The Turk Who Loved Apples

And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World

Regular Price $21.99

Regular Price $28.99 CAD

Regular Price $21.99

Regular Price $28.99 CAD

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On Sale

Apr 23, 2013

Page Count

288 Pages




While writing his celebrated Frugal Traveler column for the New York Times, Matt Gross began to feel hemmed in by its focus on what he thought of as “traveling on the cheap at all costs.” When his editor offered him the opportunity to do something less structured, the Getting Lost series was born, and Gross began a more immersive form of travel that allowed him to “lose his way all over the globe”—from developing-world megalopolises to venerable European capitals, from American sprawl to Asian archipelagos. And that's what the never-before-published material in The Turk Who Loved Apples is all about: breaking free of the constraints of modern travel and letting the place itself guide you. It's a variety of travel you'll love to experience vicariously through Matt Gross—and maybe even be inspired to try for yourself.


“A tamer version of Anthony Bourdain, Gross enthusiastically juggles food, wanderlust and a passion for foreign culture. A vicariously entertaining whirlwind of scrapbook memories from an author who can't sit still.”

Afar, May 2013

“Matt Gross's travel philosophy has always been to befriend locals, eat street food, get lost while wandering tiny alleys, and roll with all the stuff you can't plan. His new book, The Turk Who Loved Apples, serves as a primer for travelers who want to do the same.”, 4/12/13

“[Gross] has condensed a life of travel into interlocking narratives about the pains and pleasures getting lost.”

Jewish Herald-Voice, 4/4/13

“[Gross is] the Woody Allen of travel writers.”

National Geographic Intelligent Travel blog,4/22/13

“Provides insight into the life and times of a professional travel writer.”

Off the Shelf, 8/6/15
“Matt Gross…can teach you how to get lost and let your surroundings guide you to incredible discoveries. No matter where you are or where you're headed, Gross's globe-trotting memoir is the perfect travel companion.”

Journal of American Studies of Turkey, Issue 42 (2015)
“Provide[s]…insight into the realities of being a concerned traveler.”
"Matt Gross seems to have been everywhere. Any man with the audacity to be bored by the Taj Mahal is the kind of independent-thinking traveler I want to spend time with. This book made me want to get out and go—to just about anywhere!"

Tom Bissell, author of Chasing the Sea

“Matt Gross is one of the most intrepid, curious, good-hearted, and absolutely fearless travelers around. You'll see some of the world's most striking places in this book and meet some of its most endearing (and, sometimes, tragic) people. I, for one, would follow Mr. Gross, on any budget, at any time, anywhere.”

Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding

"Gross's far-flung coming-of-age memoir celebrates the joy of travel, but it also tweaks the easy conclusions and clichés we attach to our journeys. Honest, insightful, and surprising, this book explores the moments—good, bad, ambivalent—that make life on the road meaningful."

ForeWord, Spring 2013

“A behind-the-scenes glance at the world of travel writing.... If you're the kind of person who enjoys random conversations in dive bars, casually delving into your taxi-driver's tangled home life, or swapping philosophy at a bus stop, then this book is for you.... It surely was an absorbing journey.”

Kirkus Reviews, 4/15/13
Bon Appetit The Feed blog, 5/1/13
“It's more than just a litany of sights seen and weird foods consumed. It's about how to be a human being outside of your hometown—not a tourist, and not necessarily a self-righteous ‘traveler,' either, but a person who wants to see new places, make new friends, and learn how to deal with life when it doesn't turn out quite like you planned.”, 4/30/13
“A collection of satisfyingly real anecdotes that pepper the larger story of what a life devoted to leaving the Big Apple and experiencing the world on one's own is actually like. Gross' writing is informed by travel as muse, allowing him to address life's major tropes, from feeding oneself to feeding one's soul, with relatable sensitivity.”

Portland Book Review website, 4/30/13
“Part memoir, part travel odyssey and part growing-up story…This is an introspective book based on Gross's none too glamorous but always interesting travel adventures. Gross writes with detail and realism…A satisfying read.”

Bookviews blog, May 2013
“Gross is a graceful writer.”

BookPage, May 2013
“[Gross] examines why we travel and what our travel experiences can tell us about ourselves. The narrative gathers stories from his stops all around the globe, but strings them along a continuous thread.” (a Dell website), 5/9/13
“Anthony Bourdain called it ‘exactly the kind of travel book you should read while traveling.' For what it's worth, it also reads pretty good from the armchair.”

New York Journal of Books, 5/16/13
“We grin at the devil-may-care attitude of this seasoned traveler, a free spirit who makes himself at home wherever he goes and does not feel obliged to do the usual tourist things on his travels…Anyone would enjoy being seated next to Mr. Gross at a dinner party. His world travels, both in the capacity of journalist and as rootless young traveler out to make his way in the world, are varied and interesting, and his policy of avoiding the predictable traps most ‘tourons,' as he calls them, frequent when they venture away from home surprising and quirky…Mr. Gross does ‘gastrotourism' (his word) very well. His descriptions of meals he has consumed in Vietnam and elsewhere are vivid and appealing.”

Publishers Weekly, 5/20/13
“Gross talks about the 55-year-old Turkish farmer in whose apple orchards he volunteered for several days in exchange for food and lodging. Their meeting affected him tremendously, giving him greater confidence. Reflections and experiences like these keep Gross's work from getting too self-involved and add substance to what could have been one travel writer's self-indulgent catch-all.”

New York Times Book Review, 6/2/13
"A joyful meditation on the spontaneity and unpredictability of the traveling life."
“[Gross] writes with uncommon perceptiveness about what it means to cross borders, to break bread with strangers, and to come home again. Full of wonderful stories of his round-the-globe adventures, Gross's book is a welcome reminder that the best moments as a traveler—like the best parts of being a dad—happen when you set off for parts unknown.”

Johns Hopkins Magazine, Summer 2013
Turk offers [Gross's] thoughts on travel thus far, roaming through his misadventures to suggest a perspective that fellow travelers can remember while on their own excursions…creating a thoughtful, episodic memoir as practical guidebook...Turk is an old-fashioned approach to a very new thing: a primer on navigating global travel in the information-overloaded 21st century.”
Praise for The Turk Who Loved Apples

New York Times Books Review

"A joyful meditation on the spontaneity and unpredictability of the traveling life."

Anthony Bourdain, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential

"The Turk Who Loved Apples is exactly the kind of travel book you should read while traveling. Filled with the moments of absurdity, sadness, madness, wisdom, beauty, realization, and Weltschmerz familiar to the chronic, lifelong traveler."

Andrew Zimmern, James Beard Award-winning host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

"A book with lasting relevance for all travelers—about how to access the mystery and awe of our first travels...and perhaps most brilliantly about how one comes home."

Eric Weiner, author of the New York Times bestseller The Geography of Bliss

“Matt Gross is the perfect travel companion: smart, funny, and game for (almost) anything. Plus he knows all the best places to eat. As in all great travel books, the real terrain covered in The Turk who Loved Apples can't be found on any map.”

Andrew McCarthy, actor and author of the New York Times bestseller The Longest Way Home
Fathom, 6/20/13
“[A] charming account of what happened when [Gross] let himself wander.”, 6/18/13
“Five Must-Read Travel Books for Summer Vacations” roundup, 6/18: “Provides inspiration for letting go of the guidebook and exploring a destination by feeling, rather than checklist.”

Toronto Globe and Mail, 6/15/13
“Matt Gross gets around.”, 7/6/13
“Gross provided innumerable adventures and to listen to them unwind was a rare treasure…Pick up this book. Read it cover to cover. Recommend it to your friends.”

Loveland Reporter-Herald, 7/9/13
 “Provides insights and adventures from [Gross's] lifetime of travels.”

Arrive, July/August 2013
“Gross goes beyond his travel articles to reveal the loneliness, fears, failures and triumphs of a onetime math major with a love of exotic food, places and people.”, 7/26/13
“Gross has literally been just about everywhere on the planet. Luckily for us, he's happy to share his anecdotes…He is a champion of the unplanned moment.”

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