Behind the 70s-looking action/retro cover is the tale of old-fashioned exploration and discovery detailing the author's trials and tribulations in becoming the first man to navigate the Mekong river from its source in Tibet to the South China Sea. This first-hand account of what is quite an incredible journey takes awhile to heat up, although the extract from O'Shea's journal at a dangerous and critical point of the expedition, given at the start of the book and set in italics gives a compelling and personal introduction to the journey.
O'Shea's account includes the quest for funds, battles and fallouts with his team, as well as descriptions of the challenges he faced on the water as he kayaked the length of the Mekong. While it is a personal account, in many ways it reads more like a sequence of events rather than evoking a response from the reader - you are told it's cold, rather than feeling it. However, the book does not intended to be a literary masterpiece. It tells the tale of the impressive journey and includes interesting geological and cultural facts. It also introduces kayaking terminology such as `fat bastards' and `boils' as well as invites the reader to consider environmental ecology from a different point of view.
While it is not a `must read' it is a worthwhile read. Once I had accepted that it was the books intention to document the trip first and foremost, as opposed to giving voice to the interesting people he met along the way, I was able to enjoy the book for what it is.