One for the Road: Bad Trips

Feel free to complain about today’s pick — a title from the archives — but I just felt like following up a Head Trip with a collection of Bad Trips. Fact is, this semi-ancient anthology received lukewarm reviews, but we’re going to feature it today anyway — some of you may still fancy a go at it: Bad Trips, originally published in 1991, is followed by this rather long and not-so-good subtitle: a sometimes terrifying, sometimes hilarious collection of writing on the perils of the road.

I learned about the book over at one of my favorite new blogs, where the map on the cover was the focus of discussion. Looking closer at the content, we learn that it’s a quirky collection of stories about disaster, danger and discomfort on the road. Authors are out of their element in many of these tales: Umberto Eco in a tacky hotel in Southern California, Jonathan Raban on a brief trip through the squalor of Louisiana, and Anita Desai on a frigid, midwinter sojourn to a Norwegian island.

Although it might not be the best travel anthology out there, with contributors like these, as well as other familiar names like Jan Morris, Redmond O’Hanlon and John Updike, I’m sure the tales are engaging and well done. Besides that, they are supposed to be bad anyway!