With Few Reservations
With Few Reservations is a collection of 48 engaging commentaries that includes lively takes on what a travel writer does (“Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”) and vivid descriptions of what it is like to enjoy Austrian ambiance of in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Italian culture in a Swiss canton, the awesome scenery in Patagonia—in short, all of the delights and foibles of travel. Author Peter Rose tells of his own conversion experience in the Arizona desert, playing a gumshoe in Honolulu, serving as a tour guide in Amsterdam, visiting Sarajevo, traveling across Europe by river boat, windjamming off the coast of Maine and in the Mediterranean, and savoring the unique flavor of other special places and experiences from Cape Cod to Cape Horn. He steps inside the travel business and offers a view from behind the scenes. Several photo essays vividly bring to life the places he describes and the fascinating people he met in his travels.
One commentator said of With Few Reservations: “For those who love to read and love to travel, here are forty-eight engaging commentaries by a modern-day Mark Twain.”
Pub date: March, 2010
Pub date: National, December 1, 2013
Memoir, 272 pp, PB, $20.95, 6 x 9
Comments on With Few Reservations:
Whitman With a Rucksack, 5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon.com, March 16, 2011
Peter Rose (the Hall-of-Fame Smith College scholar and travel writer, not the controversial gambler and singles hitter), is the rarest of travel companions—not a snarky globe-trotter but a joyous Walt Whitman with camera, rucksack, bottomless appetite for adventure and beloved wife Hedy at his side; an internationally known sociologist and anthropologist with the tongue of a poet and a heart of gold, a tireless sojourner across climes and hemispheres. From a romantic Vermont mountaintop to remote Patagonia, tribes of Sanibel, Florida retirees to penguins, Copernicus’s 500-year-old sextant to moon rocks, the professor emeritus covers more ground than and gets his hands dirty like, yes, the other Pete Rose. After a few pages you’re traveling along with him and Hedy, enjoying their good company and the world slightly better than it really is, for always there is the beautifully crafted, funny, wise, brilliant, good-humored, richly informing, wide river-over-rocks voice of the professor you never had and wished you did. I imagine I’d enjoy the Appalachian Trail with Bill Bryson once—but with Peter Rose I could go along time and again. Or try to. Look up and he’s gone, the wiry, gray-bearded New Englander humping down the trail, taking it all in—history and culture, myth and lore, joy and anguish, side by side with Hedy.”
—Michael Capuzzo, author of The Murder Room and Close to Shore
“Peter Rose’s academic background, extensive experience, and passion for travel makes his book, With Few Reservations, a must read for everyone from armchairtraveler to world explorer.”
—Jeffrey Lehmann, Emmy award-winning host & producer of the travel series Weekend Explorer
For may years, Peter I. Rose lived two lives, one as a highly regarded teacher and research of sociology and anthropology, the other as a writer, editor and observer of travelers and their destinations. Seven years ago, Rose stepped down from his full-time academic responsibilities, although he continues to teach and do research on a part-time basis. But seemingly, he is still a robust traveler whose prolific output of travel essays continues to reflect his passion and enthusiasm for never ending excursions, both at home and abroad….
Rose’s writing style in “With Few Reservations” mimics that of a sophisticated conversationalist, whose warm and charming manner would make one feel fortunate to have been seated next to him on a plane or at a dinner party. The eclectic mix of destination reviwes and essays, reflections on travel writing and his life observations comprise nearly fifty stories….They are segmented into four groupings: American Potpourri; In Foreign Climes; Dreamers Holidays; and, Revelations.
The ordering of the destinations commentaries creates the sense of being on an open ended holiday where the itinerary is made up as you go. …
The last two collections, “Dreamers Holidays” and “Revelations,” contain the essays that resonated with me most….
In “Revelations,” I especially enjoyed “The Guru of Gallivanting,” conceived and created by Rose while he was confined to a traveler’s home incarceration by a broken ankle. “I was resolved to spend time reading — actually reading — some favorite travel books and then write about them in a forthcoming column.” In examining the stack of requested books brought home from the library by his wife, Hedy, Rose immediately was drawn by the magnetism of one of his favorites, Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad,” and never got much further. He offers a loving review of the book and of the writer, proclaiming Mark Twain to be “The Godfather of American travel journalism.”
“With Few Reservations: Travels at Home and Abroad” is a well-written, engaging, and stimulating collection of commentary. Peter Rose has a highly developed ability to pain word pictures that draw the read into his writing and see vividly in their mind what he is describing. Although the book’s black and white photos, with few exceptions, are a half-page or smaller, they are appealing and effective. For both dreams and avid travelers, this book will provide an exceptional reading adventure.
–Joseph Yurt, Reader Views
Peter Rose, a retired Smith College professor of sociology, adds an academic’s penchant for insight and analysis to his innate curiosity as a writer who has traveled to many parts of this country and to many countries abroad. In these pieces, some previously published in the web magazine, SoGoNow.com, The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Vermont Magazine, and Hampshire Life, among others, Rose writes about a wide range of experiences, from searching for shells on Sanibel Island in Florida, to cruising on a luxury line as it passed through the locks of the Panama Canal, to hiking in Patagonia, to walking through malls in suburban America, to discovering tiny, rural villages in Italy, to observing the appearance and behavior of American tourists in China.
Closer to home, Rose offers up his take on Cape Cod’s amenities– and its social stratification that defines its complete mix of Brahmins, locals, outsiders, summer people, renters and temporary workers, among others.
And he writes about Northampton. “My work and research have given me a legitimate excurse to travel, and over the years I have truly seen the world,” Rose writes. “Yet…I suffer from a special kind of travel sickness. Once away, it never fails that there is a time when, like Dorothy, I want to go home. I long for the small, vibrant city of Northampton to which my wife and I came fifty years ago.” It ia a place, he writes, that has become “a magnet for aging boomers and Gen X yuppies, college students, street performers, longhairs, punkers, pacifists, feminists, straightes, gays, and a pride of professionals…There are few cities like it in the United States or, for that matter, anywhere under the rainbow gutepotenz.de.”
–Suzanne Wilson, Daily Hampshire Gazette