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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and decide for yourself
Well, as a non-birdwatcher, I wasn't sure what this book would offer me. But I found myself enjoying an account of what - let's face it - a trip most of us would have like to have the courage or money to do, but never will.

The accounts of the various places visited are told with humour and honesty. Yes, you may not agree with what is written, but isn't that...
Published on 1 Nov. 2010 by Cathy

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Around the world in a 1000 birds
I thought this was a moderately interesting book for those interested in birds but to be honest you`re better off reading trip reports on the internet if you want to find new birding spots.I realise this is more of a travelogue and as a such it`s ok in places but I found the author`s selfish childish personality a bit irritating.As he relentlessly informs us of his...
Published on 21 Nov. 2002


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Around the world in a 1000 birds, 21 Nov. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
I thought this was a moderately interesting book for those interested in birds but to be honest you`re better off reading trip reports on the internet if you want to find new birding spots.I realise this is more of a travelogue and as a such it`s ok in places but I found the author`s selfish childish personality a bit irritating.As he relentlessly informs us of his bizzare relationship with his"girlfriend" back in the UK it`s like listening to a drunken old bore you`ve never met before at the bar and you can`t get rid of.And as for his gloating about lapdancers and his night with a Thai prostitute.....please.He sounds like a pervert sex-tourist.Birding and travelling are sometimes worth reading about but about half this book is just the ramblings of a middle aged man desperately trying to be a 18 again.And how many times does he mention meeting "attractive" young girls who he always "almost" gets into bed.I don`t mind reading about peple`s lovelives if it`s written in a witty way but this is just boring I`m afraid.
A potentially good book ruined by the author`s misguided belief that we care about his sex life.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who said travel broadens the mind?, 16 Aug. 2005
By 
Steve Kent (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
The first thing to strike me about this book was Tony Soper's curiously non-commital and unenthusiastic foreword. By the end (and I did finish it!) I am surprised he was persuaded to write it at all. Russell Boyman might well be the successful advertising negotiator he claims, but he is no travel or nature writer. The countries he visits and the wildlife he encounters are largely reduced to ticks on a list and none of them assume the importance (to him) of his own hurt feelings at his marriage break-up and his bizarre relationship with someone else's girlfriend. I kept waiting for him to experience some sort of epiphany; that his surname might be an apt metaphor for a journey into adulthood to parallel his earthly travels. But no. By the close his comments about human relationships, world poverty, global warming and cultural imperialism are as undeveloped and offhand as they are throughout.
By his own admission Boyman is a male hunter-gatherer. The birds on his list are merely 'mopped up' and 'polished off'. He thinks Darwin's Galapagos finches are 'boring' and in the Amazon he makes a telling distinction between the loud, gaudy birds which occupy the tree canopy which fascinate (a word he overuses) him and the skulking drab birds which inhabit the forest floor. Women receive similar categorisation. The brash buxom blonde at the bar is worthy of his attention, but his Australian buddy's demure catholic wife holds little appeal. He overstays his welcome with her, falls out with a former old-flame travelling companion in New Zealand and is disappointed when the Thai girl he beds starts emailing him for money. In fact he repeatedly 'fails to gel' with any of the travelling parties he joins. Above all, it his racism and secure sense of his own superiority as a 'Westerner' that are most offensive. There are repeated references to the 'Third World' and he agrees with his companion's observation that India would be a great country if it wasn't for the bloody Indians!
The publisher claims its books are about 'ordinary people doing extraordinary things'. There is nothing particularly extraordinary about jet-setting around the world, staying in luxury hotels and waving wads of cash at local guides and porters whilst referring to their compatriots as 'ragamuffins', 'urchins', 'winos' and 'hookers'.
Perhaps the most effective self-portrait Boyman paints is left to his final pages. Back home alone in his flat, fallen on comparatively hard times, hurt that none of his mates is as interested in his travels as he is (in fact they turn out to be not such good mates at all once he no longer attracts lucrative business clients), still at odds with his ex-wife, still unable to connect with his son, his 'part-time' girlfriend has left him, typing the manuscript which will become this book on his laptop in a desperate effort to make sense of his memories. Even birdwatching (or list ticking) has lost its edge.
And one other thing: the book is full of typos, grammatical and idiomatic errors ('rights of passage', 'piece of mind' etc)despite Boyman's acknowledgement of his 'painstaking' copy-editor. If the book had been more absorbing perhaps these would have gone unnoticed, but in the circumstances and at ten quid for a paperback I expected better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More birds, less perving would have been nice!, 6 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
As a birder myself, and one who does a reasonable amount of travelling (although, unlike Mr Boyman, I don't stay in expensive hotels!), I have the book and have read it a few times but while I did enjoy the birding bits I found the author's bizarre relationship with the already-taken Naaz boring and uncomfortable to read. I also found the undercurrent of 'perviness' on the author's part a turn-off, too - references to 'teenage lovelies' do not make for comfortable, or nice, reading and neither do the elements (intentional or not) of racism that do crop up here and there. Unfortunately the stuff about Naazlin is not so easily skipped over as it runs through the narrative like the boring guest at a dinner party.

However, the annoying bits aside, this was a reasonable stab at a birding travelogue, albeit with less actual birding than I would have liked (as a birder myself), and whiles away the time on long bus, train or plane journeys.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, but..., 4 Jun. 2008
By 
N. Young (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
The premise is a good one, and the story of how the author dealt with his impending mid-life crisis by travelling around the world in an attempt to spot 1000 birds is at times well told. However, he lets himself down once his rather convoluted personal life starts to interfere with the plot, which doesn't take long. After that it's rather shoddy stuff in places, and when he jokingly referred to a Thai date of his as (wait for it ... wait for it ...) 'a much more exotic bird' (boom! boom!) then he's on the slippery slope and nothing can help him. An attempt at blokey humour, perhaps to try and convey the impression that the author is more than just a mere twitcher, but it didn't really impress.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Bad, 11 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
Having seen 1000 bird species, and read 1000 books this is the single worst book I have ever read.

There are several excellent books in this genre, my personal favourites are Dan Koeppel's "To see every bird on earth", Pete Dunne's "The feather quest" and Ken Kaufman's "Kingbird highway". These three books capture the excitement and spirit of a quest, and have pearls of wisdom and philosophy sprinkled throughout.

Russell Boyman's book is a tawdry account of a wasted year, in which he spends excessive amounts of money jetting around the world during which he appears to learn nothing. There is no apparent connection or passion for the birds he is seeing, they simply represent names to tick off his list. With the funds at his disposal seeing 1000 different bird species in a year is trivial, and yet it is portrayed as an extraordinary feat.

As other reviewers have commented, in the "relationship" parts of the book the author comes across as a sexist, racist idiot with more money than sense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and decide for yourself, 1 Nov. 2010
By 
Cathy (Southampton) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
Well, as a non-birdwatcher, I wasn't sure what this book would offer me. But I found myself enjoying an account of what - let's face it - a trip most of us would have like to have the courage or money to do, but never will.

The accounts of the various places visited are told with humour and honesty. Yes, you may not agree with what is written, but isn't that what most travel books are? A personal account as seen through the eyes of the author. Having visited some of the places in the book - I found myself nodding and agreeing with what was written.

Add in revealing insights on his personal life and you realise how brave the author is reveal so much about himself. Personally, I found it readable and with more than a hint of humour - and sadness.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Russell's Harley moment!, 25 Feb. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed Russell's entertaining and honest account of his 'Harley Davidson moment' as he toured the world for 6 months, fulfilling all his wildlife ambitions, seeing some of the most exotic and unspoilt parts of the world and falling into one or two odd relationships along the way.
If you're expecting an out-and-out birding book, or even a straightforward travelogue, then you might well be disappointed -the beauty of this book is that it is both of these things, plus a brutally frank story of what its like to be a middle aged guy who's willing to give up his humdrum existence to live his dream and all the baggage that goes with that decision.
Russell's irreverent style has more than a few entertaining moments and you get the feeling that its a more honest and 'man-in-the-street' look at the places, their people and their wildlife than the usual glossy, predictable stuff on the shelves.
If you're interested in wildlife and travel and want an oblique look at them from a writer who is not afraid to confront the mid-life crisis that accompanied him on his Big Break- Buy This Book!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quest For Feather!, 4 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
A casual glance at Russell's book might deter those not interested in Bird Watching and that's a great pity because the ornithological aspect is only a very small part of this very readable account.
I found it the most enjoyable travelogue I have read, bettering even Redmond O'Hanlon's darkly humourous oddyseys. The reason is Russell is as brutally honest about himself as he is in his observations of those he meets on this around the world trek. Consequently we quickly get a feel for the 'real' Russell and this serves to illuminate his encounters and bring them to life.
The sections on Vietnam and India are both humourous and poignant. For anyone who has ever been to a desperately poor third world country much of Russell's frustrations and challenges will bring a recollective smile to the face. Whilst some incidents cause you to wince others make you laugh out loud.
The fact that Russell undertook somewhat of an illicit romance prior to his departure adds even more colour to the story and often emphasises his isolation whilst on the road. Wanting to know what happens in this complex affair as it progresses against a backdrop of shifting continents and natural wonders kept the pages turning and I devoured the book in two sittings.
The book also serves as a useful itenary for anyone lucky enough to be contemplating a similar trip. I referred to it myself recently on a planned trip to South Africa.
Please go buy this book - I'd love to see Russell earn enough to undertake a similar venture. I would be first in the queue for Volume 2!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escape ..., 26 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Around the World With 1000 Birds (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed Russell's entertaining and honest account of his 'Harley Davidson moment' as he toured the world for 6 months, fulfilling all his wildlife ambitions, seeing some of the most exotic and unspoilt parts of the world, and falling into one or two odd relationships along the way.
If you're expecting an out-and-out birding book or even a straightforward travelogue then you might well be disappointed, the beauty of this book is thats it is both of these things, plus a brutally frank story of what its like to be a middle aged guy who is willing to give up his humdrum existence to live his dream and all the baggage that goes with that decision.
Russell's irreverent style has more than a few entertaining moments and you get the feeling that it is a more honest and 'man-in-the-street' look at the places, their people and their wildlife then the usual glossy, predictable stuff on the shelves.
If you are interested in wildlife and travel and want an oblique look at them from a writer who is not afraid to confront the mid-life crisis that accompanied him on his Big Break - Buy This Book!
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Around the World With 1000 Birds
Around the World With 1000 Birds by Russell Boyman (Paperback - 1 Jun. 2002)
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