edited by Clive Leatherdale (2011)
Paperback. 234x156 mm
320 pages, illustrated
Take an elegant, stately cruise ship
Add 800 cantankerous pensioners
Send them off to the Amazon for six weeks
Ask the passengers to keep diaries
Then publish those diaries !!!
And what do you get?
Murder on the Marco Polo: Well, not quite
'The hilarious diaries of Marco
'unique', 'original', 'unprecedented'
On 10 January 2011 the cruise ship Marco Polo sailed from Tilbury for six weeks to the Amazon and the Orinoco. The ship was old, the passengers even older, but together they creaked and groaned their way across the Atlantic.
Clive Leatherdale was determined to publish his experiences. But once on board he had a better idea. Why not widen the net? Rather than describe the oddballs and weirdos through his eyes, why not invite everyone to join in the fun? He recruited a fleet of geriatric scribblers, recording this, poking fun at that, complaining about almost everything. So energetically did passengers take up their quills that the ship nearly ran out of paper, forcing diaries to be written on postcards, sick-bags and even 'toilet tissue'.
At times their floating hotel seemed more like a floating prison as tempers flared. At times it turned into a floating hospital, caring for assorted fractures. At times the gossipy rumour-mill threatened to spin out of control. At all times it presented a round-the-clock cabaret, human nature at its best and worst.
Was there murder on the Marco Polo?
Wait and see.