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Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea Paperback – November 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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.
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
What a gutsy lady travelling in Papua New Guinea by herself. It is a rough place to travel in.
Her writing is excellent. I could not put this book down.
It was an engaging story about an audacious adventure for any solo traveler. It was a bit self-indulgent but no more than expected for a 24 year old looking for the meaning of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Inga's Adventures
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 15 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 15 months ago by Katie
Introduction really intense, recommend it to anyone who enjoys stories about war. Kira Salak has readers thinking they are actually on the battle field!!Published 19 months ago by Eric
Kira Salak's adventurous spirit is inspirational. I would definitely love to read more by this author.Published on August 3, 2014 by Dot Storm