Marco Polo

From Venice to Xanadu
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Length: 16 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (452 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $38.95

Buy for $38.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

As the most celebrated European to explore Asia, Marco Polo was the original global traveler and the earliest bridge between East and West. A universal icon of adventure and discovery, he has inspired six centuries of popular fascination and spurious mythology. Now, from acclaimed author Laurence Bergreen, comes the first fully authoritative biography of one of the most enchanting figures in world history. In this masterly work, Marco Polo's incredible odyssey, along the Silk Road and through all the fantastic circumstances of his life, is chronicled in sumptuous and illuminating detail.

Drawing on original sources in more than half a dozen languages, and his own travels along Polo's route in China and Mongolia, Bergreen explores the lingering controversies surrounding Polo's legend, settling age-old questions and testing others for significance. Synthesizing history, biography, and travelogue, this is a timely chronicle of a man who extended the boundaries of human knowledge and imagination. Destined to be the definitive account of its subject for decades to come, Marco Polo takes us on a journey to the limits of history: and beyond.

©2007 Laurence Bergreen (P)2007 Books on Tape

What listeners say about Marco Polo

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    259
  • 4 Stars
    145
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    223
  • 4 Stars
    112
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    233
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Educational and Entertaining but a bit repetitive

I enjoy any history book and probably ignore more than the average reader in story or performance shortcomings. This book contained a wealth of history and unique perspective, although I found it somewhat repetitive. The performance and production was good and easy to follow and listen to, but I don't think many non-history buffs would have stuck with it.

9 people found this helpful

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

Not the usual book...

As someone said before, its a bit hard to follow.

Its more of a historical lesson where the author analyzes Marco Polo's story against historical facts than anything else, as well as pushing home how important Marco Polo's stories of his travels were. Because of this the author at times jumps back and forth, making it a bit more challenging to follow.

Also, as someone else said, I hope someone writes this "story" properly from a first point of view. It would make an outstanding book.

Otherwise, it is a great history lesson, and being a history lover, I really enjoyed it.

6 people found this helpful

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

Great story.

the narration was clear but the book is best listened to at 1.25 speed. I made many bookmarks for facts that are I don't want to forget. Marco Polo is a fantastic character and his journey will forever stay in my memory.

Additionally, if you have watched the Netflix series you will find interesting omissions and additions to the historical story.

6 people found this helpful

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

Masterful

A very interesting and well written account of Marco Polo's travels on the Silk Road to Xanadu and the court of Kublai Khan. Weaving the Travels with centuries of scholarship into a readable and insightful narrative. A perfect blend of history and romance, of poetry and travelogue through the 13th Century of the vast Mongolian Empire.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RP
  • 05-08-15

Amazing review of Polo's travels and relevance

This recording very much met my expectations. Marco Polo lived an amazing life, and Bergreen has arranged it in an amazing way here, revealing his masterful understanding of Polo's life and writings. The narrator was a good match for the subject. I was never bored, with such a wide range of subjects involved.

2 people found this helpful

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

Probably one of my favorite audiobooks ever.

what a fantastic story told easy to follow super interesting format. very informative without being too dry, this is more the Layman's reading of ancient history which is perfectly fine for me. you'll get Chinese Mongol and Venetian all wrapped into one

1 person found this helpful

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

Very enjoyable and informative

Marco Polo comes alive. I learned much about him, the areas, the times...most enjoyable. The reader has a very soothing, enjoyable voice.

1 person found this helpful

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

Marco the Traveler, Great Story

Narrator is good, no complaints.

The story is very good and will surprise you on the nature of Polo's time in Asia. He was with his father and uncle the entire time, but it's only because Marco was bored and in a Genovese jail as a prisoner-of-war that we know this story. He father and uncle wrote no story, we just know Marco's story.

Marco went to Asia as a teenager and came back to Venice as a man, nearly 40 years old. Amazing story to follow.

1 person found this helpful

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

Not What I expected But Fascinating Anyway...

I thought this was going to be a translation of Marco Polo’s writings on his travels. But in many ways, Bergreen’s book was more what I needed, not what I expected. A great and thoroughly engaging commentary with many quotes from Polo’s works, this book is an excellent introduction to the life & times of one of the most intrepid traveller of all times.

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

Incredible story well told

The story was far more than a reading of a modernized version of Polo’s original text. The author gave context where needed and contemporary geographical names to help place Polo in his travels. For a twenty first century person it was fascinating to hear about the advanced cultures and technology being used in the late 12th century. The level of detail and careful explanation, of details not in the text, helped give clarity to this mysterious culture. Given the lack of one definitive original text, the author did a good job a reconstructing this story and putting it into historical context. The narrator did an admirable job with all of the challenging pronunciations required. The story was fascinating, well constructed and well told. For these reasons I gave it five stars.