Most helpful critical review
Uninspiring - Detached - Lacking Enthusiasm
on 4 July 2015
Other travel / adventure books I have read have left me feeling inspired - this book did not. It left me feeling rather bored. I'm not entirely sure why either - it seemed bland. Perhaps the adventure itself was actually bland - and hence, it appeared so in the book.
I think perhaps the most grating aspect for me was his continual referral to his 'darling Christine' (his wife) and he could not wait to see her. Pretty much ALL of his elation throughout the entire trip from Mongolia to Hong Kong, was in anticipation and satisfaction of meeting up with his wife along the way. I never once felt that level of enthusiasm for ANY aspect of his trip, so called adventure, however, it didn't FEEL like an adventure. It felt like an obligation. Indeed, as another reviewer has suggested, an obligation to complete the trip to create a film to make himself some money for him (from talks about his 'adventure') and for the charity his wife and he support.
The author also gave the impression that he viewed the trip as being all about himself, and nothing much to do with his travelling companion Leon - who I feel without, the ego of the author might have tipped over the scales were it not for the humour, tolerance and enthusiasm of Leon. So, I suspect also I found the author a little unlikeable.
It is hard to explain why this book left me feeling uninspired. The author tries to inject his emotions into it, he talks of some of the details of the trip such as their diet, their budget, the places they travelled through, people they met, arguments, temperatures and so on. But somehow it's on a level which did not pull me into FEELING any adventure. Just hassle. Just an obligation. An annoyance.
SO I guess it boils down to the author appearing not to have enjoyed any of the trip, other than meeting his wife along the way, and the end. Which, is not inspiring.
But it was a good enough effort. Hence the 3 stars, instead of 2.