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Book Review: Intrepid Travelers edited by Nicholas Litchfield

Intrepid Travelers is a solid collection of funny and fine travel-themed stories, poetry, essays and interviews that easily fits in a back pocket or carry-on bag.
Intrepid Travelers is a solid collection of funny and fine travel-themed stories, poetry, essays and interviews that easily fits in a back pocket or carry-on bag.

Intrepid Travelers
Edited by Nicholas Litchfield
Lowestoft Chronicle Press
(June 1, 2013)
160 pages, $14.95

When the Kindle came out a few years ago, I thought this incredible device just might be the final blow for printed versions of literary anthologies, journals and magazines -- at least the ones without the backing of a major university press or college writing program -- the “little” magazines on which so many great writers and poets have cut their teeth over the years. After all, why carry around an anthology of writers’ work with you when the Kindle was like having an entire electronic library in your pocket? Plus, even the best literary journals have versions already available online.

As a poet and short story writer myself, I love and support these journals as much as possible, and have for years. I still subscribe and submit my own work to them regularly. I’ve even worked for a few of them as a writer, reviewer and interviewer. So when I received Intrepid Travelers in the mail for review, a literary anthology I had never read or seen before, I was not only pleasantly surprised to see one still going so strongly, I was also extremely impressed, after reading it, with the variety and quality of the writing.

Intrepid Travelers is an anthology of short, mostly humorous, travel-themed poetry, prose, essays and interviews. Made up of 8 short stories (mostly under 3,000 words), 7 poems, 4 essays and 3 interviews, there’s something here for everyone to check out between novels while on vacation or holiday, a lunch break, or even while you’re waiting to board a plane, train or bus. Each of the works was selected by editor Nicholas Litchfield from the quarterly online literary magazine, the Lowestoft Chronicle, published during 2012. And without a single stinker or filler piece in the bunch, this wonderful 160-page “little” anthology definitely bids well for the strength of work the online magazine version must regularly publish.

There are simply too many works I enjoyed for me to discuss each one in any real detail here, so I’ll just say that I really liked the poems and short stories by Robert Mangeot, Barth Landor and dl mattila. And I especially liked the creative non-fiction from Denise Thompson-Slaughter and the fascinating interview with the prolific New York Times bestselling author James Reasoner, writer of some 300 books and 100+ short stories. I think readers and fellow writers will definitely appreciate the essay by Sharleen Jonsson called These Are the Days. In it, Jonsson, whose husband takes a 10-day trip to the wilderness with his friends to finally catch that “Big Fish,” chronicles, with insight and humor, each day spent doing all of the things she keeps saying she’ll do as soon as there’s time – it’s really a fantastic piece of writing. There’s also a fabulous flash fiction fable by Michael C. Keith called Pajaro Diablo about a Peruvian boy who, thanks to a legendary evil bird, learns an important lesson about death.

If you’re not completely sold on the anthology yet, at least take a few minutes to visit the website and have a look around, maybe donate a couple bucks if you like what you see. If you’re a writer and you have some great travel-themed work, visit the online site and support the magazine by submitting your work and spreading the word to your friends and family.

Bottom line: Intrepid Travelers travels well. It’s a solid collection of funny and fine travel-themed stories, poetry, essays and interviews that, at 160 pages, easily fits in a back pocket or carry-on bag.

About the editor:
Nicholas Litchfield is the founding editor of Lowestoft Chronicle. He has worked in many cities around the world, and has been, at times, a writer for a weekly tabloid newspaper and a researcher for the BBC. He now works as a librarian and lives in Western New York. Intrepid Travelers is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the website.

Twitter: @LowJournal
Facebook: Lowestoft Chronicle

Frank Mundo, LA Books Examiner, is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories (now available for Kindle and Nook). Don't forget to subscribe to Frank Mundo’s emails and follow him on Twitter @frankemundo or @LABooksExaminer for the latest updates.

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