Manual The Customs of the Kingdoms of India (Penguin Great Journeys)

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I think there might be more interesting travelogue about this part of the world than this skinny book. View 2 comments. Jan 14, Daren rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , travel , italian-author , iran , sri-lanka , india , multi-continent , madagascar , tanzania , excerpt. If I had a dollar for every "Let me tell you", "You must know that Still it is interesting to read, as there are many other books which attempt to determine his route and which of his writings can be tied to actual If I had a dollar for every "Let me tell you", "You must know that Still it is interesting to read, as there are many other books which attempt to determine his route and which of his writings can be tied to actual places and events and which are simply fanciful re-tellings of stories Polo was told.

Feb 18, Angel rated it really liked it. Large portions are identical to "Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls". I didnt realize that both were holding excerpts from the same source material. Like in the other book a lot of sentences begin with "Let me tell you". The language is simple and very repetitive.

Marco Polo

And his accounts thou interesting sound quite fantastical so take it with a grain of salt. I understand that it was a different time back then, but some of his writing is really taking it too far: "They are quite black and go Large portions are identical to "Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls".

I understand that it was a different time back then, but some of his writing is really taking it too far: "They are quite black and go entirely naked except that they cover their private parts. Their hair is so curly that it can scarcely be straightened out with the aid of water. They have big mouths and their noses are so flattened and their lips and eyes so big that they are horrible to look at.

Anyone who saw them in another country would say that they were devils. Jul 24, Popco rated it it was ok Shelves: history , pre , travelogue. I'd swear the phrase pops up at an average of two times a page, which starts getting old after the first ten pages or so. If ever a work needed editing, this would be it.

After all the stories he must have heard on his travels, I would've expected Polo to be a better storyteller himself. And since his travels were written down by an actual novelist Rustichello there is no excuse for this absolute travesty.


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There is no reason whatsoever for a man who reads and writes for a living to sound like a drunken sailor reminiscing about his travels in front of an equally drunk and unwilling audience. And then So why two stars and not one? Well, is was interesting to read such a completely different and strange recounting of the world through the eyes of someone who lived years ago.

The History of India: Geography, Culture and Religions

In fact, I do plan on reading the complete 'Travels' someday. This excerpt is only about 80 pages, so I don't regret reading it and wouldn't mind recommending it to others. However, this would have been a much better not to mention informational book if it had been annotated, putting Polo's observations in a historical context and trying to parse fact from fiction.

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Marco Polo traveled these areas in the late 13th century, on his way to visit the Yuan Emperor in China. Travels is a wonderful travelogue by a European in a world full of mystery.


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His culture shock is evident in his writing, as is the excitement of discovering something he The Customs of the Kingdoms of India is a brief excerpt from Marco Polo's "Travels. His culture shock is evident in his writing, as is the excitement of discovering something he has never experienced before. The Customs of India section is equally interesting. So why just 3 stars? I rated this three stars because I should have just read the full "Travels. Breaking up a book that is about pages long, into 4 or 5 texts and selling them individually may be a bit strange. The whole package is surely a bit more enjoyable then just a taste.

All things considered, Marco Polo's travelogues are obviously works of classic literature. Part travel writing on customs, trade goods, and cultural norms, part filled with stories and legends from those he encounters, part pure fabrication, Marco Polo's travel writings remain exciting and controversial to this day. However, they are surely worth reading in their entirety.

The Customs of the Kingdoms of India - Marco Polo

This expert is interesting, but probably worth passing up for the whole "Travels" as there is much more of interest to read about. The Customs of the Kingdoms of India is a quick and enjoyable read, but it is just a chapter in a larger story. I would recommend that instead. Aug 01, Don rated it liked it Shelves: travel. The tern 'India' obviously meant something more extensive to the Europeans of the 13th century than the land we now associate with the subcontinent. In this account it begins in Hormuz, the Persian gulf port now in Iran.

Polo provides anecdotes of an ancient 'Sheikh of the Assassins' that could have come from the ' nights'. The on to the lands of the Bay of Bengal - Ceylon and Andaman, whose people are 'idolaters and live like wild beasts. There are towns and cities aplenty in these rich lands, and their peoples are also idolaters. But India also stretches across the Indian Ocean and Madagascar and Zanzibar and also includes the strange land of Male and Female Island, where women live on one and men the other. The account seems to be a fantasy woven around a few basic facts leaving you to wonder exactly what the traveller saw there Then, the circuit goes through Aden, whose Sultan was supposedly so cruel to his Christian subjects, and eventually arriving back at Hormuz.

Oct 07, A. Klemm rated it liked it.

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I picked this book up for two simples facts: 1. I am collecting all of Penguin Books Great Ideas publications and 2. There are elephants on the front cover.

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I adore elephants. They are powerful, dignified, trustworthy, humorous, and endearing. Apr 12, Johanna Lomuljo rated it really liked it. Binasa ko to noong time na dapat pinag-aaralan ko ang East Asian kingdoms for Histo haha. Pero in all fairness, na-appreciate ko tuloy yung mga lessons namin before.

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Lalo na yung sa Jainism, dammit hardcore pala super. While binabasa ko ito, ang daming moments na naisip kong "What? OA kasi yung details. Pero nice na book. Aug 09, Akshat rated it it was ok. An interesting insight into medieval India and beyond from a medieval and slightly prejudiced and racist European perspective. Aug 12, Rainey rated it liked it Shelves: biography-nonfiction. Fact heavy, but interesting to see how much the "facts" have changed.

Nov 17, Russell Mark Olson rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , classics , history. Stick to traveling Marco, writing ain't your forte, let me tell you. Still, interesting though.