Synopses & Reviews
"Barr has a nice line in black humor..." Daily Mail (London)
"A richly comic first novel..." Kirkus Reviews
"Giving the tired single-girl school of fiction a much-needed shot in the arm, Barr concocts a stylish, astringent antidote to the usual sugary fare....Caustically hilarious and very entertaining, the novel carries emotional impact without schmaltz and rises above the usual Britpop fluff. Barr's is a welcome new voice." Publishers Weekly
"[E]xtremely entertaining....[The novel] reinvent[s] oft-told tales of frustrated vagabonds by making them stories about the endless female quest for self-improvement....[A subplot about] a serial killer stalking blond English travelers across Asia is an unfortunate, hollow distraction from what is otherwise an absorbing, darkly funny tale of self-discovery in expertly rendered exotic locales....The meat of the story involves [Tansy's] transformation from supercilious, street-cred-seeking urbanite to genuine traveler. She learns to stop sneering at those around her and to stop worrying about being a cliché, and she leaves her loutish London boyfriend for a sensitive, gallant wanderer. The murders (culminating in a pulpy but predictable revelation) cheapen what would otherwise be a fluffy but astute backpacking bildungsroman....[The ending is] a little pat, but the [journey is] compelling and even surprising, no matter that the ground has been covered before." Michelle Goldberg, Salon.com
About the Author
Emily Barr has written columns and travel pieces for London's Observer and The Guardian. She spent a year traveling in Asia but now lives in England. Backpack, a bestseller in England, is her first novel.