Publishers Weekly Review
Gross once hopped between cities as The New York Times "Frugal Traveler", and here the Brooklyn resident mulls an affinity for travel that began when he was a child, "sitting in the backseat of the fam-ily station wagon, looking out the window." Rather than simply rehash pieces from over the years, though, Gross gets introspective. He recalls foods consumed in Southeast Asia, for example, and the items that wreaked havoc on his digestive system. He had taken medication beforehand. "But none of those had protected me from the shrimp curry I'd eaten... Or the pho... Or the tap water I used to brush my teeth. Or the fat chunks of ice in my beer..." But he also wonders if a "giardia-free world" "would mean a life of eating without consequences, and that felt far too easy." Gross talks about the 55-year-old Turkish farmer in whose apple orchards he volunteered for several days in exchange for food and lodging. Their meeting affected him tremendously, giving him greater confidence. Reflections and ex-periences like these keep Gross's work from getting too self-involved and add substance to what could have been one travel writer's self-indulgent catch-all. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.