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Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja [Kindle Edition]

Redmond O'Hanlon
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

‘We’ve left a lot of men in Borneo – know what I mean?’ With their SAS trainer’s warnings ringing in their ears, the naturalist, Redmond O’Hanlon, and the poet, James Fenton, set out to rediscover the lost rhinoceros of Borneo. They were loaded with enough back-breaking kit to survive two months in a steaming 95° (in the shade) jungle of creeping, crawling, biting things. O’Hanlon could also rely on his encyclopaedic knowledge of the region’s flora and fauna, and had read-up on how to avoid being eaten by anything (stick your thumbs in a crocodile’s eyes, if you have time). And yet they proceeded to have an adventure that neither O’Hanlon, nor his friend, nor even his guides were remotely prepared for…

‘Consistently exciting, often funny, and erudite without ever being overwhelming’ Punch.

Product Description

About the Author

Redmond O'Hanlon is an explorer in the nineteenth-century mould. In addition to his four bestselling travel books, Into the Heart of Borneo, In Trouble Again, Congo Journey and Trawler, he has published scholarly work on nineteenth-century science and literature. For fifteen years he was the Natural History editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He lives outside Oxford with his wife and two children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1867 KB
  • Print Length: 199 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0394544811
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (24 Feb. 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9L4Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,542 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the other reviews... 12 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
...This is a real journey into a real country. How can you complain that he gives you descriptions of the birds and flora of the country he's travelling through? Don't you want to know what the place is like? You leave the book feeling you have experienced the place - and the ending is great, showing the contrast between the young and the old, and how the old tribal ways, with their customs and skills, are going to die out very soon as the young move away from the jungle. This, like his masterpiece Congo Journey, uses exaggeration and humour to show the contast between the travellers and the natives of the country they are in. So his books teach as you laugh. And make you think asbout the nature of the world, and the issues facing people who's lives are changing impossibly fast. Heartbreaking, funny, it's brilliant: a book that makes you think and is fun to read, and which you learn an awful lot from: what more could you want?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic from a great travel writer 3 Dec. 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm moved to write my first review for Amazon by this classic of the travel genre. It moves effortlessly from humour to history, from adventure to scientific account. Like all the the best travel books, it takes you there without having to go to the expense of airline tickets. I got a real flavour of Borneo, borne out by a trip there which would have been all the poorer had I not read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny 20 Feb. 2008
Some reviewers are disappointed by the lack of useful information on Borneo. They have missed the point. This is not a travel guide. It's a book aiming to give an entertaining account of an expedition.

It succeeds wonderfully. The ups and downs of his relationship with his travelling companion, journalist and poet James Fenton, are (it seems) honestly portrayed. O'Hanlon does not shy away from making himself look like an idiot; indeed it the stock comic trope of the book. Some scenes are so funny that they made me giggle, snort and laugh out loud on the London Underground - which is not the done thing.

But I give the book five stars because of the quality of his writing. As well as being amusing, he just writes beautifully.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting insight 5 Sept. 2007
I enjoyed this book, and I've also enjoyed James Fenton's poetry that I sought out as a result of reading it. O'Hanlon tells a good story against himself, and the Iban people come across as, well, just like people, really. The change of tone as they encounter the Ukit towards the end, and the sense of a debasing of traditional culture is well handled and not overdone. It would have been nice for them to have found a rhino, but you can't have everything. If I ever go to Borneo, I shall certainly take a copy of Smythies with me.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious comedy - not a stuffy travel book 26 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
My husband was reading this book while we were on holiday in Borneo and he drove me so nuts chuckling every few pages that I just had to read it myself.
Where I had expected a stuffy travel book I found a hilarious comedy. Well worth the read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining account of an 1983 expedition into the centre of Borneo by river and overland. Full of little stories about the Iban people who supported the expedition and about the cameraderie between the author and his travelling companion, this is a humorous and charming read.

The changing way of life of the people of the Borneo interior is made clear - and given that 30 years have elapsed since this book was written presumably much more has changed subsequently.

No Oran-utangs were seen on the trip, and the author's search for the Borneo Rhinocerous was not really successful. The journey itself makes this well worth reading though- especially if you are not fazed by leeches...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming, witty, and self-serving 11 Oct. 1997
By A Customer
Having read Eric Hansen's insightful Stranger in the Forest, I set about looking for more travelogue on this amazing island. O'Hanlon's book, unfortunately, doesn't shape up as insightful reading. The book is sprinkled with humorous and terrifying details which O'Hanlon knows are fun and engaging reading. At the same time, the attention to personal details, specifically his own discomfort, make this more of a whiner than a winner as far as travelogues go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully funny account 17 July 1997
By A Customer
I stumbled upon Mr. O'Hanlon's account of his jouney into deepest, darkest Borneo and thoroughly enjoyed his humorous account of travel that is well off the beaten path. Mr. O'Hanlon's humor is very British: understatement well said.

I've loaned this book to many friends and they all enjoyed it. I recommend any of his travel books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fairly good condition. Good book
Published 3 months ago by Terrence Frankie Muda
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
not what i asked for and not very helpful
Published 9 months ago by tim gerrard
4.0 out of 5 stars A great, funny travel book
A great, funny travel book, now slightly dated. Erudite & witty, very entertaining. The photos in the paperback edition are very poorly reproduced
Published 9 months ago by Christian O'Morchoe
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Good read well written an engrossing account of a fool hardy trip which is highly amusing and worth the time
Published 12 months ago by westean001
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Read
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as i have an interest in exploring, jungle trekking and birds AND i have also visited and travelled around Sarawak, Borneo. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Andrew Bell
1.0 out of 5 stars The author is a scholar and it shows
Into the Heart of Borneo author Redmond O'Hanlon is a man of supreme higher education - Oxford scholar - and this fact hits you in the face repeatedly like a repeating face... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Some guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I loved it. Great book. Good fun. Laugh out loud. Happened a few years ago now so may not be quite as remote or wild as it once was.
Published 22 months ago by David Ayres
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the heart of Borneo
Amusing,informative and it painted a vivid picture of the country. One's prevailing impression of the author is that he must be delightfully "bonkers!"
Published on 2 Jan. 2013 by Virginia Mackenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and occasionally moving account of a trip to Borneo
A great read. I read it after going to Borneo myself and it brought back great memories of my trip
Published on 30 Nov. 2012 by Anna L E Williams
2.0 out of 5 stars 19th century explorers?
The great 19th century explorers did not have SAS training before they set out. They did not get blind drunk at every opportunity. They did not bombard us with occult advertising. Read more
Published on 7 Jan. 2010 by Gerry Firth
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