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Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea Paperback – November 1, 2004
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“It is, like all the best travel narratives, a resonant interior journey, and offers wisdom for our times.”
—Edward Marriott, author of The Lost Tribe
“Kira Salak is tough, a real life Lara Croft…unlike many travel writers, she is hip to her inner workings.”
—New York Times
“Kira Salak is a rare find – a gifted storyteller who is also a daring journeywoman.”
—Mary Morris, author of Nothing To Declare: Memoir of a Woman Travelling Alone
From the Back Cover
"It is, like all the best travel narratives, a resonant interior journey, and offers wisdom for our times."
--Edward Marriott, author of The Lost Tribe
"Kira Salak is tough, a real life Lara Croft...unlike many travel writers, she is hip to her inner workings."
--New York Times
"Kira Salak is a rare find - a gifted storyteller who is also a daring journeywoman."
--Mary Morris, author of Nothing To Declare: Memoir of a Woman Travelling Alone
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
If you're looking for some dry, academic kind of book on New Guinea culture--like the previous reviewer seemed to be--then I suggest you go to the library and pick up some scientific journals and go nuts. But if you'd like a great, really readable adventure story that will hold your interest from beginning to end, that won't be a waste of your time or money, then this is the book for you. I've shared this gem with all of my friends--world backpackers and arm-chair travelers alike--and they all loved it.
I know this because I am one of the "characters" in this book. My father is "Doug Larsen", the villainous missionary portrayed in the chapter "Hungarian Delights". The description in this portion of the book is almost entirely fictitious. No, we didn't live in an air conditioned white mansion. Although our house was made of "Western" materials (lumber and corrugated iron) it was powered solely by 9 30 watt solar panels and could never have been air conditioned--even if it had had glass windows, which it didn't. The electricity was used primarily to run a freezer for vaccinations, and we had an emergency generator which we almost never used due to the difficulty and expense of getting fuel to such a remote spot. And of course the house wasn't white. Anyone who has been to the lowlands of PNG would know the futility of trying to paint a house white. Our "running water" was rain collection that was entirely hand pumped (yes, we pumped it ourselves). And we never had delicacies such as strawberries the entire time we were there--almost all the food we ate was local (actually quite good, but for the most part, the same thing the locals ate). Of course the idea that a SDA would spend Saturday morning at home eating brunch will make anyone laugh who is familiar with the religion.Read more ›
Now, I'll concede there are no rules for writing a book about exotic adventures. However, I *did* have some preconceived expectations of travel writing about such an exotic destination.
I did not expect her to spend 1/10th of the book talking about how dangerous Africa is. I did not expect her to mention how dangerous PNG is on nearly every page, and manage to elaborate on it over and over with each mention. If she wants to cross PNG, sure, admit it can be a little dangerous. However, it gets old reading it page after page after page.
I really feel as though she could have packed twice as much information into the pages as she did. I felt as though I got to know few of the characters, and there was scant mention of the background settings. It was all about her, her thoughts, and how she is growing as a person. Now, this is all fine and dandy for some people, but I really wanted to read more about the characters she encountered, adventures she took. It was her book and she is allowed to write as she pleases. It just was NOT what I expected.
I especially find it incredible how she was able to cross the main landmass, and write so little about the flora and fauna she encountered. New Guinea is a mecca for wildlife, and you could write entire books on the subjects you find in 1 metre square. There is almost no mention of any plants or animals.
Despite my criticism, Ms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kira Salak must have a strong death wish to go to the places she travels- alone! After the harrowing experiences in New Guinea she states from then on she will now only visit safe... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Gary Gentry
Amazing! I rented the book from the library and ended up buying it shortly thereafter just so I would be able to read it again and again. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Katie
Kira Salak's adventurous spirit is inspirational. I would definitely love to read more by this author.Published 18 months ago by Dot Storm
If you’re looking for a travelogue in the style of “Lonely Planet” then you’ve got the wrong book. This is more than a trip across Papua New Guinea(PNG), it is a voyage of... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Grey Wolffe
This was my first book by this author, and I found this book hard to put down. Kira Salak is an adventurer that opts for solo travel and is usually putting herself in... Read morePublished on June 4, 2013 by Lachula
I like her writing style and envy her courageousness. Also read her book the Cruelest Journey which I really liked too.Published on February 28, 2013 by Mantra11
I grew up in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and was feeling a little homesick. I took a chance and bought this book and I was not disappointed. Read morePublished on December 4, 2012 by Christian B. Cuyno