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Wonderful achievement - not very good book
on 7 May 2014
First off, I have to say that Ed Stafford's achievement must rank as one of the greatest expeditions of the past 100 years. Amazing and hats off to him.
However, the book was almost as much of a slog as the journey. It is poorly written and doesn't convey many of the experiences Ed went through very well. His descriptions of the environment, plants, animals, etc. are almost completely none existent and he devotes more time in the book to the tech he is carrying with him. Another issue I had reading it was that it comes across as a long moan, about the conditions, the people, the tech and on and on. My wife asked me what I thought and I summed it up as "Walked today, moan moan moan, walked today, moan moan moan." For me the book needed a ghost writer and/or a really good editor.
For me, Ed didn't come across as very likeable either, and when the book is focussed on him, that is a big problem. There is virtually no humour in the book and when it is attempted it is contrived and to be honest, a little offensive, for example "about as welcome as an autistic maths teacher" is an attempt at a joke which misses the mark by a long way.
There are other books out there which show a greater writing capability than Ed possesses, (Walking Home by Lynn Schooler for example) and I'd recommend them over this.