A Tale of Adventures and So Much More
By Matt Gross
Da Capo Press, $15.99, 288 pages
Matt Gross is an accomplished travel writer with namesake journals such as The New York Times. The Turk Who Loved Apples covers his life of travels, from his childhood in the family station wagon to his stint in Vietnam right out of college to his many journeys beyond. For many readers, getting paid to travel and write about it is a dream job, but Gross dispels the glamour with his diatribe about loneliness, getting lost (sometimes on purpose) and the guilt associated with traveling to poverty-stricken third world locales. Gross meets lots of characters during his travels and learns that the word “friend” and its meaning come in many different forms.
Gross’s personal life changes after getting married and having a child, and he learns that traveling with children is not easy. This book is part memoir, part travel odyssey and part growing-up story. Don’t expect travel tips or laundry lists of places to eat and see. This is an introspective book based on Gross’s none too glamorous but always interesting travel adventures.
Gross writes with detail and realism. He sometimes goes off on tangents, but the storyline is easy to follow. His love of Vietnam is apparent. His hatred of all things touristy is apparent, also. This is a satisfying read, and it might even compel you to write down your own journeys.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff