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Download Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu Audiobook, by Laurence Bergreen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (547 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laurence Bergreen Narrator: Paul Boehmer, Paul Boehmer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781415942703
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As the first European to travel extensively throughout Asia, Marco Polo was the earliest bridge between East and West. His famous journeys took him across the boundaries of the known world, along the dangerous Silk Road, and into the court of Kublai Kahn, where he won the trust of the most feared and reviled leader of his day. Polo introduced the cultural riches of China to Europe, spawning centuries of Western fascination with Asia.

In this lively blend of history, biography, and travelogue, acclaimed author Laurence Bergreen separates myth from history, creating the most authoritative account yet of Polo’s remarkable adventures. Exceptionally narrated and written with a discerning eye for detail, Marco Polo is as riveting as the life it describes.

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Quotes & Awards

  • This is an enthusiastic retelling of Marco Polo's timeless story. Laurence Bergreen draws from a broad range of the surviving Polo manuscripts to create a convincing portrait of how Marco was able to get to thirteenth century China, and of what he saw, felt and did when he got there. Readers unfamiliar with Polo's adventures will find much pleasure here. Jonathan Spence, author of Emperor of China
  • "At last! Marco Polo comes to life! Laurence Bergreen, perhaps America's liveliest biographer, has created a triumph of fascinations, a classic portrait that now surely can never be bettered. Simon Winchester, author of The Map That Changed the World
  • As enthralling as a rollicking travel journal. New York Times Book Review
  • With his polished, authoritative storytelling, Bergreen makes the world of Marco Polo very pertinent. Entertainment Weekly
  • Mesmerizing . . . This is lively history that is richly detailed and destined to be the definitive account of Marco Polo and his adventures for decades to come. Tucson Citizen
  • Illuminating . . . A window into the most exotic of places and times. St. Petersburg Times
  • Fascinating . . . A constant surprise and delight. The Plain Dealer
  • [An] exciting reconstruction of the extraordinary life of Marco Polo . . . impressively researched and deftly composed. Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amber | 2/20/2014

    " This book sucked. I think it was the non-fiction aspect of it. It failed to bring me into the story. It would give random facts such as Marco Polo tried to find Noah's Arc, but did not elaborate on the search. The author then would move onto another random fact about Marco Polo. Gary Jennings book was much more engaging and intresting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Jokl | 2/18/2014

    " Fascinating. Does not read like the dry, convoluted, academic drudgery of say an Antonia Fraser book. This is written with some verve and creativity, yet is crammed with accurate historical information that I feel I am properly absorbing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 2/8/2014

    " What a life! This one ties in nicely with the Mongol history of the previously read book on Gengis Khan, centering more on Kubla Khan,his grandson, but much more entertainingly told. There are little lessons on silk production, boat builging, even the early use of 'black logs' - coal. I would never had the nerve for such an adventure myself, but thankfully there are people like Marco Polo, his father, and uncle, and best of all they wrote it down for the rest of us. This author includes useful commentary as well, translating some of the unfamiliar terms and currently used names for lands, towns, and such (which would have helped the Gengis account I just finished). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 2/6/2014

    " i decided to put this book on hold. I guess I enjoyed the medieval travel log aspect of the book, but something about the author's commentary on Marco Polo and his encounters with foreign cultures rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I will come back to this one after a bit of a break. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lilly-Anne | 1/29/2014

    " Packed full of interesting facts about the Mogul Khans and the empires they controlled. Fascinating! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron Peck | 1/19/2014

    " I found this book to be very interesting and informative. Having background knowledge of this time period and specifically of Marco Polo and his family helped tremendously in grasping the story. I recommend this book to anyone interested in history or Marco Polo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/10/2013

    " So informative about a part of the world I know little about. Highly recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 10/7/2013

    " new category of book is : waiting in line book -- this is falling asleep book tho "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Archer | 5/16/2013

    " I knew almost nothing about this subject matter and Asia prior to reading this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 BlueNile | 11/26/2012

    " My Mongol fascination continues...This book is slightly less exciting than Weatherford's Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, but still a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana Stabenow | 10/14/2012

    " Best book about Marco Polo I've read so far. Bergreen adores Polo but he doesn't idolize him, and this is as much about the man as he can find, birth to death, not just his journeys. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen Mahoney | 8/27/2012

    " So far doesn't meet expectations conjured from a radio interview with Bergreen, but it does fill in some knowledge gaps. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaity | 5/31/2012

    " This book summarized the life of Marco Polo and his explorations. It introduces the reader to many different cultures. If you really like to learn alot about the outside world this is a really good book for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jbondandrews | 5/8/2012

    " Laurence Bergreen's book about Marco Polo was quite a good read. It has so far been the best one I have read thus far, not that I have read many biographies about Marco Polo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 9/18/2011

    " Holy mackerel! You've gotta read this book (so much for my career as a literary critic for the NY Times). It's just fascinating. Read this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 3/23/2011

    " Certainly interesting; full of historical information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucas | 2/20/2011

    " I'd like to know if after reading this if there is much additional value to reading a translation of the Marco Polo book.

    The other recurring thought is to write a modern interstellar science fiction version of this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 1/24/2011

    " It was ok - interesting but very repetitive. I checked it out of the SB library, and took it to Tanzania - it was due while I was there, so I just renewed it online at a hotel's internet room. What a world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 12/28/2010

    " I found this book to be very interesting and informative. Having background knowledge of this time period and specifically of Marco Polo and his family helped tremendously in grasping the story. I recommend this book to anyone interested in history or Marco Polo. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MikeFromQueens | 12/19/2010

    " The adult version. Nice work - and now I can understand how Marco Polo actually carried out these travels and returned alive to tell the stories. Well worth the time to read as it enlightened me to Asian cultures and their ancient ways. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Widad | 11/5/2010

    " It was a long and sometimes dry read, but in the end, I'm glad that I trucked through it. I enjoy watching people's reactions when I share some of the experiences and stories related in this book, like suffocating a man by means of filling his mouth with feces. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lilly-Anne | 10/21/2010

    " Packed full of interesting facts about the Mogul Khans and the empires they controlled. Fascinating! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/16/2010

    " So informative about a part of the world I know little about. Highly recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 10/5/2010

    " new category of book is : waiting in line book -- this is falling asleep book tho "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelli | 9/2/2010

    " I've known who Marco Polo was ever since I was an elementary school student, but I really couldn't say I knew anything specific about him or his travels. This book remedied my ignorance, but warning: some explicit descriptions of Mongol and Chinese traditions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Quinn | 5/2/2010

    " Marco Polo is my favorite Venician. "

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About the Author
Author Laurence BergreenLaurence Bergreen is the prize-winning author of Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, as well as James Agee: A Life; Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life; Capone: The Man and the Era; and As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, each considered the definitive work on its subject. A graduate of Harvard University, he lives in New York City. Visit his website at www.laurencebergreen.com.
About the Narrators

Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. Paul is a 1992 Masters of Fine Arts graduate of the Professional Theater Training Program at the University of Delaware.

Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. Paul is a 1992 Masters of Fine Arts graduate of the Professional Theater Training Program at the University of Delaware.