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I listened to the entire first half of this book and it just never grabbed me. I just got bored. Too bad really because I love the setting, and The Beach is one of my favorite books. Things happen occasionally, but more often the story is filled with long accounts of not especially exciting train rides, pointless conversations between characters who you are not certain are relevant to the story, and inexplicable decisions on the part of the main character.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from John Harris and/or Tom Lawrence?
The narrator Tom Lawrence was very good, I would easily listen to another performance. The author John Harris is better at fiction/semi-fiction than reality.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
The book is a retelling of a story in that age old pub fashion/fishing story. A small little adventure blossomed into a grand story with the retelling. The teller may think it really happened that way but the reality is likely much more sedate. Much like James Frey and his "A Million Little Pieces", there is a lot of embellishment in a story branded as non-fiction. It is an entertaining read though, just not true to the non fiction travel genre.
What does Tom Lawrence bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Its an all around great performance. His voice matched the mental picture of the protagonist in the story. He is properly emphatic when the story calls for it.
A bit tiresome this book, learnt nothing about the interesting countries/culture, just fairly far fetched stories about 'lads abroad' behaving badly.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I’ve read lots of travel memoirs before by ‘adventurers’ or hikers taking things seriously so this was completely different from the start.
I wondered if it would be typical stories about full moon parties and clubs but it turned out to be so compelling and an almost unbelievable story with lots of twists and turns, countries and situations I never predicted!