8. "Are You Experienced?" (1997)

By William Sutcliffe

The trip

The only novel on our list follows Brit gap-year bounder Dave on a hellish (for him) excursion to India, providing the author ample opportunity to spew murderously funny vitriol at unwashed backpackers, high-end package tourists, Intimate Yoga hucksters and over-solicitous locals.

The endorsement

If only traveling in India were as easy as reading this book.

The funny

"'Where's whatsername. ... The fit one.'

'We separated. Irreconcilable differences and all that.'

'She left you then.'

'Sort of. We just ... kind of started off on the wrong foot anyway, and I can't really remember how, but we ended up hating each other's guts.'

'Bad news, man. India does that to you.'

7. "Into the Heart of Borneo" (1984)

By Redmond O'Hanlon

The trip

True to the title, naturalist O'Hanlon, along with poet pal James Fenton and three native guides, makes his way up exotic jungle rivers into the forbidding interior of Borneo.

The endorsement

"Those who manage to inform whilst entertaining us must get my final vote, so into the final hat goes Nigel Barley's, 'The Innocent Anthropologist,' Peter Mayne's 'A Year in Marrakech' and Redmond O'Hanlon's 'Into the Heart of Borneo.' But only one thing is really certain, and that is each and every passionate reader will have their own list." --Barnaby Rogerson, chair of the Donlan Travel Book Prize and publisher at Eland

The funny

"'We are educated men,' he said, gripping my arm and jerking it up and down for emphasis, 'being drunk does not alter the fact. We are discussing the history of our countries and I believe we should continue to do so.'

"'I'm going to be sick.'

"'Of course you are. We are all sick when we drink too much. But my dear friend, I beg you not to take it so seriously.'"

6. "Westward Ha!" (1947)

By S.J. Perelman

The trip