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Top Customer Reviews
It is by turns irritatingly funny and thought-provoking, often in the same paragraph. It is insightful and engaging, and encourages the reader to wonder what life could be like, should be like for many others around the world. However, there is a poignant and underlying question that Jamie frequently refers back to and that is, at what point does travel become an addiction in itself, fueled by a voyeuristic need to see for oneself just how difficult life can be whilst never actually becoming part of it, safe as we are in knowing that we can always `go home'. A must read for everyone who has ever thought about travelling as a hobby.
My quick synopsis: Jamie supplements his study of International Relations in College with real life experiences and, if not drawing conclusions, than at least gaining insights into issues like haves/have-nots, and the comfort and ease in which Western culture exists and just how soft and pampered our lives are compared to a large percent of the world. [ie hard times for us (West), is drinking cheaper beer or having to deal with an old car or crappy job , whereas hard times for someone in New Guinea or Palestine often means starvation, serious medical conditions untreated, or violent deaths].
It's by no means though without the occasional drunken night or girlfriend breakup blues, and has some very good sections of dialogue with his sometimes travel/college buddy and their misadventures with women and irish pubs.
Hopefully he'll keep at it and in a few years, I hope to be paying full published prices for top notch travel writing. Check his website, he's apparently a pretty decent photographer too.
However, this book goes far beyond the usual travel memoir. It doesn't ooze "and there's where I found enlightenment/became a world citizen" self-regard or condescend to the inhabitants of the places where he visits. Instead, the author realizes that he has become genuinely addicted to the thrills of travel in dangerous places and wrestles with the difficult and unanswerable questions that somebody coming from generally stable, prosperous, and peaceful countries like the UK has to ask when face-to-face with people whose cultures are threatened by development, live in areas where livelihoods are destroyed by colonialism, or where workers make the equivalent of pennies each day serving tourists who are incredibly wealthy by contrast, or simply don't have the array of choices that people in the developed world (or wealthier parts of developing nations) have.
The book is not all troubled contemplation by any means, though. The author has a wicked sense of humor and turn of phrase and describes his misadventures with relish. He also revels in the many moments of beauty that he encounters, whether in the scenery or the people that he encounters.
An enjoyable and fulfilling read from a talented up and coming author. I look forward to the next adventure!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not a frequent reader, however I did enjoy this book. I gladly recommend it to anyone who has some experience in travel. It definitely reminds me of my travels.Published 2 months ago by Nick C.
Hilarious adventures of these two absolutely crazy young men. Made me relive some of my youthful escapades.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I picked this book because it was supposedly similar to Troost's books. Not so. Alexander seems far more independent, more of a risk taker, and writes with less humor. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed the journey with Jamie and friends. His observations of travel and contact with people are thoughtful. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Joel Salter
This book was enjoyable. The author is clearly very talented I can't wait to see what he does next. The beginning of the book opens very strong, but things start to dwindle 2/3 in.Published 7 months ago by Jamie
Like the author of this book, I am a travel junkie too, but also like him, not just for travels sake and the more I do it, the more i want to be a member of the society to where I... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ryan Steven Lekan
A spoiled kid from the U.K. inflicts his brand of narcissism on the rest of the world, and the world barely survives.Published 12 months ago by millerpmm
This was a great little read for those of us who enjoy thoughtful accounts of personal experiences. Jamie provides a solid narrative and some good insights about the prices he has... Read morePublished 12 months ago by C Duke