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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2001
...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
on 3 December 2003
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
on 20 February 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
on 5 September 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
on 26 September 2001
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
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 May 2014
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
on 17 July 1997
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
on 28 February 2004
I read this book when studying for my A' levels 11 years ago. It was a change from Shakespeare and Chaucer. It was lighthearted and combined with an enthusiastic tutor the class was eager to do the after class reading required!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2013
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
on 15 July 2013
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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