Van Bergeijk decided he could make a few bucks by buying a rusted-out 1988 Mercedes 190 Diesel in Amsterdam and reselling it in a Third World country. The clunker had 220,000 kilometers on its odometer. The three-month trip takes him from Holland through Morocco, across the Sahara, and into a variety of countries in Africa. Along the way, he runs into such obstacles as minefields, banditry, and a teenage desert guide who loves Tupac lyrics. There isn’t much food or water, but there is no shortage of sandstorms. He is equipped with a bar of soap, some duct tape, and a pair of women’s nylons to patch up his car’s many breakdowns. There’s much more, including a coup that he somehow survived. This has all the makings of a horrendous journey—and it is—but his dauntless, lighthearted style of writing makes the trip sound almost like a romp. --George Cohen
About the Author
JEROEN VAN BERGEIJK is a journalist based in Amsterdam and has written for The New York Times
, and many other publications in Europe and the United States.