of a catalog of the cities and provinces he had visited. The first chapter was an introduction and provided background to the writing of his books but the subsequent chapters were just a recitation of provinces, their cities, none of which I knew or could find in my Atlas, and the nature and customs of their peoples. After about a couple of hours of this I was about to give up but when the section on the empire of Kublai Khan started I found the description of the government and the culture fascinating. The latter chapters on the region of Cathay were also a revelation to me. I had no idea of the magnitude of the civilization in this region in the 13th century. The book seemed to end abruptly with no conclusion or wrap up however I was very glad I persevered and felt that I learned much from it.

72 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • Valentine, Australia
  • 06-25-07

Fascinating

You have to be a bit of a history and travel buff combined but absolutely fascinating! To hear what Asia was like first hand in the late 1200s is great. The degree of detail amazing, also Marco P put in fascinating characters whenever he could. It may offend some, as it is written from the middle ages Christian perspective so is often quite rude about Islam and Eastern religions. However he does seem quite objective and positive about "pagan" rulers when they were doing a good job for the people they ruled. (I'm pretty sure Marco P would have been hard on the Christian Inquisition if it was his time to write about it.) I'm writing this as I load part 2, which I can't wait to listen to.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

May I present to you… your map?

Would you listen to The Travels of Marco Polo again? Why?

Number ten on the National Geographic list of top one hundred adventure books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marco.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Walter Covell?

I have already.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

To all you frustrated people who wish the audiobook had a map, well, how can you hear a map? If you want to look at a map, one wonders what trouble you encountered when you suggested that your web browser furnish you with one to look at. My browser found a just fine one for me, unencumbered by copyright restrictions. I put it in the same directory in my mobile device and in my desktop computer. Give the whining a rest, eh?

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Doug
  • Austin, TX
  • 02-06-04

What are you looking for?

This book and recording is a valuable item...except I want to warn against expectations.
I expected a near romantic account of starry nights on the silk trail, cumbersome caravans and exotic cultures. This is not a story nor a poetic journal. Make no mistake, this a catalog of cultures, almost scientifically explained...you will hear of 'idolators' who are 'also in the service of the Great Kahn' about seventy times as it seems to pertain to almost every culture he visits.
Good, incredible material but this is not the stuff of entertainment, it is the stuff of research. It is read well and easy to follow.

Enjoy!

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Mediocre

Starts out a little dull, but picks up after a bit, when the descriptions of the Grand Khan and his lands start up. The narration is somewhat monotonous, and droning. The story is interesting, but would be more so if your understanding of the ancient names of the places is complete enough to apply it to the modern ones. I, myself, never knew precisely what place he was discussing. History and geography buffs would like this better than I did.

23 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Sounds like the read this through the PHONE

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I could not listen to this book, it sounds like they read this through the phone. Audio is very annoying.

What was most disappointing about Marco Polo’s story?

The Narration

How could the performance have been better?

Re-do this in a Studio

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Love history, the story seem very interesting, however I did not listen to it because of the terrible sound quality.

Any additional comments?

Re-do this with good voice and narration that is not dictated over the phone!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Facinating but not very engrossing

It's a recant of the travel not really a story or adventure which would have been more interesting

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The New Yawk accent got a little tedious ...but

The New Yawk accent got a little tedious...but I always wanted to read this book

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Read with confidence and authority

Great book. Even though first written around the year 1300, it fits the structure of many travelogues written today: what I did when I traveled there, what I saw, retelling stories I heard from locals. I found many of the antidotes and slices of history fascinating. The authenticity of facts has always been in question for this book, but worth a read regardless. It was well presented by the narrator, with a voice of authority and confidence. I was given a free review copy of this book and have voluntarily left this honest review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting but perhaps better in print.

A very interesting book, but not a great audiobook. It is better suited for print as it is established more like a synoptic history text that stirs collaboration with other sources. A highly intriguing topic will be introduced, described in a few sentences and then left alone, this was constantly inspiring me to cross validate and pull other resources to better understand what Marco was talking about, but as you can imagine it is difficult to mark and reference parts of an audiobook.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Morag
  • 01-12-08

Completely Ruined!

This should have been a fascinting listen, however it was completely ruined by the boring american monotone used by the narrator - a voice which would be more suited to the educational cartoons of the 60s and 70s! I gave up.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 12-09-14

Boring

What would have made The Travels of Marco Polo better?

If you have watched the film then prepare yourself for a disappointment. The content is boring which is matched by the robotic voice of the reader.

What will your next listen be?

Something by Charles Dickens

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

4 of 4 people found this review helpful