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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chicken feed and coconuts!, 5 Aug 2004
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
Posh English teacher, Will Randall finds himself handing in his resignation to continue the legacy left by a friends eccentric commander friend, where his mission is to help set up a profitable business for the local people in the idyllic distant Solomon islands.
Will reluctantly accepts the challenge with no idea of the extent of the changes that he is about to encounter living the slow paced life on the South Sea Islands.
With a relatively unknown tropical back drop, Will relates his story through his reserved English eyes, as he struggles with rinsing the rat race from his skin and replacing it with coconut oil and chicken feed...
The Solomon Islands are a beautiful subject and Will's obscure task is an unusual tale. It left me pining to learn to sail, get myself a boat and explore the desert islands, maybe following the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson's, Robinson Crusoe, and more recently, Will Randall, but it is one of the few areas barely touched by tourists, so it would be a shame to spoil it.
An uplifting, light read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "It was quite acceptable to do nothing...", 24 Mar 2003
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
Will Randall, though a high school teacher for ten years, is really just a kid--thirty-two years old, but still young in his attitudes and in his views of what life, and his own life, in particular, are all about. Unsophisticated and incurious, he has been content to let life happen to him. When his friend Charles suggests that he give up his job and go to the Solomon Islands for a year, he demurs, but Charles is an executor of the will of a man known as the Commander, who has left money for the benefit of the islanders, if someone will go there to develop a reliable industry that will provide the villagers with income they can use for community improvements. Eventually, Randall finds himself agreeing to go, not making a decision so much as just going with the flow.
Randall experiences a delayed coming of age on New Georgia Island, a process he documents in this good-humored tale, filled with delightful characters and observations about life in a community in which there is little change. Ingenuous and unambitious, he enjoys the lullaby rhythms of life in the tropics, but he eventually determines that raising chickens would both provide income and expand the limited diet of the villagers. Describing how he sets up this business, he also comments on village mores, including the cannibalism which existed until the early 20th century. He briefs the reader on the World War II history of the nearby island of Guadalcanal, retells the story of JFK and PT-109, which went down in the Solomon Islands, and describes his own personal disasters, mocking himself at one point, after he falls overboard in shark infested waters and watches as his motorized canoe continues on its way.
Far more interested in telling a story than in contemplating his inner growth or making weighty observations about what he has learned, Randall pokes fun at himself and at the one or two "villains" he encounters with the chicken-business, and he concentrates on telling amusing episodes rather than developing any deep or universally meaningful conclusions. His decision to return to England comes suddenly, with no fanfare and even less explanation, and he offers few clues about what he has learned or why he has chosen this particular time to leave.
Though the author is very entertaining, he sometimes mixes metaphors and similes into a colorful but almost incoherent jumble. At one point, he describes Honiara, the capital, as "the unsightly boil in the navel of the islands." In the next sentence, he says Honiara is "reminiscent of the cardboard set of a low-budget spaghetti Western," and describes it also as "slouching like a hungover vagrant against the foothills of Tandachehe Ridge." Despite such confusions in imagery, however, he succeeds in writing an enjoyable, good-natured, and often charming story which will amuse readers of all ages. Mary Whipple
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, 10 April 2003
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
Solomon Time is a truly brilliant story. The real life adventures of Will Randall, and his quest on the Solomon Islands is fantastic. Its a book that makes you feel warm, there's nothing too complex or that special, but that's the point. Its not a novel, its just apiece of writing, but is truly gripping, i could not put it down. It also has many points of laughter and comedy within it.
WARMING & RELAXING
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read, 28 July 2002
By 
Harley man (Scarborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
I have never read a Travel book before, but decided that I needed a change from the Horror books that I normally read.
What first attracted me to the book was the front cover illustrations, the picture turned the miserable day that I was having, into a bright sunny one. I wanted to jump into the picture and forget all my troubles.
On opening the book and reading the prologue, I continued to read for the rest of the day and did not take part in any activities until I had finished. The book has certainly inspired me, but whether I will pack my bags and head off to pastures new remains to be seen.
Solomon Time is an amazing adventure full of emotion, humour and a tremendous amount of hard work by Will and his friends in Mendali. I was ecstatic when the business finally got underway, I felt so happy knowing that the people of this village were self sufficient and were able to run a successful business standing on their own to feet. Hence the opening of Chicken Willy's.
The book I am sure will inspire you as much as it did me, and will make you want to pack up a rucksack and venture off to sample these beautiful islands in the south pacific.
Well done Will.I am very much looking forward to your next book.
Long live Chicken Willy's !!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bliss!, 13 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
I am so thrilled I bought this book on a whim (who said 'don't judge a book by it's cover'? I did, and happy for it!)
From page one, it is an absolute joy, and one that I was loathe to finish (I tried to read it over several days, but gave up and immersed myself over 24 hours).
Solomon Time is written with humour, honesty and a warmth toward the islands and people of the Solomons that shines out. It's the literary equivalent of hot chocolate fudge sundae.
I hope that we have some more from Will soon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Chicken Farm in The Solomons, 2 Mar 2010
By 
S. Buick "Stephanie Buick" (North West UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
Will Randall is coerced into going to live in the Solomons to take up the challenge of using money left by Commander Something Somebody-Whatnot to set up a business for the benefit of the people who live in the remote village of Mendali.

You would be hard pushed to make up some of the anecdotes about the colourful characters (both ex-pat and local) he comes into contact with in. The book is very funny, in a very dry, if you blink you miss it, kind of way. This gentle humour is balanced with an interesting account of the history of the Solomons, where vicious fighting took place during WWII. I also found his explanation and examples of Pidgin English particularly fascinating.

This book is a wonderful means of escaping the UK winter without even leaving your bed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable - couldn't put down..., 6 April 2010
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
I have just ordered two of Will's other publications after realising I have some travel time coming up in the next month or so and wish to while away the hours. It was a couple of years ago when I last read this book, but was prompted to review this one whilst making the order. This was an exciting read, an enjoyable bit of escapism and caused a kept me amused from cover to cover. If you haven't experienced a Will Randall novel then it;s high time you should!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern version of Lillian Beckwith, 30 Sep 2010
By 
Lance Mitchell (Hampshire, UK, Northern Hemisphere, Planet Earth) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
As a young boy, I used to delight in the books of Lillian Beckwith. She described her adventures, as she left her life as a teacher in England, to be plunged into a totally new culture as a crofter in the Western Isles of Scotland. I can remember laughing out loud as I read about the antics of some of the characters.

In Solomon Time, Will Randall describes how he leaves his life as a teacher in England, to become immersed in the very different culture of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Lillian made the change on doctor's orders. Will made the change due to the strange will and testament of a character who is universally referred to as The Commander.

His task is to set up a viable business to sustain and improve the life of the villagers amongst whom he lives.

This is an enjoyable adventure. There are short passages, describing mixes of wildlife which appear to view simultaneously, which I simply do not believe. But I put this down to the author's artistic license. There are plenty of laughs, and one can't help but like many of the characters. You can't read this book without coming to envy Will's circumstances.

Whilst it didn't set my world on fire, I would still thoroughly recommend it to all my friends.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only read this book if you can afford a trip to the Solomons, 29 July 2002
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
As soon as Will Randall writes about setting foot on the Solomons, he communicates both the tropical and personal warmth from the native islanders. Having been charged with the task of securing the economic future of a group of villagers through the creation of some sort of enterprise, Randall sets about his task with gusto. His gradual realisation that getting things done may not be as easy as he had expected is expressed good naturedly as you watch him settle into life on the Islands and get used to the idiosyncrasies of its natives.
the author's self-effacing style quickly endears him to you and his anecdotes will have you grinning like a fool. This is an engaging and easy book to read, one of those where you feel a sense of loss on its completion. I really can't recommend this book highly enough!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to watch......Possibly? (see below), 22 July 2002
By 
Dave Daniels (Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific (Paperback)
A Fantasic book, an amazing adventure!!!
This book has everthing; It's fast paced, funny, charming and emotional. As for a "travel book", you could quite easily find a story like this in the fiction section of your local bookshop!
This first venture into the world of writing from Will Randall is written with great enthusiasm and talent and has the makings of a great 'British comedy' staring the likes of Hugh Grant (appologies to either Mr Randall or Mr Grant!).
This book puts the tiny Solomon Islands 'on the map' with great descriptions of both the beautiful scenery and the many hilarious characters who reside there.
Once you have read this you are garenteed to want, finances permitting, to visit these far-away Islands and sample the Solomon Time....
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Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific
Solomon Time: Adventures in the South Pacific by Will Randall (Paperback - 6 Jun 2002)
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