"Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up."
- Ernest Hemingway
Travel writers have an onerous duty to report their global wanderings. Many use humour to inform us of things from forms of transportation, accommodation and food. Some paint a vivid picture so we can live through their words and experience the sights and sounds from far and wide.
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux is a classic. Written in 1975 about Theroux's train travels, the book has not dated. There are so many hilarious observations, including his description of a fellow train travellers' penchant for strange cartoons, to his hysterical chapter about a Japanese musical.
Theroux's subsequent books have met with mixed reviews. I've heard people say that you either love his writing, or you hate it. The Great Railway Bazaar is excellent, and upon lending the book to others, has met with positive reviews. If you want a good laugh, and to learn about some parts of the world now closed to tourists, this is the book for you.