The Best American Travel Writing 2004 (The Best American Series)

Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind.
The Best American Travel Writing 2004 transports readers from Patagonia to Ivory Coast to small-town Vermont. Readers are treated to car and truck trips across America, can fall "in lust" in the South Pacific, and go into the heart of the Congo to rescue gorillas. This year's volume is edited by Pico Iyer, who writes in his fascinating introduction, "Restlessness is part of the American way. It's part of what brought many of the rest of us to America." The Best American Travel Writing 2004 displays American restlessness at its most tantalizing and entertaining.

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By Tim (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · March 04, 2015
I was not as crazy about this as I was about the 2005 edition, but it still had a number of excellent pieces. A large number of them take place within the USA, and I am more interested in international travel essays. Iyer (the editor) seems to like muscular writing and visits to places that are a... ...more
By Ellen (Columbus, OH) · ★★★★☆ · February 23, 2015
An excellent collection of travel-related writing that makes me want to read "The Best American Travel Writing" for every year. My only quibble is that there were too few women represented here. (Only 4 of the 24 essays are by women.) Are women just not as adventurous or as eloquent as men? It wo... ...more
By Will (The United States) · January 02, 2013
Reviewing as I go. Here are my take aways Romance- Not so much a travel piece as a memoir from the 20's-30's. interesting that Angell glosses over the fact that EB White is his stepdad. Test Day- Interesting story from a non traditional source.about a teacher teaching English in Tanzania. It's al... ...more
By Vivian (Santa Barbara, CA) · ★★★☆☆ · November 05, 2009
Liked: There was a great one about a man who makes it a life goal to travel a forgotten military road across Burma. He pulls some crazy stunts just to get in then feels conflicted with his silly quest when he views widespread oppression up close.
Did not like: The one about a dumb girl in the sout... ...more
By Jessica (Saint Paul, MN) · ★★★★☆ · January 08, 2011
Read selections of this for travel writing class. Many different types of "travel" writing-- adventure, exploration, discovery, traveling the familiar, transportation. I did a presentation on Heather Eliot's "Sandbays in the Archipelago," which was awesome. ...more
By Randy (Canal Winchester, OH) · ★★★☆☆ · September 05, 2007
It is always hard to rate an anthology. This one, like most, is hit-or-miss. Some stories, like Bill McKibben's story about a Vermont town, is thought-provoking and great. Others are more forgettable. ...more
By Rose (Baltimore, MD) · ★★★★☆ · November 30, 2007

Random pick up at the book thing turned out to be much better than expected. Maybe I'll try some more from "The Best..." series. ...more
By Alex (Norwood, MO) · ★★★☆☆ · March 12, 2008
This is a great collection. It was my friend during some solitary times in Costa Rica. ...more
By noisy penguin (San Diego, CA) · ★★★★☆ · June 07, 2007
I want to be a travel writer. ...more