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The Reluctant Traveller

The Reluctant Traveller [Kindle Edition]

Bill Lumley
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'It's hard not to warm to the author.' --The Sunday Telegraph

Product Description

A team of keen, adventurous climbing enthusiasts is headed by truck around the world, looking for obscure mountain peaks to conquer. Meanwhile, in a London pub, author Bill Lumley, a self-confessed coward, drunkenly agrees to join the most treacherous leg of the trip - hiking hundreds of miles through armed-bandit territory into a world of landmines, tanks, ferocious weather and snakes. His mission in life - to avoid leaving the comfort of Bethnal Green - is replaced by an urgent need to escape Ethiopia as quickly and safely as possible.

A hilarious account of a man struggling to save himself from possible death - and any form of exercise.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 645 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Prospera Publishing (15 Aug 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZSIC2C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #126,330 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing I have ever bought for 86p! 20 Jan 2011
By Jono
Format:Kindle Edition
Ever had to do something that you thought was a bad idea? Then you'll relate to this.

This is a travel book written from the opposite perspective to the usual chirpy gap year ideals that tend to be the norm of travel writing. It is written by someone who thinks "Is this going to kill me?" rather than the Bruce Parry school of I'll know when I'm dead. It is a fantastic read with true moments of hilarity, ideal for the train or relaxed reading and it's 86p!!!!! 86p you cheapskate get it bought, stop reading reviews and considering your options it's 86p!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 30 Dec 2010
By Kew
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this travel book written by someone who hates travelling! It is well written and funny, made me laugh out loud a few times. He gives you a very good description of travelling through Ethiopia without any rose tinted glasses. I look forward to reading more of his books.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A funny, very readable account 12 Jan 2011
By TopCat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Author Bill is afraid of all sorts of things, and it seems usually has ready-prepared excuses to keep himself out of harm's way. So a climbing trip to find a lost mountain in Ethiopia was never going to be his perfect holiday. Shame he managed to agree to the trip while under the influence and amazing he didn't manage to wheedle his way out of it.

I found this account of his travels in Ethiopia and the hazards he encounters along the way laugh out loud funny, there are some great one liners, but also very interesting. His descriptions of the places may not win him any friends at the tourist board but have painted a picture for me (who definitely doesn't have Ethiopia on her list of places to see) and I now feel like I have a better feel for the geography and climate of the place, as well as what might face the intrepid travellers who do go there. I also picked up a few facts which might come in handy for the pub quiz.

This was a funny, easy read and well worth every penny.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Mischief 22 Feb 2011
Very funny travelogue by a grumpy and overweight bloke who would rather stay at home in the pub. So many travel books these days are by floppy haired public school boys being lush and lyrical about exotic foreign parts, its a great pleasure to read one that does nothing but whinge and whine about how ghastly abroad really is. This might seem a bit xenophobic were it not for the fact that most of the jokes here are against himself. A lot of fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good .... but could easily have been better 22 May 2011
By Qix
Format:Kindle Edition
The idea of someone as completely unsuited to "hard core" travelling as the author clearly is making a trip as extreme as this one has the makings of a great read and indeed Lumley writes very well. Unlike other reviewers, I didn't mind the moaning and its certainly fair to say that in places this is a very, very funny book.

The editing of the book could and should have been tighter. I don't know if the paperback version has pictures and maps - the Kindle version that I read didn't and it would have benefited greatly from these - but the biggest disappointment for me is that the book feels unfinished. The story goes straight from the heat of Ethiopia into an epilogue, almost as if Lumley is so sick of the trip that he can't bring himself to write any more. I would have loved to have heard about his journey back to Addis Ababa, how he felt on his arrival home, how he readjusted to life in London, and if and how he repaired the relationship with his best friend Gar.

Overall, greatly enjoyable and undeniably excellent value for the money asked.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly amazed!!! 4 Dec 2010
I'd love to say "A friend recommended this book" or "I picked it up and couldn't put it down" but neither would be true. I've known the author, Bill, for a very, very long time and shared many of those painful moments all those years ago during his recuperation. He contacted me a little while ago via a certain social networking site and asked if I'd read his book. Actually, that's not true either. He "suggested" I should read it and offered to refund me if I didn't like it!!! My initial thoughts were "Oh God, what if I don't like it?". I did tell him that a refund would not be necessary and then, out of a misguided sense of loyalty, bought the book and started to read. I can honestly say that a refund would never have been necessary. It really is a very good read. Bill is one of those people who is really hard to dislike, and this comes across in his writing. He is honest which is a rarity in this sadly PC world we live in. How would I describe this book? Maybe Bill Bryson meets Jeremy Clarkson, the flights were delayed and the car broke down. I hope everyone who reads this book enjoys it as much as I have so far.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different way of travelling 21 Jun 2010
I was recommended this book by a friend. Initially I found the concept of Lumley as a reluctant traveller a little strange - as in, why did he go? Once I had accepted that he had gone, I was struck by his keen observation of Ethiopian country life, and I suspect it is a book not to be found on the shelves of the Ethiopian Tourist Board! Whilst the trip was not one that would make my list of 1000 places to visit, I feel that having read the book, at least I know what I am missing. Lumley's attempted avoidance of anything potentially dangerous either engenders empathy or a vision of someone we know who lives life in a similar fashion. Definitely worth a read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The UK's antidote to Bill Bryson? 3 May 2010
First, the negatives. The book could have been edited better and one is occasionally thrown by paragraphs that seem to have been inserted in quite at random (I am thinking of the chunks of history, mainly). Plus, you either buy the conceit very quickly and accept the narrator's worldview or you just won't get on with it. Basically, if you haven't laughed by the end of the first chapter, you won't like the rest, so be warned.

Now the positives. This is definitely not your average travel memoir! It's witty, acerbic, full of the writer's unique personality and Weltanschuung. In a way, not that much happens and there are times when the moaning and planning to escape all becomes a bit de trop. But that is part of the deal - you are spending time with the forceful and uncompromising p.o.v. of a born writer, who is great on observation, capturing local colour and the deflation of pomposity, especially his own. I laughed out loud quite a few times and finished it in more or less one sitting, which I think says a lot.

Read if: you appreciate some of both the more and less appealing characteristics of the English

Don't read if: you have a starry eyed view of the Third World, have no sense of humour, and are a fan of Ethiopian cuisine!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book!
I took a punt on this book as I like to read about peoples exploits whilst travelling. This one isn't bad but it's also not as good as Mr Bryson's books.
Published 8 months ago by Dame
4.0 out of 5 stars be careful just what you can get yourself into !!
Poor Bill,, he never expected it to go as far as actually going on this trip and spent most of his time planning his escape back to some sort of civilisation ! Read more
Published 9 months ago by jill in Derby
I can't believe anyone would give this book one star. The outrage ! Literally laughed from start to finish to the extent where I woke my boyfriend up by laughing one night whilst... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Marylounelson
5.0 out of 5 stars A good Laugh
I really enjoyed this book, it made me laugh out loud so many times I felt the need to explain myself to collegues on numerous occasions. Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2012 by Madame Cholet
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny,honest account of a fascinating adventure!
This book is a funny, fascinating and descriptive account of exactly what it says on the tin - a reluctant traveller. Read more
Published on 20 Jun 2012 by JMME
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of "Print"
I finished this book solely because I'm not one to quit on anything I've started reading. By the end of it I was about ready to scream - and wanted nothing more than to slap the... Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by smtfhw
5.0 out of 5 stars a great fun, interesting read
A great read, funny and very interesting. Definitely not the kind of trip I would want to take myself but I recognise the type of travellers on the Hot Rock truck. Read more
Published on 30 May 2012 by gj
5.0 out of 5 stars The clue is in the title.
I read several reviews before starting this book, nearly putting me off starting.
But i am glad i did. The clue of the content of this book is in the title. Read more
Published on 20 May 2012 by chochouse
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll either love this guy or hate him!
Loved this book, he would drive anybody round the bend, he has a wife who we don't get to know but I ended up feeling sorry for her even though she hardly features in the book. Read more
Published on 16 May 2012 by VAL PARSONS
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the cover
If the title doesn't give it away, the summary printed beneath it on the front cover holds a pretty good clue as to why the author isn't going to enjoy himself: "He went on a... Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2012 by Lucee
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Popular Highlights

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‘Muslims give you stuff. Christians ask and take. In Muslim countries you can travel for free. Here they show you where the bakery is and ask for some bread. In Sudan they’d show you the bakery and buy you some bread.’ &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
the odds of escaping unscathed would be the same as guessing someone’s telephone number. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
‘Incidentally, Christmas day,’ announced Gar, ‘is the seventh of January in Ethiopia.’ ‘That answers the question, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’’ I said, to resounding silence. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users

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