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Random Acts of Travel : Featuring Trepidation, Hammocks and Spitting Kindle Edition

6 customer reviews

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Length: 492 pages

Product Details

  • File Size: 1367 KB
  • Print Length: 492 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Barefoot Holdings Ltd. (August 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008RZMZ30
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,012,639 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dean Johnston was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada back around the time Canada was playing Russia in the original Summit Series. Duff Pounder is his pen name but don't be intimidated, he does other stuff, too. He is a former financial planner who has blogged extensively about his travels and written numerous travel articles and financial resources. Random Acts of Travel is the first full length project he has managed to complete, although he does have all sorts of ideas and a lot of partially written material which had been going well at one time or another before he got distracted, probably by a rerun of The Mentalist or going shopping for ponchos. That is probably his political side coming out.

He also owns a bike and several pillows. His pet peeves are television commercials for other television shows and getting stung by things. He hates onions yet loves onion rings. Head colds make him sombre, but resolved to concentrate on no longer having a head cold. He plans to continue traveling the world and writing whatever pops into his head. He likes turtles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
When I saw the cover of Random Acts of Travel, I was immediately intrigued. I wondered what the author might have against Egypt? Had he pissed on the pyramids or did he just want to? One thing was certain: he didn't care if he offended an entire country.

As it turned out, the author offends countries on every continent (except Antartica - unless I missed that one), including America (to that I say at least our claim to fame isn't Red Green) and, perhaps more gently, his home turf, Canada. He does so with extremely random references and analogies that often involve genitalia, bowel movements, celebrity genitalia or bowel movements, or his obsession with braiding his leg hair. In other words, Random Acts of Travel is not for the more sensitive or politically correct reader... or celebrities who are prone to filing defamation claims.

Much of the book depicts the author's odd adventures in foreign, often third world countries. And it does so, as the title suggests, in random fashion. Part guide book, part news article, part journal, part fiction(?), part every other written medium (was that a screenplay?), Random Acts of Travel hits the reader with a bombardment of jokes right from its opening.

Many jokes are hits, many are so-so, and many are misses. The misses don't really matter because before the reader can be put off by it, another joke is slung at him/her, then another, then another. The book is remniscent of early Family Guy episodes (complete with an Asian reporter Trisha Takanawa reference) where random segways were more prominent than the episode's storyline. For example: "It was starting to seem suspiciously too good to be true, like the time your girlfriend voluntarily offered up oral right after she got back from a girl's trip to Jamaica.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Like the man says in his title, this book is random. It has no obvious pattern of organization and no unifying style outside relentless wise-cracking as Johnston shares a compilation of observations gathered from his wanderings around the planet for twelve years. Instead, the book resembles a series of essays that might appear in, say, Mad Magazine or Playboy.

It is long on pages and short on substantial/ sophisticated coverage of travel basics (like cities). But, first and foremost, the book is terrifically, almost fiendishly, funny. I often laughed out loud, though I sometimes wished he'd drop the banter and write something that would make me want to pack my bag. There are moments when the descriptions really take you there (for better or worse)--on the Ilala ferry in Malawi, for instance.

The author falls into two questionable practices: one that an English professor of mine called the "imitative fallacy," where the writer twists the style to mimic what's going on in the material. The other is an annoying tendency to talk up his sleeve. The "best and worst of___" lists are some of the worst offenders in this regard. The material is riffy and arcane rather than entertaining and useful.

Bottom line, if you're put off by scatalogical, randy, punsterish, puckish, and sometimes tortuous prose, this isn't the book for you; there are lots of polite, densely detailed travel guides you'd prefer. But, if you're a fan of Dave Barry, and/or your idea of great travel is a knapsack and making do with rice krispies or kicking back in Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala (Ultimate Travel Experience #6) , you'll probably want to check out this book. Johnston writes he and his wife travel in spite of the food, not for the food, and in this case, he's not kidding. "Snickers, everywhere," he advises.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Random Acts of Travel covers Dean's travel all over the world, from Nepal to Guatemala. Killing lionfish on a dive in Roatan to exploring Iguazu Falls in Argentina. The author uses his sharp wit to sling comedy left and right, using references from pop culture past and present to keep the reader in stitches (or at least constant chuckles.)

The stories and places do tend to jump around quite a bit, which was initially frustrating to me, though I grew to enjoy the spontaneity of random thoughts and adventures. Dean does also include many factual bits of information for those possibly looking to travel to his favorite destinations, including prices for excursions and hotel stays and times of the year to avoid inclement weather.

I honestly had an awesome time reading this. It's quite a long book (for me), ringing in just shy of 500 pages, but it's one of those that you can stop and start at any time, picking right back up where you left off and having more than a few laughs. I highly recommend reading your way through to Dean's bucket list at the end. (I couldn't agree more with #2, can't stand the guy, and raise a questionable eyebrow at #4...)

So if you aren't afraid of a little crude humor and abstract (often raunchy) similes, Random Acts of Travel is a great find. It's a fun read and might just inspire an interest in travel in you.
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