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Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea [Paperback]

Kira Salak
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 Dec 2004
Following the route taken by British explorer Ivan Champion in 1927, and amid breathtaking landscapes and wildlife, Salak traveled across this remote Pacific island-often called the last frontier of adventure travel-by dugout canoe and on foot. Along the way, she stayed in a village where cannibals m was still practiced behind the backs of the missionaries, met the leader of the OPM-the separatist guerrilla movement opposing the Indonesian occupation of Western New Guinea-and undertook an epic trek through the jungle. The New York Times said "Kira Salak is tough, a real-life Lara Croft." And Edward Marriott, proclaimed Four Corners to be "A travel book that transcends the genre?It is, like all the best travel narratives, a resonant interior journey, and offers wisdom for our times."

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Books; Reprint edition (29 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792274172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792274179
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A luminously written, thoughtful account…exemplary travel writing' -- Kirkus Reviews

'A remarkable work...her encounters with fierce-looking men and women are surprisingly accurate and full of charm' -- Tobias Schneebaum, author of Where the Spirits Dwell

'A travel book that transcends the genre...A resonant interior journey that offers wisdom for our times’ -- EDWARD MARRIOTT, author of THE LOST TRIBE

'Gripping travel writing' -- WANDERLUST

'Imagine you've read every travel book and were invited to meet the authors. You'd think: Which one is Kira Salak?' -- BRAD NEWSHAM, author of TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHSmith Travel Book of the Year Finalist 2003

'It is easy to see why the New York Times dubbed Kira Salak 'a real-life Lara Croft'...a delightfully escapist narrative' -- TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

'Kira Salak is a real-life Lara Croft' -- The New York Times

'Kira Salak is tough, a real-life Lara Croft...unlike many travel writers, she is hip to her inner workings' -- NEW YORK TIMES

'Kira Salak is widely regarded as the gutsiest – and some say, craziest – woman adventurer of our day' -- BOOK magazine

‘Kira Salak is the real thing...There should be more like her in the world' -- BENEDICT ALLEN, author of THE FABER BOOK OF EXPLORATION --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The Beach meets Heart of Darkness in an extraordinary travel memoir charting 24-year-old Kira Salak's three-month solo journey across Papua New Guinea.

Following the route taken by British explorer Ivan Champion in 1927, and amid breathtaking landscapes and wildlife, Salak travelled across this remote Pacific island - often called the last frontier of adventure travel - by dugout canoe and on foot. Along the way, she stayed in a village where cannibalism was still practiced behind the backs of the missionaries, met the leader of the OPM - the separatist guerrilla movement opposing the Indonesian occupation of Western New Guinea - and undertook an epic trek through the jungle.

Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Travel Book of the year, Four Corners is both a gripping true story and a parallel journey into the author's past, where she revisits the demons that drove her to experience situations most of us can barely imagine. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 19 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book it was sensitive, fast pace and thrilling. The author took risks but this is what travelling is about. It is dangerous. I thought the author was very brave but also this was about her finding herself as well as about a great adventure from the South of Papua New Guinea to the North. What I particularly enjoyed about this book was that she was not expecting others to make this journey, she tells us quite clearly that "she is out of her mind". She also explains her background and what has brought her to keep putting her life at terrible risk, until she almost plays a game with fate. There are a couple of moments in the book that blow your mind, I won't mention them all because I will ruin it for you. I really enjoyed it where she explained that the PNG tribes like to carve their canoes which may take a couple of days, but then they spend twice as long again on carving a crocodile's head on the bow. This is because they believe that items should be made for not only for practical use but for aesthetic beauty because then, and only then, will you respect it. Indonesia occuplies PNG and she meets up with the head of a separatist guerrilla movement who is hoping she can help. It really makes you think about the modernisation of the world and whether we are going in the right direction. The way Australia takes copper and gold out of their country and the way which the Japanese and US embassadors visit the tribes but don't actually do anything - but just leave a flag. A great, great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 24 May 2009
Format:Paperback
Fascinating and thoroughly entertaining account of travel in Papua New Guinea. Very well written. One of the best travel books ive read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, thrilling read 28 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
This is the most exciting travel memoir I've ever read. Kira Salak is brave, funny, insightful and you never know how she's going to get herself out of her latest dangerous situation. Real edge of the seat stuff, and moving too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic thrilling read 28 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
This is the most exciting travel memoir I've ever read. Kira Salak is brave, funny, insightful and you never know how she's going to get herself out of her latest dangerous situation. Real edge of the seat stuff, and moving too.
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11 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It is a shame, this could have been a more inspiring book about travel or just a good adventure story anyway, but what we get is someone throwing themselves foolhardily from one life-(or rape-) threatening situation to another with almost wanton abandon as if she has no value for her own safety or respect.
We would also hope that by the end of the story she learns to slow down and really appreciate or even take the time to be part of the culture around her but sadly this doesn't happen either.
To take this book as an inspiration would be to legitimise throwing your life on the line pointlessly and recklessly time and time again in order to hope to understand why you shouldn't. She did, and she was the lucky one who came out of it and survived. She can't understand the wisdom of others as to why taking unnecessary risks is....well....unnecessary. She never learns to judge for herself what is or is not worth the risk and when is the time to do it or when it is time to wait. She still ends up saying that if she wants to do something she'll do it, which having read the book means throwing caution to the wind and throwing your life away when it can be done> If something is really a geuine wish, by taking time and learning what the locals have learnt and using their wisdom to guide you, it is still possible to use the wisdom of others to further your own self-growth without being totally foolish and reckless.
However, she never learns to take the locals word for anything and gets into trouble again and again. Truly an independent minded person but hardly an inspiration to snyone unless they also have no respect for their own life - particularly as she spends half the book bemoaning the differences bewteen the sexes and apparently being pleased that men can also be raped.
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