Brian P. Kelly
Brian P. Kelly is the assistant Arts in Review editor of the Wall Street Journal. He is on Twitter @bpkelly89.
If traditional travelogues are obsessed with the history of people and places, or a complex portrait of the writer’s experience of a new environment, Neuman’s book is an adamant rejection of that more familiar mold. Instead of history, he focuses on the present; instead of reacting to new locales, he relates more quotidian endeavors—surfing a hotel’s TV options, filling out customs forms; instead of offering readers the chance to feast on his journeys, he presents them as a collection of enjoyable but ultimately unsatisfying nomadic amuse-bouches.