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The Nine Horizons: Travels in Sundry Places
By Mike Robbins
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Although there's nothing particularly outstanding about Mike Robbins' The Nine Horizons, travel fans will want to pick up a copy anyway, simply because it's such a solid and strong example of a classic travelogue based on real experiences. Split into nine chapters detailing nine trips the British author made throughout the 1980s and '90s, this has the formal tone of an older travel writer like George Orwell, a certain primness to the proceedings that helps keep the sometimes outrageous stories about exotic locations in check; and I must admit, it's fascinating to read so long after the fact Robbins' political observations about certain areas of the world that were once hotbeds twenty or thirty years ago but no longer are (or are sometimes hot again for entirely different reasons, like his entertaining account of a pre-Arab-Spring Syria). Although not a genre-crossing "must read" even for people who don't particularly like travelogues, it certainly should go in your to-be-read list if you are, an illuminating and well-done series of vignettes that kept me quickly turning pages until I was done.
Out of 10: 8.3, or 9.3 for fans of travel writing