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This book was not what I expected. I thought it would be a narrative travelogue of the travels of Marco Polo, however it turned out to be more of a catalog of the cities and provinces he had visited. The first chapter was an introduction and provided background to the writing of his books but the subsequent chapters were just a recitation of provinces, their cities, none of which I knew or could find in my Atlas, and the nature and customs of their peoples. After about a couple of hours of this I was about to give up but when the section on the empire of Kublai Khan started I found the description of the government and the culture fascinating. The latter chapters on the region of Cathay were also a revelation to me. I had no idea of the magnitude of the civilization in this region in the 13th century. The book seemed to end abruptly with no conclusion or wrap up however I was very glad I persevered and felt that I learned much from it.
71 of 71 people found this review helpful
You have to be a bit of a history and travel buff combined but absolutely fascinating! To hear what Asia was like first hand in the late 1200s is great. The degree of detail amazing, also Marco P put in fascinating characters whenever he could. It may offend some, as it is written from the middle ages Christian perspective so is often quite rude about Islam and Eastern religions. However he does seem quite objective and positive about "pagan" rulers when they were doing a good job for the people they ruled. (I'm pretty sure Marco P would have been hard on the Christian Inquisition if it was his time to write about it.) I'm writing this as I load part 2, which I can't wait to listen to.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
This should have been a fascinting listen, however it was completely ruined by the boring american monotone used by the narrator - a voice which would be more suited to the educational cartoons of the 60s and 70s! I gave up.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Travels of Marco Polo better?
If you have watched the film then prepare yourself for a disappointment. The content is boring which is matched by the robotic voice of the reader.
What will your next listen be?
Something by Charles Dickens
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
3 of 3 people found this review helpful