The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes

The Lunatic Express Discovering the World via Its Most Dangerous Buses Boats Trains and Planes Indonesian Ferry Sinks Peruvian Bus Plunges Off Cliff African Train Attacked by Mobs Whenever he picked up the newspaper Carl Hoffman noticed those short news bulletins which seemed about as far fro

  • Title: The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes
  • Author: Carl Hoffman
  • ISBN: 9780767929813
  • Page: 211
  • Format: Paperback
  • Indonesian Ferry Sinks Peruvian Bus Plunges Off Cliff African Train Attacked by Mobs Whenever he picked up the newspaper, Carl Hoffman noticed those short news bulletins, which seemed about as far from the idea of tourism, travel as the pursuit of pleasure, as it was possible to get So off he went, spending six months circumnavigating the globe on the world s worstIndonesian Ferry Sinks Peruvian Bus Plunges Off Cliff African Train Attacked by Mobs Whenever he picked up the newspaper, Carl Hoffman noticed those short news bulletins, which seemed about as far from the idea of tourism, travel as the pursuit of pleasure, as it was possible to get So off he went, spending six months circumnavigating the globe on the world s worst conveyances the statistically most dangerous airlines, the most crowded and dangerous ferries, the slowest buses, and the most rickety trains The Lunatic Express takes us into the heart of the world, to some its most teeming cities and remotest places from Havana to Bogot on the perilous Cuban Airways Lima to the on crowded night buses where the road is a washed out track Across Indonesia and Bangladesh by overcrowded ferries that kill 1,000 passengers a year On commuter trains in Mumbai so crowded that dozens perish daily, across Afghanistan as the Taliban closes in, and, scariest of all, Los Angeles to Washington, D.C by Greyhound.The Lunatic Express is the story of traveling with seatmates and deckmates who have left home without American Express cards on conveyances that don t take Visa, and seldom take you anywhere you d want to go But it s also the story of traveling as it used to be a sometimes harrowing trial, of finding adventure in a modern, rapidly urbanizing world and the generosity of poor strangers, from ear cleaners to urban bus drivers to itinerant roughnecks, who make up most of the world s population More than just an adventure story, The Lunatic Express is a funny, harrowing and insightful look at the world as it is, a planet full of hundreds of millions of people, mostly poor, on the move and seeking their fortunes.From the Hardcover edition.

    • Best Read [Carl Hoffman] ☆ The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes || [Christian Book] PDF ✓
      211 Carl Hoffman
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Carl Hoffman] ☆ The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes || [Christian Book] PDF ✓
      Posted by:Carl Hoffman
      Published :2019-02-07T01:10:09+00:00

    About "Carl Hoffman"

    1. Carl Hoffman

      Carl Hoffman is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and the author of Savage Harvest A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art, his third book His second, The Lunatic Express Discovering the World Via It s Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains and Planes, was named one of the ten best books of 2010 by the Wall Street Journal and was a New York Times summer reading pick He has won four Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation and one North American Travel Journalism Award A veteran journalist and former contributing editor for Wired, he has traveled to than 70 countries on assignment for Outside, Smithsonian, National Geographic Adventure, ESPN, the Magazine, Wired, Men s Journal, Popular Mechanics and many other publications He is a native of Washington, D C and the father of three children.

    233 thoughts on “The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes”

    1. Eh, too much mid life crisis and basking in the warmth of all humanity whenever offered a cup of tea. Not enough trains.

    2. A first-reads win. Four and a half stars.Decades ago, I met a French-Canadian girl in Mexico City who hitchhiked by herself from Panama City to Mexico City. I was also traveling through Mexico by myself but I was amazed by her courage as a young woman to travel in an area that was considered to be quite dangerous at the time. Her response was that the only disturbing thing on her trip was being picked up by male drivers who spent the entire ride lecturing about both the danger and the immorality [...]

    3. A round-the-world trip, using the most dangerous methods possible. It's when the book is describing the conditions traveling this way that the book is at its most fascinating. The speeding, teetering buses, the overcrowded ferries, all fascinating. It was the author himself who gave me pause. On more than one occassion, he criticizes tourists who refuse to travel in anything less than (comparable) luxury as self-indulgent. This may be so, but how is his trip any less so? At the beginning of the [...]

    4. Meh. I suppose this wasn't horrible, but it got ponderous - the premise is that the author is going to ride/sail/fly on the riskiest transportation in the world, those with the greatest death rates - tries to pose it as some sort of adventure tourism, but finds out that these modes of transport are hardly skydiving - people take them because there really aren't any alternatives - and further the people he meets along the way are pretty decent and certainly don't think of themselves as adventures [...]

    5. Here in the U.S. we take it as our due that we have clean, comfortable, reliable, safe modes of public transportation. How rare and fortunate is that circumstance, as I learned from this book.Carl Hoffman spent five months traveling around the world seeking out the most notoriously unsafe means of conveyance and braving their discomforts as a passenger. Bad enough that these boats, trains, buses and planes have made news by killing hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. They're also crowded, s [...]

    6. The author left much to be desired--his writing didn't flow for me and I had no sympathy or feeling for him at all. Repetitive vocab and themes in each chapter (it was miserable/dangerous/smelly/crowded on the bus/plane/train/boat but I felt alive/connected to the world, etc. etc) made it hard for me to care, not to mention that he glossed over familial issues and never gave a resolute answer for how things ended or changed with his wife and family. Might not matter to all readers, but it matter [...]

    7. From reading this book, I realized three things:1. I love to travel. I love the timelessness of travel, and I love seeing how people live in this world.2. I love the random conversations and interactions that come from travel. They get me out of my little life and make me re-think my assumptions.3. I am too old and rigid for the kind of travel Hoffman does. I am no longer enchanted by looking out bus windows at 1700 foot drop-offs, and I no longer want to think about wearing shoes with thick eno [...]

    8. More in-depth self-analysis and self-discovery than mid-life crisis, via an insane trip around the world. I enjoyed the passages in India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan the most, where I felt the author really connected with people rather than just experienced a dangerous method of transportation in a solitary but group experience. A passage that resonated with me from his time in Bangladesh: "We ate with our hands, Fardus urging me on and on, displaying a hospitality and generosity that felt overw [...]

    9. I heard Carl Hoffman on Rick Steve's Travel podcast and thought it might be a fun read. I had a difficult time enjoying it once I discovered the author was a middle aged man with three children he left behind and a wife he was estranged from. At the back of the book it details when he left on this 159 day adventure that according to an experienced actuary had a 50% chance of death. That was hard to swallow but I read on trying to ignore this fact and the angst in the hearst of his loved ones tha [...]

    10. Ich habe vermutlich den Fehler gemacht das Buch auf deutsch zu lesen, der Schreibstil war so gar nicht meins, aber evtl ist dies der Uebersetzung geschuldet.Trotzdem habe ich das Buch verschlungen, da es mich wieder zurueck auf/in meine eigenen Reisen mitgenommen hat. Die Situationen in denen sich der Autor wiederfindet, sowohl die zwar oberflaechlichen, aber ins Herz gehenden Begegnungen, die Tiefpunkte voller Dreck, Einsamkeit und Unruhe, als auch der Kulturschock bei der Rueckkehr in eine wes [...]

    11. The author seeks out dangerous transportation in developing countries. He tries to convince us that there's an element of emotional or spiritual growth to all of this. But I found myself unconvinced and asking why do this? In spite of his reflections on the experience, it still struck me as mainly backpacker bragging about the most spectacular budget travel adventures.

    12. Daily travel for the developed world is a relatively safe endeavor for most commuters. When newspaper articles kept popping up about how unsafe transportation in many nations is, Carl Hoffman decided that this would be an excellent experience to write about. So, he packed his bags and set out across the world to experience the world’s most dangerous modes of transportation. His journey took him to South America, Asia, Africa, and North America where he took planes, trains, automobiles, and fer [...]

    13. I enjoyed the travelogue aspects of this book and getting educated about the appalling standard of travel in other countries. There's no such thing as "safe" travel anywhere, but in an unregulated environment, it is a total nightmare. But I was frankly repulsed by the writer's willingness to subject others to emotional and physical duress and outright danger because of this self-centered quest for a thrill ride. OK, maybe he's estranged from his wife, but that doesn't justify inflicting months o [...]

    14. Carl Hoffman, the author, decides to travel the globe and decides to do it in the most dangerous ways possible. Surprisingly the most dangerous are those that on paper would seem the safest. Taxis, commuter trains and airplanes. The author searched for the most treacherous of these and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. You takes trains in Africa. Boats in Asia and buses and cabs everywhere. What he discovers is that most people in the world if you join them openly and honestly are kind to [...]

    15. This was our book group selection for August. It was actually a perfect read for me, since I love to read travel-themed books during the summer. Carl Hoffman decides to travel the world and attempt to take the worst/most dangerous modes of transportation. As Westerners, we cannot fully appreciate the ways that the average person in the rest of the world travels. As “average” Americans, our closest travel comparison might be the crowded city bus or possibly a Greyhound bus across the country. [...]

    16. I basically have two questions about this book:1) What did his family say?2) Why is it marketed as being all about dangerous transportation?Okay, honestly, both of these are to some degree answered: there's no real discussion of what his family thinks, but we can infer that his wife first worries and then (view spoiler)[moves on, just as he seems to do. I mean, when you've been gone for more than six months and your wife doesn't want to drive forty minutes to pick you up, you know the marriage h [...]

    17. Whenever my friends or family think that by traveling to Africa and Asia for work I am doing something risky, I should hand them this book. I have a hard time relating to someone who chooses the overcrowded Indonesian ferry, speeding Andean bus or rickety Afghan airline because he wants to experience the hardest possible means of travel. But the author is very honest about the psychological complications underpinning his travel decisions. Why should we choose to wall ourselves away from the grit [...]

    18. While I quite enjoyed this book and flew through it, I found it to be a bit uneven at first. I felt as if it started off slow and unsteady- his journey down to South America via the Chinatown bus and then a notoriously bad airline via Toronto was glossed over in just a few sentences. It took a while to build up momentum this happened slowly throughout his journey through South America, and for me at least didn't really pick up until his arrival in Africa. That's when things really started to com [...]

    19. So I have NO idea why this book has such a mediocre rating, given that I laughed my way throughout most of it. What a fun read!! I'm a sucker for a good travelogue, and I love reading about crazy adventures like this one! This is probably because I would never have the guts (or maybe part stupidity?) to travel in the fearless and, fair to say, reckless way that the author did, nor will I probably ever get to see some of the amazing places he has. So it's part curiosity that led me do read this o [...]

    20. When I first began reading this book, I was anticipating a romping, quick ride. Traveling thru some truly dangerous territory on truly dangerous conveyances and enjoying it from the comfort of my recliner. I was not disappointed. It was fast, Mr. Hoffman does not mince words. In fact, I wish he had lingered a bit longer in some locales. But what I did not expect was the back story that peaked thru the pages and grew and matured with each chapter. Mr. Hoffman started questioning his own motives f [...]

    21. "Lunatic Express" is an apt title. This guy left the comforts of home for a bit of adventure. He traveled around the world searching out the most primitive, risky, and uncomfortable modes of transportation. He rode on urban Indian trains that are so dangerously overcrowded that they claim several lives every single day. He suffered through temperatures of thirty five below zero in Mongolia while traveling by truck on roads that were barely discernible from the frozen countryside. Throughout the [...]

    22. I thought it was an excellent read. Hoffman documents his five-month world tour using the same conveyances used by most people around the world; his joy in discovering that he was accepted for not travelling like a rich American, and his sorrow at being separated from his wife and children, his loneliness, his "otherness". This was another book which exposes the reality behind the glossy travel brochures.

    23. I probably should give this book another try as I've traveled buses in very remote places But I can't get over the authors cavalier attitude toward repeatedly leaving his family. He strikes me as overwhelmingly selfish and his aire of carefreeness was just too much fr me to get past. So arrogant.

    24. So by the end of this book, the author realizes that he embraces travel and other people in order to escape his life with wife and family big surprise. I realized this from the first chapter. When the narrator is not appealing, the book is always going to be horrible.

    25. Some good qoutes but really just a long drawn out midlife crisis by a man who is quite self absorbed and chooses to put himself in danger only to realize he shouldn't do stuff like this he should be with his family. The book made me frustrated a lot.

    26. This is the story of someone who wants to say he's faced danger and didn't flinch. Oh yeah, and I'll leave my family for months to do it. Engaging at times, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    27. Really disliked this book. I felt the author was pompous (sp?) and did not do justtice to the people he met. The book was more about him than the places and the transportation that he took.

    28. I expected this to be a travel book that would help me live vicariously through the author's wacky, zany, uncomfortable, and mind-blowing experiences. Well, I got that and I got a little more too. The details about traveling on some of the world's most dangerous conveyances was definitely an interesting read, and one that I'm not about to recreate in my own life (thank god, some of them were pretty harrowing). That part I really enjoyed. The author sure isn't a whiner, and put up with some prett [...]

    29. I can see wanting to experience and understand cultures by living with them and eating what they eat, travel the way they travel, etc Anthropologists do this as part of their study. But this writer seems to be doing it as a dare or a way to feel alive by defying death. It seems like a form of sell-pity through "slumming it" using people of the world as his way of feeling good in comparison to how others live. I gave it three stars as I was interested in where he traveled. In my opinion he was do [...]

    30. I lived in Sylhet, a beautiful city. Now I live in Dhaka, a messy one. For my job I needed to commute at least 3 hours a day and transport is really something that sucks away my time and energy. Thus I started reading the book on the road. As the writer demands, this book is about his travel through worlds worst transport systems which have high risk and mortality according to news and his own statistics, so that I feel a bit better that I'm not on those scary trains or jerky matatus. The funny [...]

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