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Marco Polo

From Venice to Xanadu
Written by: Laurence Bergreen
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Length: 16 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 48.81
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Publisher's Summary

As the most celebrated European to explore Asia, Marco Polo was the original global traveler and the earliest bridge between East and West. A universal icon of adventure and discovery, he has inspired six centuries of popular fascination and spurious mythology. Now, from acclaimed author Laurence Bergreen, comes the first fully authoritative biography of one of the most enchanting figures in world history. In this masterly work, Marco Polo's incredible odyssey, along the Silk Road and through all the fantastic circumstances of his life, is chronicled in sumptuous and illuminating detail.

Drawing on original sources in more than half a dozen languages, and his own travels along Polo's route in China and Mongolia, Bergreen explores the lingering controversies surrounding Polo's legend, settling age-old questions and testing others for significance. Synthesizing history, biography, and travelogue, this is a timely chronicle of a man who extended the boundaries of human knowledge and imagination. Destined to be the definitive account of its subject for decades to come, Marco Polo takes us on a journey to the limits of history: and beyond.

©2007 Laurence Bergreen (P)2007 Books on Tape

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Much more than a retelling

The story of this epic journey is paramount; however, the author invests much of the book trying to bring Marco Polo to life as a real historical figure. He also delves into the challenges that historians have in distilling fact from fancy, the issues of translation and bias, and the inconsistencies between surviving accounts.

There was a spot in the middle of the book that was weaker than the rest; but, the second half is very engaging.

The narration was excellent.

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  • PETER
  • 2013-01-02

Educational and Entertaining but a bit repetitive

I enjoy any history book and probably ignore more than the average reader in story or performance shortcomings. This book contained a wealth of history and unique perspective, although I found it somewhat repetitive. The performance and production was good and easy to follow and listen to, but I don't think many non-history buffs would have stuck with it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Claude Farden
  • 2015-09-10

Great story.

the narration was clear but the book is best listened to at 1.25 speed. I made many bookmarks for facts that are I don't want to forget. Marco Polo is a fantastic character and his journey will forever stay in my memory.

Additionally, if you have watched the Netflix series you will find interesting omissions and additions to the historical story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • FSX404
  • 2016-01-16

Not the usual book...

As someone said before, its a bit hard to follow.

Its more of a historical lesson where the author analyzes Marco Polo's story against historical facts than anything else, as well as pushing home how important Marco Polo's stories of his travels were. Because of this the author at times jumps back and forth, making it a bit more challenging to follow.

Also, as someone else said, I hope someone writes this "story" properly from a first point of view. It would make an outstanding book.

Otherwise, it is a great history lesson, and being a history lover, I really enjoyed it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • RP
  • 2015-05-08

Amazing review of Polo's travels and relevance

This recording very much met my expectations. Marco Polo lived an amazing life, and Bergreen has arranged it in an amazing way here, revealing his masterful understanding of Polo's life and writings. The narrator was a good match for the subject. I was never bored, with such a wide range of subjects involved.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Allen
  • 2018-04-20

Masterful

A very interesting and well written account of Marco Polo's travels on the Silk Road to Xanadu and the court of Kublai Khan. Weaving the Travels with centuries of scholarship into a readable and insightful narrative. A perfect blend of history and romance, of poetry and travelogue through the 13th Century of the vast Mongolian Empire.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • karie
  • 2018-01-28

Very enjoyable and informative

Marco Polo comes alive. I learned much about him, the areas, the times...most enjoyable. The reader has a very soothing, enjoyable voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jose
  • 2016-12-31

Marco the Traveler, Great Story

Narrator is good, no complaints.

The story is very good and will surprise you on the nature of Polo's time in Asia. He was with his father and uncle the entire time, but it's only because Marco was bored and in a Genovese jail as a prisoner-of-war that we know this story. He father and uncle wrote no story, we just know Marco's story.

Marco went to Asia as a teenager and came back to Venice as a man, nearly 40 years old. Amazing story to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fred Schmidt
  • 2018-11-29

Amusing, entertaining, informative

This is quite a long book, but it rewards the listener with amazing tales of the Pollo family life as well as the world of Kublai Khan. Whether boning up on ancient history or dividing between history and exaggeration this is a great listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-09-19

great book, great history. everyone should listen

narrative was boring but the story was awesome! Good book for anyone interested in history

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  • ron thomas
  • 2018-05-23

facinating

really enjoy listening to audio books! sometimes reading can get tiresome, but listening to good voices and emotional moments can be riveting.