counter create hit The Same River Twice: A Memoir of Dirtbag Backpackers, Bomb Shelters, and Bad Travel - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

The Same River Twice: A Memoir of Dirtbag Backpackers, Bomb Shelters, and Bad Travel

Availability: Ready to download

Acclaimed travel writer Pam Mandel's thrilling account of a life-defining journey from the California suburbs to Israel to the Himalayan peaks and back. Given the choice, Pam Mandel would say no and stay home. It was getting her nowhere, so she decided to say yes. Yes to hard work and hitch-hiking, to mean boyfriends and dirty travel, to unfolding the map and walking to it Acclaimed travel writer Pam Mandel's thrilling account of a life-defining journey from the California suburbs to Israel to the Himalayan peaks and back. Given the choice, Pam Mandel would say no and stay home. It was getting her nowhere, so she decided to say yes. Yes to hard work and hitch-hiking, to mean boyfriends and dirty travel, to unfolding the map and walking to its edges. Yes to unknown countries, night shifts, language lessons, bad decisions, to anything to make her feel real, visible, alive. A product of beige California suburbs, Mandel was overlooked and unexceptional. When her father ships her off on a youth group tour of Israel, he inadvertently catapults his seventeen-year-old daughter into a world of angry European backpackers, seize-the-day Israelis, and the fall out of cold war-era politics. Border violence hadn't been on the birthright tour agenda. But then neither had domestic violence, going broke, getting wasted, getting sick, or getting lost. With no guidance and no particular plan, utterly unprepared for what lies ahead, Mandel says yes to everything and everyone, embarking on an adventure across three continents and thousands of miles, from a cold water London flat to rural Pakistan, from the Nile River Delta to the snowy peaks of Ladakh and finally, back home to California, determined to shape a life that is truly hers. An extraordinary memoir of going away and growing up, The Same River Twice follows Mandel's tangled journey and shows how travel teaches and changes us, even while it helps us become exactly who we have been all along.   


Compare

Acclaimed travel writer Pam Mandel's thrilling account of a life-defining journey from the California suburbs to Israel to the Himalayan peaks and back. Given the choice, Pam Mandel would say no and stay home. It was getting her nowhere, so she decided to say yes. Yes to hard work and hitch-hiking, to mean boyfriends and dirty travel, to unfolding the map and walking to it Acclaimed travel writer Pam Mandel's thrilling account of a life-defining journey from the California suburbs to Israel to the Himalayan peaks and back. Given the choice, Pam Mandel would say no and stay home. It was getting her nowhere, so she decided to say yes. Yes to hard work and hitch-hiking, to mean boyfriends and dirty travel, to unfolding the map and walking to its edges. Yes to unknown countries, night shifts, language lessons, bad decisions, to anything to make her feel real, visible, alive. A product of beige California suburbs, Mandel was overlooked and unexceptional. When her father ships her off on a youth group tour of Israel, he inadvertently catapults his seventeen-year-old daughter into a world of angry European backpackers, seize-the-day Israelis, and the fall out of cold war-era politics. Border violence hadn't been on the birthright tour agenda. But then neither had domestic violence, going broke, getting wasted, getting sick, or getting lost. With no guidance and no particular plan, utterly unprepared for what lies ahead, Mandel says yes to everything and everyone, embarking on an adventure across three continents and thousands of miles, from a cold water London flat to rural Pakistan, from the Nile River Delta to the snowy peaks of Ladakh and finally, back home to California, determined to shape a life that is truly hers. An extraordinary memoir of going away and growing up, The Same River Twice follows Mandel's tangled journey and shows how travel teaches and changes us, even while it helps us become exactly who we have been all along.   

30 review for The Same River Twice: A Memoir of Dirtbag Backpackers, Bomb Shelters, and Bad Travel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A thoughtful take on an unconventional gap year that doesn't try to sugar coat anything. My interview with the author is forthcoming! Meanwhile, here were some of my favorite quotes: “It was hard to be scared, we had so little idea what was happening” (3) “Of course, I believed I would be safe, nothing around me told me otherwise.” (45) “There’s another way to look at it. It was not that I wanted to stay. It was that I didn’t feel like I had anywhere else to go” (45) “We did not talk about our expec A thoughtful take on an unconventional gap year that doesn't try to sugar coat anything. My interview with the author is forthcoming! Meanwhile, here were some of my favorite quotes: “It was hard to be scared, we had so little idea what was happening” (3) “Of course, I believed I would be safe, nothing around me told me otherwise.” (45) “There’s another way to look at it. It was not that I wanted to stay. It was that I didn’t feel like I had anywhere else to go” (45) “We did not talk about our expectations for [sex] or how you’d know if you were doing it right or how it was supposed to make you feel” (62) “I wanted to fit in, but I didn’t know how” (69) “being treated badly is embarrassing. It feels like you have done something wrong. It feels like it’s somehow your fault, because nothing about it makes any sense. It’s unbelievable, too—I literally could not believe what had happened.” (83) “It was a picnic table at a roadside turnout. A place to unfold a map and figure out where I was supposed to go next” (92) “I had picked up this fever, an addict’s craving for somewhere else” (95) “I was swept up in the idea of motion for its own sake. So long as I kept moving, it did not matter where I was or what I was doing.” (110) “We were poorly prepared. We went anyway” (181) “'This is what it means when people say they love travel,' I thought… I had fallen in love with everything strange and beautiful and unknown, with the sheer joy of discovering anything new" (190) “No one paid one bit of attention to what I was really saying” (206) “I wanted a normal gap year, where I slept in hostels and met other travelers and kissed strangers in far-away places. Where I came back a tiny bit worldlier with ideas about European socialism and public transportation, but unscarred” (221) “The me that lived through this doesn’t exist anymore. I hope that’s a good thing” (225)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I inhaled this book. It contains so many truths about bad decisions and self blame for staying in bad situations. That's not to say the book is all grim, it's full of gorgeous descriptive passages and meticulous observation. Read it. Buy copies for your friends. I inhaled this book. It contains so many truths about bad decisions and self blame for staying in bad situations. That's not to say the book is all grim, it's full of gorgeous descriptive passages and meticulous observation. Read it. Buy copies for your friends.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    I love to travel. I love being a “girl dad” to a brave and compassionate tween. I hope I’m the kind of dad that raises my daughter to be smart and strong and curious and want to discover the world on her own. I hope that someday she comes to me and says, “Dad, I want to travel.” And when that day comes, I’ll hand her Pam Mandel’s “The Same River Twice.” At the age of 17, Pam began years of travel, opening her eyes to the kindness and cruelty of strangers while examining her own privilege. Pam fa I love to travel. I love being a “girl dad” to a brave and compassionate tween. I hope I’m the kind of dad that raises my daughter to be smart and strong and curious and want to discover the world on her own. I hope that someday she comes to me and says, “Dad, I want to travel.” And when that day comes, I’ll hand her Pam Mandel’s “The Same River Twice.” At the age of 17, Pam began years of travel, opening her eyes to the kindness and cruelty of strangers while examining her own privilege. Pam falls in love with the world and sometimes her fellow travelers. She experiences love and abuse, wonder and ignorance. I began traveling in my early 20s and, like Pam, never really stopped. As I read about Pam’s travels, I reflected on my own dirtbag days where I’d eat one meal a day and sleep in parks or train stations when I ran out of money. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has ever been bit by the travel bug, or, as Pam puts it, “the magnetic pull of adventure.” Somethings in life you can’t read about to learn. You have to experience them yourself. So when I hand my daughter “The Same River Twice,” it won’t be so that she’ll avoid Pam’s mistakes (although I hope she does) or follow Pam’s path to becoming a person I greatly admire, it’ll be so my daughter can see what growing curious, growing consciousness, growing compassion, growing ideas, growing self-reliance, and growing up look like.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    This was a very well written and interesting story of the authors search to find herself and what she wanted in life. Having grown up in a chaotic household, where her parents ended up divorcing and she felt she was not really wanted at either ones home, as they didn't seem to have time for her. Her grades started to fail, although she was very smart and loved to read, and was good at languages. she was just living a life that got her nowhere, with no guidance, she accepts a trip when her father This was a very well written and interesting story of the authors search to find herself and what she wanted in life. Having grown up in a chaotic household, where her parents ended up divorcing and she felt she was not really wanted at either ones home, as they didn't seem to have time for her. Her grades started to fail, although she was very smart and loved to read, and was good at languages. she was just living a life that got her nowhere, with no guidance, she accepts a trip when her father sends her on a youth tour group in Israel At seventeen and rather naive in life, as she never really learned how to stand up for herself, she made bad choice after bad choice of the people she met. From working on various kibbutz, to going through various boyfriends, learning to speak the language and then on to adventures with an abusive boyfriend for months across Europe, Greece and India. She loved going to places she had read about, and meeting the people one on one. Eventually she moves back to the USA, after her travels have finally made her see what she is really worth. Wonderful Memoir of that time in her life. I would definitely read more by this author. I would like to thank NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for a copy of this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zora O'Neill

    Phew, friends, this was a book that took me back. I had nothing like Pam's experience, but she captures that early-20s uncertainty so well. The subtitle made me expect something a little like "that zany time I got diarrhea on a bus" -- but she means bad travel *really*. Like, a particular bad life journey for a time -- and how she portrays it now is so generous and thoughtful. Read if you want to reconnect with your uncomfortable youth, and/or if you want to know how travel worked before email a Phew, friends, this was a book that took me back. I had nothing like Pam's experience, but she captures that early-20s uncertainty so well. The subtitle made me expect something a little like "that zany time I got diarrhea on a bus" -- but she means bad travel *really*. Like, a particular bad life journey for a time -- and how she portrays it now is so generous and thoughtful. Read if you want to reconnect with your uncomfortable youth, and/or if you want to know how travel worked before email and ubiquitous ATMs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janna L. Goodwin

    Haunting, intimate, transporting Reading this book is like stepping into the river for the first time with the author as she was then, curious, open, unprotected and too young to be on her own in the wide world far from home. A great travel adventure and a strange coming of age story, colored by melancholy but not regret.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yi_Shun

    Just closed the cover of this. I am so grateful to know that someone like Mandel is out there, showing us the way. If you’ve ever felt alone, wondered why you didn’t belong, wondered how to find a place where you fit—Mandel has been there. And her story will show you that there is a way through. I wish I’d had this book around when I was younger and lost in the canyons of New York. Even though her book takes place in a vastly different environment to where I was feeling lost, this one resonates. Just closed the cover of this. I am so grateful to know that someone like Mandel is out there, showing us the way. If you’ve ever felt alone, wondered why you didn’t belong, wondered how to find a place where you fit—Mandel has been there. And her story will show you that there is a way through. I wish I’d had this book around when I was younger and lost in the canyons of New York. Even though her book takes place in a vastly different environment to where I was feeling lost, this one resonates. Read it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    This book captures well the confusion and uncertainty of people in their late teens and early twenties. For the author, this takes place against the backdrop of travel and locations in the Middle East and Europe. I found this book highly relatable because she is my approximate age. Her experiences were immersive and often approached with a western naivety. She didn’t realize she was in dangerous situations until after the fact. She comes from an unstable home life which may have contributed to h This book captures well the confusion and uncertainty of people in their late teens and early twenties. For the author, this takes place against the backdrop of travel and locations in the Middle East and Europe. I found this book highly relatable because she is my approximate age. Her experiences were immersive and often approached with a western naivety. She didn’t realize she was in dangerous situations until after the fact. She comes from an unstable home life which may have contributed to her inability to disentangle herself from an abusive relationship. I kept rooting for her to leave him behind as easily as she did the countries she visited, but she lacked the tools and it was a different time. The early eighties was an extremely volatile time in many of the areas she traveled, and it was interesting to see how matter-of-factly residents dealt with disruptions like needing to take shelter from bombs. I was also struck by how generous people were with their own limited resources. I received this Advanced Reader Copy of Same River Twice from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. #TheSameRiverTwice #NetGalley

  9. 4 out of 5

    nadiaizzaty

    In the 1st place the book seems interesting for me to read because it is about backpacking life lessons . Her story started from become a volunteer in Israel and as the story goes , shit keep on happened along her journeys. I feel bad while reading her story and really depressing . But, at the same time I felt that there some part she is so naive and turning out that most of her decision lead to bad decision and makes her journey more worst. Especially , when she met Alastair who an abusive boyf In the 1st place the book seems interesting for me to read because it is about backpacking life lessons . Her story started from become a volunteer in Israel and as the story goes , shit keep on happened along her journeys. I feel bad while reading her story and really depressing . But, at the same time I felt that there some part she is so naive and turning out that most of her decision lead to bad decision and makes her journey more worst. Especially , when she met Alastair who an abusive boyfriend but she still went travelling and continue her journey with him. And , I feel bad for her that her parents end up divorced. To be honest , I nearly DNF the book because I just can’t accept the shits that she going through and all the bad decision that she make which end up hurting herself . But, I keep on going to know what her journeys will taught her in the end . Glad that she back at her hometown and find the journey gave her biggest life lessons and she really know what she worth for . Lesson learnt : - Travelling in backpackers we need to know all the information about the countries that we will visiting to avoid any bad things happen such as scam , violence , meet abusive people , thief etc. - Don’t to naive and trust people easily. - Each country have different rules , regulations and culture . Therefore , we need to be observant and make sure you have full of information regarding the country that you will be visiting . - Before travelling make sure to always have plan A , B or C or so on. It is because not journey will become a perfect journey : actually no perfect journey but atleast we have plan not a last minute plan. Thanks to Netgalley for the e-ARC in return with honest review . P/s : just a small sharing from me - Travelling / backpacking totally one of a good way for us to know the world , to know how the life actually are, to make us out of our comfort zone , taught us to be strong , learn something new , meet people and culture, and of course through travelling/backpacking make us know ourself better and make us to become a better person than before.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    {4.5} Pam Mandel has somehow crammed at least 5 lifetimes into the <300 pages and first ~25 years of her life that this book covers. Her lifestyle of travel and freedom and uncertainty seemed so different to mine and the one that I'd always thought was the only option and my guaranteed path that she could've been living in a different dimension. Even though this might not've been Mandel's primary purpose with this book, it made me reflect on my own life and the vast possibilities beyond just goi {4.5} Pam Mandel has somehow crammed at least 5 lifetimes into the <300 pages and first ~25 years of her life that this book covers. Her lifestyle of travel and freedom and uncertainty seemed so different to mine and the one that I'd always thought was the only option and my guaranteed path that she could've been living in a different dimension. Even though this might not've been Mandel's primary purpose with this book, it made me reflect on my own life and the vast possibilities beyond just going to college, getting a job, and settling down. But it wasn't just the nature of Mandel's lifestyle that prompted this reflection– the writing itself plays an important role. Mandel did such an incredible job of describing her thoughts on paper, and transporting the reader into her head. She has such unique and vivid descriptions, which for me, was most evident when she was describing the haze that she was in when in the US for brief periods of time in between or after her travels. I also felt somewhat more free and liberated when reading about some of Mandel's impulsive decisions and travels, and the way in which she was just able to pick up and go somewhere new, without any hesitations or strings tying her down. For better or for worse, I was living vicariously through Mandel in every new situation. It would have been so easy for this book to be a romanticization of Mandel's travels, making the reader unbearably jealous of her life and experiences, but again, through her way with letting the reader into her genuine feelings and thoughts, this book portrays these travels as much more real. There are definitely parts where I was jealous and in admiration, but I was also able to recognize that this was not an easy lifestyle, the toll that it took was an extreme one, and it was also something that she was largely forced into because of her relationship with her parents. By far, the most standout part of this novel is the way that Mandel is able to bring her journey to life so vividly and realistically, and this includes the time she spent back in the US. I loved the contrast between the two lives and felt the most immersed in her emotions at these times. Every step of the story was so surprising to me, and I think I would've loved this book with even more detail had Mandel wanted to share it. I would've wanted to understand her relationship with Alastair during their better times, or what happened after the story ended, how she became who she is today.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura Bergells

    In The Same River Twice, author Pam Mandel takes us on her post high-school adventure in 1981. The author backpacks, bumbles, and bums her way across three continents. It’s both a travel story and a coming-of-age memoir, told through the lens of a middle-aged woman looking back at her young self. The book largely describes the outer journey. Mandel picks oranges in Israel. Stays in a boyfriend’s apartment in England. Squats in a concrete shell of an unfinished beach house in Greece. Meets a child In The Same River Twice, author Pam Mandel takes us on her post high-school adventure in 1981. The author backpacks, bumbles, and bums her way across three continents. It’s both a travel story and a coming-of-age memoir, told through the lens of a middle-aged woman looking back at her young self. The book largely describes the outer journey. Mandel picks oranges in Israel. Stays in a boyfriend’s apartment in England. Squats in a concrete shell of an unfinished beach house in Greece. Meets a child bride in Pakistan. Hikes across the Himalayas. The author presents each scene as she remembers it happening. She describes her recollections almost dispassionately. “This is what happened, and then another thing happened.” Little time is wasted on self-reflection or context. As readers, this gives us the opportunity to put whatever emotional weight we wish to add to each observation. It’s how we can choose to interact with the story. We can either empathize and weave our own lived experiences into the story — or not. The author alludes to this interesting choice in chapter eight. Someone may ask her for a cigarette lighter, to borrow a book, or to fuck for the afternoon. Almost everything presented has the same weight. Which weight do you choose to put on each chapter? It’s entirely up to you. The book is almost a “choose you own emotional adventure” story — embedded within an adventure story! And yet, from time to time, it’s impossible for the author to be completely dispassionate in her presentation. When the emotional cracks seep through, readers will feel the pains, the joys, the confusion, and the outrages the author feels on her journey. If you choose to hop on board with this novel, Mandel will take you for a hell of a ride!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mizloo

    Not at all the book I expected; I was looking for travel and adventure, what I read was lost-little-girl wanders off into a strange segment of the real world, and stays there, lost and frightened, traveling from California to Israel to London, back again, and thence through multiple way stations on her trek to India and on up the Himalayas - in the company of a very unpleasant guy.. The dispassionate voice telling of abuse in the midst of a wandering life is like the voice-over in a movie about Not at all the book I expected; I was looking for travel and adventure, what I read was lost-little-girl wanders off into a strange segment of the real world, and stays there, lost and frightened, traveling from California to Israel to London, back again, and thence through multiple way stations on her trek to India and on up the Himalayas - in the company of a very unpleasant guy.. The dispassionate voice telling of abuse in the midst of a wandering life is like the voice-over in a movie about a long lost diary, reminding me of the memoir John Berryman's ex-wife wrote after she had become a shrink and looked back 20 years later on her young self. Bad travel, indeed. At about 82% read, I thought, well something will come of all this eventually, and it did - and the something was also unexpected. Exquisite command of language, apparent total recall of the details of housing, landscape, weather, and other incidentals - the smooth narrative of the grown up version of our little girl lost carries the reader across Europe into Asia, visiting the wonders of the world without understanding much of what she sees or anything of herself or her companion. And yet the reader understands.

  13. 4 out of 5

    katrina

    I've enjoyed Pam's blog for years and was excited about this book! Pam's talent for voice and observation is limitless, and the details in her memoir are so rich that it's a sometimes a surprise these are events that occurred 30 years ago and not more recently. The description of a cow standing in city traffic in India is sublime. There's so much devoted here to the exterior journey that I wish the interior journey had been given the same diligence. It's not easy to write about abuse of any kind I've enjoyed Pam's blog for years and was excited about this book! Pam's talent for voice and observation is limitless, and the details in her memoir are so rich that it's a sometimes a surprise these are events that occurred 30 years ago and not more recently. The description of a cow standing in city traffic in India is sublime. There's so much devoted here to the exterior journey that I wish the interior journey had been given the same diligence. It's not easy to write about abuse of any kind, but I would have liked to have seen more exploration regarding the dynamics with the English boyfriend. I had so many questions as I read, and felt like more detail was given describing a museum or a landscape than the complicated dynamics of a couple traveling the world together. The abuse sometimes felt like a footnote. That said, pages are packed with action and engagement. This isn't another over-the-top, navel-gazing Eat Pray Love or Wild, thankfully, but a raw reflection on what's ugly and beautiful in this world.

  14. 5 out of 5

    MikeInLV

    This book had me with the great first chapter hook (she’s whisked off to an Israeli bomb shelter as rockets from Lebanon light the sky) and kept me reading until the end. Good travel writing - and this is that - not only takes you there, but has you reflecting on your own journey along the way. I gained a new understanding of why people stay in bad relationships (unlike a bomb shelter, the entrances and exits are not clearly marked. like a bomb shelter, it’s all about the timing...). Reading abo This book had me with the great first chapter hook (she’s whisked off to an Israeli bomb shelter as rockets from Lebanon light the sky) and kept me reading until the end. Good travel writing - and this is that - not only takes you there, but has you reflecting on your own journey along the way. I gained a new understanding of why people stay in bad relationships (unlike a bomb shelter, the entrances and exits are not clearly marked. like a bomb shelter, it’s all about the timing...). Reading about her clueless parents: It took me having kids to realize that my parents, like hers, had their own shit going on. Pam Mandel is a gifted writer who captures events and feelings from forty years ago in vivid prose. I highly recommend The Same River Twice - and I look forward to her next book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bruna Manfre

    Right now, I feel so travelsick that I just had to find a way to know other places, even if it’s through words. And, because of that, I felt somehow deceived for more than half of the book. Don’t get me wrong. I felt for Pam and her bad relationships (especially with ~that guy), but I just wish I knew what I was getting into beforehand. And I didn’t. From the beginning until more than half of the book, she goes from Cali to a sort of student exchange program and goes on and on about boyfriends, s Right now, I feel so travelsick that I just had to find a way to know other places, even if it’s through words. And, because of that, I felt somehow deceived for more than half of the book. Don’t get me wrong. I felt for Pam and her bad relationships (especially with ~that guy), but I just wish I knew what I was getting into beforehand. And I didn’t. From the beginning until more than half of the book, she goes from Cali to a sort of student exchange program and goes on and on about boyfriends, self-pity, and her family troubles. In the last part, when she goes backpacking, it gets a bit better, but I think I’d probably have dropped before that if it wasn’t for the review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Grant

    This is a heroine's journey, only it's not mythical and the heroine is not much more than a gangly Jewish kid from Cali. Wow, does she get far from that. Israel? The Himalyas? India? I loved this book. Half the time I was living vicariously through the author, the other half dreading what might happen to her. Through it all, though, Mandel observes and comments on her younger self, but she does not judge. Her tone is one of bearing witness to one who is lost and struggling. The last two paragraph This is a heroine's journey, only it's not mythical and the heroine is not much more than a gangly Jewish kid from Cali. Wow, does she get far from that. Israel? The Himalyas? India? I loved this book. Half the time I was living vicariously through the author, the other half dreading what might happen to her. Through it all, though, Mandel observes and comments on her younger self, but she does not judge. Her tone is one of bearing witness to one who is lost and struggling. The last two paragraphs are not my absolute favorites of the book, but they're the ones that made me cry the most tears. Well done, Ms. Mandel. I highly recommend this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andy Murdock

    A tremendously engaging read, part travelogue, part coming of age memoir. It’s a look back at a world that doesn’t exist anymore, and yet holds a lot of explanations for where we find ourselves now. The narrative is written without any hindsight judgment, instead it’s presented through the eyes of the young woman she was at the time, naïveté and all - a refreshing twist on the form. Endings are often awkward or saccharine in memoirs, but not so here - the conclusion (without giving anything away A tremendously engaging read, part travelogue, part coming of age memoir. It’s a look back at a world that doesn’t exist anymore, and yet holds a lot of explanations for where we find ourselves now. The narrative is written without any hindsight judgment, instead it’s presented through the eyes of the young woman she was at the time, naïveté and all - a refreshing twist on the form. Endings are often awkward or saccharine in memoirs, but not so here - the conclusion (without giving anything away) is deeply satisfying.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John P

    Interesting and engrossing, 'The Same River Twice' is notable for its brutal honesty. The author uses a readable style and admits the reader into the inner workings of her relationships with her family, friends, and the world. Cathartic, I'm sure, for the author, this reader is amazed at the detail Ms. Mandel is willing to share. The work suffers a bit from sloppy editing. However, the mistakes are obvious, decipherable, and in no way detract from the story itself. Interesting and engrossing, 'The Same River Twice' is notable for its brutal honesty. The author uses a readable style and admits the reader into the inner workings of her relationships with her family, friends, and the world. Cathartic, I'm sure, for the author, this reader is amazed at the detail Ms. Mandel is willing to share. The work suffers a bit from sloppy editing. However, the mistakes are obvious, decipherable, and in no way detract from the story itself.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kate Schwarz

    A great book to read while stuck at home during COVID-days...made me nostalgic for the days I spent traveling across India, Nepal, and Thailand. Mandel's decision to stay with an abusive boyfriend is definitely a downer, but she seems determined to not make this a dump-the-abuser coming of age story as there's no real reflection at the end of why she stuck with him for so long. Still, well written and worth reading. A great book to read while stuck at home during COVID-days...made me nostalgic for the days I spent traveling across India, Nepal, and Thailand. Mandel's decision to stay with an abusive boyfriend is definitely a downer, but she seems determined to not make this a dump-the-abuser coming of age story as there's no real reflection at the end of why she stuck with him for so long. Still, well written and worth reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Frank Milewski

    Adventurous memoir I enjoyed reading about the author’s adventures traveling in Europe and Asia in the late 70’s . Although I have never been to Asia, I backpacked across Europe at that time when I was 17 and 18, so a lot of this book felt familiar. What she went through, though, was far more severe and traumatic than anything I experienced. I really enjoyed the book, but there were a lot of errors and typos in the Kindle version. They really need to reproof this book

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Gruenbacher

    3.5 Relate so much to her travel stories..not all travel is glamorous, that's for sure! Part of the adventure of being young, broke and hungry for action...while we were in different places, brings up memorable feelings of long night buses, sketchy accommodations and guys, the desire for any and all movement on the road, restlessness, contentment, loneliness, togetherness..and the very real culture shock upon coming home.. Will look up more of her travel writing! 3.5 Relate so much to her travel stories..not all travel is glamorous, that's for sure! Part of the adventure of being young, broke and hungry for action...while we were in different places, brings up memorable feelings of long night buses, sketchy accommodations and guys, the desire for any and all movement on the road, restlessness, contentment, loneliness, togetherness..and the very real culture shock upon coming home.. Will look up more of her travel writing!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda Metzger

    Pam Mandel's father ships her off to Israel She would endure any pain, to feels ALIVE and seen by others! Enduring violence, becoming ill, going hungry, abused by those on the tour...crossing three Continents. What an incredible memoir and journey of this young woman, through life's hard lessons!. It shaped who she became in life! I highly recommend this book! Pam Mandel's father ships her off to Israel She would endure any pain, to feels ALIVE and seen by others! Enduring violence, becoming ill, going hungry, abused by those on the tour...crossing three Continents. What an incredible memoir and journey of this young woman, through life's hard lessons!. It shaped who she became in life! I highly recommend this book!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maura Hubbell

    Yes, this book is about traveling through Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia as a teenager. It’s also about domestic violence. Above all, though, it’s about finding, if not yourself, at least the way there. It’s written in economical prose that kept me reading. Full disclosure: the author is an old friend of my ex’s. Pam has made waffles out of an astounding variety of substances.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diann

    Yes, she was young, just 17 or 18. I needed to keep reminding myself of that, considering some of the things that happened in this memoir of youthful travel. She didn't catch most of the lessons then, but her future self that writes very well, this memoirist, she has. I always do enjoy personalized travel accounts. Yes, she was young, just 17 or 18. I needed to keep reminding myself of that, considering some of the things that happened in this memoir of youthful travel. She didn't catch most of the lessons then, but her future self that writes very well, this memoirist, she has. I always do enjoy personalized travel accounts.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    This is such a relatable memoir (except for the traveling part!). Every person in their late teens/early twenties goes through the journey to discover their place in the world. The author captured this precious time in her life and made it not only relatable, but an interesting read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stuart McDonald

    An excellent page turner This is a brave and engaging page turner, taking the reader on a journey that is much more than a simple travelogue. It captures both the beauty and ugliness of travel and shows just what a life changing/forming experience it can be. Very much enjoyed it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Young

    To be honest, I only read about one quarter of this book. I found the first section tedious. It did get much more interesting when she went to Israel, but the occasional careless errors in word usage were annoying and I packed it in.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Macnaughtan

    I raced through this book by Pam Mandel. I’ve followed Pam’s travels through her blog, but reading about her first journey, in Israel, was captivating. Pam’s storytelling is raw, honest, and refreshing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    This Feral Housewife

    Such a great book. You will enjoy the adventure and wildness of all the places described. It takes a few chapters to really dig into it but definitely worth the wait.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    Pam Mandel is a great writer, both about travel adventures (and misadventures) and bad relationships. This was a more serious book than I was expecting, but I think it was better for it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.