Saturday, May 05, 2007


The Journeyer by Gary Jennings

Feb 21, 2007 "Marco Polo was nicknamed "Marco of the millions" because his Venetian countrymen took the grandiose stories of his travels to be exaggerated, if not outright lies. As he lay dying, his priest, family, and friends offered him a last chance to confess his mendacity, and Marco, it is said, replied "I have not told the half of what I saw and did." Now Gary Jennings has imagined the half that Marco left unsaid as even more elaborate and adventurous than the tall tales thought to be lies. From the palazzi and back streets of medieval Venice to the sumptuous court of Kublai Khan, from the perfumed sexuality of the Levant to the dangers and rigors of travel along the Silk Road, Marco meets all manner of people, survives all manner of danger, and, insatiably curious, becomes an almost compulsive collector of customs, languages and women.In more than two decades of travel, Marco was variously a merchant, a warrior, a lover, a spy, even a tax collector - but always a journeyer, unflagging in his appetite for new experiences, regretting only what he missed. Here - recreated and reimagined with all the splendor, the love of adventure, the zest for the rare and curious that are Jennings's hallmarks - is the epic account, at once magnificent and delightful, of the greatest real-life adventurer in human history. " Taken from back cover
I had such great hopes for this book. I mean, it's Marco Polo. Think of the experiences and adventures. All the reveiws I read made it sound so captivating and interesting. Needless to say, my hopes were dashed quite quickly. Unfortunately, I missed the review that discusses Jennings' almost clinical descriptions of sexual activity. Even that did not mention how much sexual activity there was. I read about 250 pages of this 1000-page book and finally gave up. Sexual acts, responses, mores, customs, etc seemed to be the main fare and it was way too explicit for me. All of this takes place on Polo's first journey to Cathay from Venice. He had made it to Baghdad when I quit. Somewhere in this book, there must be all that adventure that the reveiwers mention. I'm just not stouthearted enough to continue on through the muck. So I will cross this off my Chunkster Challenge and find another to replace it.
Rating: 0
Posted by Framed at 7:15 PM

booklogged said...
Holy smokes - a zero rating! That's extremely sad. Thanks for warning us. This is one I will avoid like the plague.
8:02 PM
Anonymous said...
This is Joy. Blogger wouldn't let me through. :(Wow! I think 250 pages is well beyond the "trial period". You deserve a good book. :)
5:55 AM
Cassie said...
Well, I guess I'll take this off my TBR list. I thought it sounded interesting to me too but I need something that will stimulate me intellectually or emotionally and not sexually.
8:45 AM
SuziQoregon said...
I read and enjoyed Gary Jennings' Aztec. Then I tried to read one of his others and just couldn't get into it.Hope you find a great replacement Chunkster!
9:42 PM
Lotus Reads said...
Wow, I would have been disappointed too, especially as the blurb makes it sound so interesting! I hope you have better luck with your next chunkster, framed!
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