Marco Polo was nicknamed "Marco of the millions" because his Venetian countrymen took the grandiose stories of his travels to be exaggerated, if not outright lies. As he lay dying, his priest, family, and friends offered him a last chance to confess his mendacity, and Marco, it is said, replied "I have not told the half of what I saw and did." ...
Marco Polo was nicknamed "Marco of the millions" because his Venetian countrymen took the grandiose stories of his travels to be exaggerated, if not outright lies. As he lay dying, his priest, family, and friends offered him a last chance to confess his mendacity, and Marco, it is said, replied "I have not told the half of what I saw and did." Now Gary Jennings has imagined the half that Marco left unsaid as even more elaborate and adventurous than the tall tales thought to be lies. From the palazzi and back streets of medieval Venice to the sumptuous court of Kublai Khan, from the perfumed sexuality of the Levant to the dangers and rigors of travel along the Silk Road, Marco meets all manner of people, survives all manner of danger, and, insatiably curious, becomes an almost compulsive collector of customs, languages and women. In more than two decades of travel, Marco was variously a merchant, a warrior, a lover, a spy, even a tax collector - but always a journeyer, unflagging in his appetite for new experiences, regretting only what he missed. Here - recreated and reimagined with all the splendor, the love of adventure, the zest for the rare and curious that are Jennings's hallmarks - is the epic account, at once magnificent and delightful, of the greatest real-life adventurer in human history.
This is such a wonderful adventure! The book takes you to all kinds of different places. Along the way you will experience different cultures and interesting characters. Gary Jennings is such a great story teller and all of his books are backed by a ton of research on his part. I kept this one to read again sometime. Highly recommended!
Apr 2, 2007
A journey by Marco Polo tainted
I read Gary Jennings The Journey to the end and was rather disappointed with the pornography along the way which is the reason I won't recommend it. It was an inspiring novel about the trips of Marco Polo and I felt there was a good reason for writing it. It has kept me from reading the other of the works of the late Gary Jennings. I suppose some of the graphic scenes were thrown in to get attention but it didn't help with the flow of the story. Tales of interesting places like this and the work of James Michener intrigued me in the 1980s. After I had lived in Maryland as an adult I read Michener's Chesapeake which had the breadth and scope of The Journeyer. Michener never stooped to graphic descriptions although the love scene in the airliner in The Drifters was actually as graphic as he ever got whether he wrote terrific small books like Sayonarra or the big blockbusters like Chesapeake.
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