FAMILY TRAVELS by Richard Reeves

FAMILY TRAVELS

Around the World in 30 (or so) Days

KIRKUS REVIEW

Veteran journalist and traveler Reeves (President Kennedy: Profile of Power, 1993, etc.) in lite mode, as he cobbles together family impressions of their 34-day, jet-propelled, round-the-world jaunt. Reeves, his wife, Catherine, and (for most of the trip) three of their children, ages 10 to 29, took off in mid-1995 for a quick spin around the globe. The kids were asked by Catherine to spend a few minutes each day jotting down their impressions. Reeves gathered together all these notes and, plaiting them with his own whimsical material and the more severe musings of Catherine, produced this pastiche of travelogue, memoir, and off-the-cuff personal journalism. They headed west, to Tokyo, then China, Indonesia, the Subcontinent, the Persian Gulf, the Levant, and lastly to Europe via North Africa. They hit the usual tourist spots, spent much time critiquing their lodgings, kept up an awesome pace. While both Catherine and the children occasionally write some pretty bright stuff, it is Reeves's personality that shines from these pages: He is an expert at the thumbnail sketch of places and politics (for years a political correspondent, he had covered many of the lands they were to visit) and at concise histories (Pakistan is particularly good here). But it's clear that he likes people most--"In the end you can gauge countries and the whole world on whether or not you like the people you meet." While most of those they seem to have encountered were either prime ministers or ambassadors or press attachés or assorted bureau chiefs, that doesn't faze Reeves, nor, thankfully, does it go to his head. Though it's all too quick for any depth, there are savory nuggets everywhere, and the little absurdities and disjunctions of travel take on vigor and wit in Reeves's hands.
Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8362-2175-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1997




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