"Ye Gods, old man--don't do it!" you're bound to shriek on page 1 of this hilarious travelogue, on which the author lists the hazards that may befall him--vipers, cholera, crocs, ticks, tuberculosis, malaria, rabies, and 1,700 types of parasitic worms among them. After all, portly, over-the-hill London Times literary reviewer Redmond O'Hanlon hasn't done anything more aerobic than flip the pages of a book for decades; he wasn't even a Boy Scout. It's hardly reassuring that his colleague, poet James Fenton--who had the big idea to trek in Borneo--was a Boy Scout. He hated it, and besides, aged, balding Fenton, whom O'Hanlon describes as rather worm-like, sounds like he's a likely lunch for a swooping black eagle.
But on they trod--with the much-needed help of three Iban natives and an unseen, though oft-quoted river god--through jungle, across rivers whose height may rise seven feet overnight, and via native villages (where they often have late-night parties), with one goal in mind: seeing the fabled Borneo rhino. Fenton is nearly swept away in a whirlpool, they subsist on jungle-worm gruel, and ripping off sucking leeches is a near-daily occurrence, but cultural and natural insights and adventures abound in this rip-roaringly funny and deftly written travelogue that will have you chortling out loud. --Melissa Rossi
The story of a 1983 journey to the center of Borneo, which no expedition had attempted since 1926. O'Hanlon, accompanied by friend and poet James Fenton and three native guides brings wit and humor to a dangerous journey.See all Editorial Reviews
Friends of mine cycled around the island of Borneo in the 1990s as part of their Numbum World Tent-Camping Tour. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Holly Doering
Ever consider traveling into the jungle? Read this first. Laugh out loud funny, but also a deeply insightful account—guided by relevant passages from their historical... Read morePublished 12 months ago by David L Stern
No heroics but a very factual and humorous account of a physically challenging trip, a very un-hackneyed portrait of local people, changing times and mores, plus enchanting... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Anne O.
Interesting book about trip within Borneo. Written with some humor. Painted a picture of Borneo that made me think it was much too hot, humid, and mysteriously buggy for me to... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Nancy Pitarys
Redmond O'Hanlan gives a great introduction to the history, geography, demography, birds, botany and biology of Borneo in a lighthearted and entertaining way. Read morePublished on July 7, 2013 by I. Sims
This is a classic travel adventure story. It is not for everyone. I just got into reading travel stories. I like stories with humor, and this has it. Read morePublished on June 30, 2013 by Dee Masters
A great way to experience the worst travel destinations, the most unsanitary accommodation, and the least reliable travel companions within the safety of your own kindle. Read morePublished on June 3, 2013 by Maudie
I had to read this for a class. I usually enjoy most readings assigned but this book was drab and dull. Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by BassJas