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25 Reviews
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the other reviews...
...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,...
Published on 12 Feb 2001

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming, witty, and self-serving
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...
Published on 11 Oct 1997


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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 review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
...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
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This review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
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
By 
Jonathan Ward "wardmonster" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
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 Sep 2007
By 
Martin Hardwidge "black buzzer" (Nottingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
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 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 15 July 2013
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This review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the heart of Borneo, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
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!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and occasionally moving account of a trip to Borneo, 30 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Into the Heart of Borneo: An Account of a Journey Made In 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with Ja (Paperback)
A great read. I read it after going to Borneo myself and it brought back great memories of my trip
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