The Size of the World by Jeff Greenwald

The Size of the World

By the time that travel writer Jeff Greenwald hit his late thirties, he had covered more ground than Magellan, Marco Polo, and Columbus combined. But he also came to a sobering conclusion: airplanes had reduced his exotic explorations to a series of long commutes. So he set out to rediscover the mass, the gravity, and the size of the world. His mission: to circle the earth without leaving its surface.What followed was a remarkable odyssey, as Gre...

Details The Size of the World

TitleThe Size of the World
Release DateMar 11th, 1997
PublisherBallantine Books
GenreTravel, Nonfiction, Adventure, Cultural, Asia, Biography Memoir

Reviews The Size of the World

  • Rebecca
    I did enjoy this travelogue. I have a particular weakness for travelogues. However, I would have enjoyed this a lot more if there was less talk about the author's flaccid middle-age peen. I'm reading a nice description about a Mali city and the Peace Corps volunteer he met there, and then boom! Our dude is narrating how he would love to rip her clothes off and violently fuck her in the middle of the street. I can only imagine how the poor woman m...
  • Karen
    Jeff Greenwald is a travel writer who, looking at his life as he approached his 40th birthday, found that he was spending too much time in airports and not enough time having genuine travel experiences. So he decided to travel around the world by land and sea - no airplanes allowed. I love Jeff's mix of humor, spirituality, and (understandable) kvetching; and his powers of observation. The book is often funny and at times deeply moving. Also, wit...
  • Matt Rainson
    1/3rd of the way though this book I realized I hated all of the characters. I kept reading it in the hopes some tragedy befell them. Sadly, it did not.
  • Stephanie
    I must say I enjoyed it. I think I enjoyed it because I read it like the trip it describes. It was a very long and very slow trip, so I took a very long and very slow time reading it. I kept reading other things in-between. So whenever I came back to it I was refreshed and not bored by JG's "voice" or the things he described.Sometimes it did seem like a bit too much Asia. And I wasn't particularly fond of Sally, but she wasn't in it much. This is...
  • Rachel
    this is the first book with which I was ever conscious that it had made an impact on me.I was a science nerd at the time but I got it with a Barnes and Noble gift card from Christmas. maybe it was the situation in which I bought it (it was my first time going to the barnes and noble at hawthorne mall...I told my dad on the way home that I could just hide out behind the shelves until they closed and then live there...they had comfy chairs, there w...
  • Andrew Hecht
    Greenwald travels around the world close to the equator with his HP donated laptop. It's a good book. Greenwald is a deft and elqouent writer. However, he's one of the reasons I didn't become a travel writer. I took a travel writing seminar with him and several other writers during which he complained constantly about how little he was paid and how difficult the lifestyle is, very understandably. That didn't really bother me, I was still interest...
  • Jessica
    I liked his travels, the concept, but I wasn't fond of him as an author or main character. He has a very annoying habit of quoting or making reference to things that are not easily accessible, which gives him a definite air of pretension. And all those references were not necessary to the story so I found it a hindrance. I definitely would have no desire to hang out with him. Of course this book was written in 1994 which makes him about the age o...
  • Sarah Ewald
    This book about a trip around the world, taken in late Dec. 1993-Sept. 1994, is fascinating. It was undertaken in the pre-9/11 world, security-wise, but many of the same problems still exist. The premise of Jeff's trip was to circumnavigate the world via the ground or via ocean, and not take any air travel. That created problems along the way, and he ran into many who couldn't understand his reluctance for air travel. It started out slow, but I c...
  • Jennifer
    I had some problems with the narrator of this book, but the content and subject matter overshadowed this in the end. Somehow it's reassuring to read the story of a man trying to circumnavigate the globe without leaving its surface during his mid-life crisis with only his ex-girlfriend who is seeking her Indian guru for company while you are stuck in the Jet Blue terminal at JFK. The journey takes him to some fantastic places, raises some interest...
  • Cindy
    I would never want to go on the journey that Jeff Greenwald did in this book. I like creature comforts too much. And I like my tongue to stay pink, not black (read the book to see what I mean). However, reading about someone else taking this journey was certainly interesting. Greenwald's writing style is easy and entertaining. His ideas are insightful.
  • Clare
    This book follows the author on his journey around the world, a journey made all the more arduous as he is commissioned to do so without ever leaving the surface of the earth. No air travel makes for a long trip, but also offers more allowed this modern day traveler insight into the logistics of how hard traveling used to be.
  • Michelle
    I flat-out adored this book. From page 1, the author's humble approach to travel captivates. Greenwald brings a vast planet down to human scale and gently expands human purposes out into the infinity of time.
  • Danny
    awesome...... a bit heavy on the religious extrapolations... but over all i like it, i would love to go around the world like that!!
  • Bookstax
    Loved it! I want to do the same trip myself one day.
  • Valerie
    I enjoy his books. My favorite is Shopping for Buddhas.
  • Dennis
    I read this a few years ago. It is an account of the authors travel around the world mostly by land without flying. A quick and enjoyable read, very humorous and fun.
  • Dan Tasse
    Guy travels around the world without airplanes. Very interesting adventures. Scary, exciting, annoying, difficult, transformative, etc. I liked this a lot.
  • Holly
    I didn't find this book super suspenseful, but I did like the author and appreciated his honesty and soul searching during a 7 month trip around the world without taking a single airplane flight.
  • Lefluf
    He's very horny, this guy.