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Benedict Allen

Teoksen The Faber Book of Exploration tekijä

16+ teosta 449 jäsentä 7 arvostelua 1 Favorited

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Sisältää nimet: Benadict Allen, Benedict Allen

Image credit: photo:stevewatkins

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Associated Works

Great Railway Journeys | More Great Railway Journeys (1997) — Avustaja — 29 kappaletta

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In his early sixties, Benedict Allen reflects on his life exploring. He spend a good chunk of the 1980s and later doing adventurous solo walks through places in the Amazon and PNG, relying only on the help of local peoples. Seemingly the most impressive experiences he had were in the wild forests and on the banks of the Sepik in PNG. At some point he gave up exploring and got a family and a house. Years later, just a few years before this was published in 2022, he goes back to PNG twice and spends time with the same people he had visited in his twenties. In between Allen gives us plenty of bemused philosophizing about why explorers go exploring, as well as a few too many dismissive comments about Western explorers. I enjoyed the book as he is describing places and situations - walking through warm tropical forests in PNG that I will probably not walk through, covered in leeches and, at the end, suffering from dengue and malaria. At the end of the book he is rescued by helicopter and instead of being profoundly grateful he tells us that he is not comfortable being saved. This all seems a little selfish considering as he was preparing himself to die in his journal a few hours before, and he has young children back in England. However he is appreciative of the traditional people of this place and is intimate with their world more than I will ever be. I enjoyed reading the book in that Allen could share some of that world of ancient Melanesian culture and its bird of paradise feathers in headdresses, its thick sense of community solidarity and its lost valleys and deep green forests where even the locals rarely if ever have been. Not a must read, but I was happy to read it as the shelf with recently published books about genuine exploration of my region is not a huge one.… (lisätietoja)
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Tom.Wilson | Feb 5, 2024 |
Lots of colour photos throughout as explorer Benedict Allen undertakes a journey through W Mongolia and lastly a solitary) crossing of the Gobi Desert.
Much of the narrative concerns the various horses and camels which undertake bits of the journey with them- their personalities and frailties. Camels seem a moody breed; recalcitrant animals prone to vomiting bile or striking off alone and abandoning their 'master'. Allen also notes how they seem to get depressed and 'cry'when taken away from home.
Allen write, too, of the overwhelming scenery and animals; he meets locals and embraces the local diet: "Those innards which I discreetly left aside now, will be saved up for me for breakfast- warmed up in tea." And observes a somewhat changing society as the younger generation adopt western ways: "While he was dismembering a sheep, his son was dismembering his jeep." And through it all, the bleakness, the brutality and the beauty- and the ever-present recollection of Genghis Khan's empire.
Gives a good feel of the country.
… (lisätietoja)
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starbox | Apr 20, 2020 |
This was, at least towards the end, a harrowing read - as the author's adventure travel in Amazonia threatens to cost him his life. Various decisions he made he questions himself, as I question some of his written judgements. In the end he made it and wrote this book but ultimately I am left with the feeling, so what? This is disappointing and unsatisfying for while I still admire Benedict Allens's flair and spirit of adventure this journey, undertaken in his youth, was not a great success.
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DramMan | 1 muu arvostelu | Sep 1, 2019 |
A delightful read. That is up until he disobeyed the advice given him and ventured into gold mining country. The characters there were murderous and treacherous and out to kill him for his companions, two "interchangeable " natives. He dies find his way by a miracle in the firm of a dog.
I am reading the books I have picked up at goodwiis, the salvation army, and various thrift second hand shops. This time was near the top of the most recent pile. I was charmed by its author, enchanted by the natives, and breathed a sigh of relief along with all the characters he met along his journey.… (lisätietoja)
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Alphawoman | 1 muu arvostelu | Jan 9, 2018 |


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