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The Backpacker

The Backpacker [Kindle Edition]

John Harris
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


A superb tale of adventure and intrigue that takes the reader on a backpacking schlep through South East Asia - gripping stuff. -- Front, November 2001

An adrenalin-fuelled adventure. -- The Bookplace Website, August 2001

Read this, you won't regret it . . . like The Beach but this one's true. -- Fresh Direction

The Backpacker is complete escapism (...) a pretty gripping plot and enough adventure to last for a lifetime. -- M2 Best Books


`classic backpacker accessory... Hunter S. Thompson style... This read encompasses everything... integrate your brain with this one.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1083 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers Ltd (5 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,172 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An average read... 19 Dec 2011
Not particularly well-written, quite disjointed,and with so many 'adventures' attributed to the writer I was left with a yawning credibility-gap. Nevertheless, if you want an undemanding tale of the rather embellished experiences of someone travelling in the Far East etc., I guess it just about does the job. I managed to finish it, anyway, but its no 'The Beach'...
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I did read half of this in the mistaken belief that it was fiction... and thought it was mighty boring and that the novelist had created three singularly dull and unattractive protagonists in his rudderless, pointless young men. Now I realise it's non-fiction (I'm heading towards the end) I'm finding it marginally more interesting but it's hard to care about any of the men who are uniformly free-loading, lazy, and appear to have no desires beyond the next shag or booze/pill binge.

And I'd warn any female reader that you'll feel like slapping the lot of them. If they were even worth that much of your attention: They uniformly treat women like objects - more or less disposable, more or less interchangeable. I'm currently at a rather sickening bit where they gad about a brothel of underage hookers. Oh yes, as you do... that's FUN right?

Suspect this is a boys' novel (and I do use the word boy, not man, deliberately). But personally boys, I'd advise you not to waste your money: This is overlong, badly written, populated by paper-thin characters and expounds frankly rather objectionable views on local people and women.

(ps You may ask why I kept reading - well I didn't really - I had it on audiobook and was on a very long car journey... even then I thought silence might be less dull than keeping on listening!)
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting tale... 17 Sep 2003
By Rachel
The Backpacker is an interesting read, and the twisting tale takes you through some of the most interesting places and situations. Visiting India, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia amongst others, the descriptions of these beautiful countries are enough to get you jumping onto the soonest plane.
However, this book is simply written - the plot is linear and the language basic (and crude) and many of the events leave you somewhat pondering over its distance from the actual events Harris experienced.
A good book for a rainy day, or when your under the weather.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating tale - but poorly written 20 Mar 2011
Thinking back to when I first read The Beach and how much I enjoyed it, and having traveled to most places covered in the Backpacker, I looked forward to reading this book. However, overall the Backpacker disappoints. While the tale itself is an exiting story, it is badly written and skims over detail just when you want to know more, while the main character is very unlikable. He comes across as selfish, judgmental and dismissive of many of places he travels too. Given that the book is apparently auto-biographic (at least to some extent), I imagine these undesirable attitudes are reflective of the author.

The quotes on the front and back cover ('Fresh Direction' and 'M2 Best Books') should be a warning that this book is lacking in acclaim from respected critics. The fact is that John Harris is no Alex Garland and the Backpacker is no where near the same class as The Beach. If all - or even most - of what happens in the book is true, then it is certainly a fascinating tale, however the quality of writing and many flaws can't be ignored.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By Rich
Having lived in Asia during roughly the same period of time as the story was set,I was gripped by this book. Read it in a day and a half. Whilst I feel that there may be a certain amount of 'embellishment' within the book. I don't think that it actually detracts fom the entertainment it provides. The author has the ability to take you to the scene of the action and actually experience the miasma of emotions that Asia subjects you to. However, It did leave me hankering for an epilogue though. John if you're out there, give us an update !!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun turned sour 10 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What started out as a fun holiday soon descends into something far more serious,a good read at a good pace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great book with a very poor end 22 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was fast paced and a very easy read. My only complait is that the story starts at the end and then does not in any way link back to this at the conclusion of the book. So i was left dissappointed that the start adn the end did not tie up.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Day Dreamer 23 Feb 2012
I have read many travel books but this has to be the most truly unbelievable and made up story I have ever wasted my time (and money) reading. The author is either very selfish or he is a bad story teller ie the way he treats his girlfriend and many other cases but the most serious being not mentioning he did not notify the emergency services about his friend missing at sea after he foung help.

This book is a complete waste of time
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 8 days ago by Neeldy
5.0 out of 5 stars good story
i liked this story. very good and interesting. page turner. I did not want it to end. Brilliant read for anyone thinking of backpacking.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
An absolutely phenomenal read brilliantly written and honestly told. I finished the book in 2 days. A story of freedom, travel, friendship and adventure with the background of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert Pyke
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling.
I enjoyed reading this book despite it being a little different to what I would normally choose .I enjoyed the element of travel in Asia as this is an area I have been to and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by GinaS
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic
exciting, and fast paced, this book is sure to bring back all of your travelling memories while discovering someone's amazing and once in a lifetime journey.
Published 4 months ago by Scott wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Couldn't put this down. On a par with Papillon (for me) although not as well written. Anyone know any similar?
Published 5 months ago by GrAvItY5lAvE
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any travelers
Amazing read, made to start planning a trip myself before I'd even finish the book. A must read for any travelers
Published 5 months ago by Keith85
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.....
Having visited several of the places John travels to, I loved his book. I wanted to finish his story to see how things ended but on the other hand, I didn't want to get to the end... Read more
Published 5 months ago by J S Westin
1.0 out of 5 stars Total nonsense!
What more can I say than the title of my review? Just total nonsense really,oh,and can I have a refund,I REALLY couldn't get even halfway through this pile of poo. A first for me!!
Published 6 months ago by yammidave
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but ends abruptly
I enjoyed The Backpacker, not quite as much as I did The Beach but it holds its own in the travelling sub-genre. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jd Bain
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