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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, inspiring and well recommended.
I've read countless adventure and travel books and the majority fail to address the psychology of why we love to travel - a genuinely interesting subject matter. This book manages to explore our constant desire for travel in a clear and tangible way by following a simple walk across India.

The journey itself is not as spectacular or 'epic' in comparison to his...
Published on 21 Feb. 2012 by J. Atkins

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3.0 out of 5 stars A personal, inward journey. I wanted to read about what was OUT there!
More of an experimental, inward-looking and philosophical read compared with his other books I have read, I wasn't expecting the leaping around the time-line and missed reading about his journey unfolding in a linear, more insightful way...not to mention the dearth of information on what was actually happening around him. Each to their own, I suppose but not a book I'll...
Published 11 months ago by Queenie


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, inspiring and well recommended., 21 Feb. 2012
By 
J. Atkins (UK) - See all my reviews
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I've read countless adventure and travel books and the majority fail to address the psychology of why we love to travel - a genuinely interesting subject matter. This book manages to explore our constant desire for travel in a clear and tangible way by following a simple walk across India.

The journey itself is not as spectacular or 'epic' in comparison to his other adventures, yet it manages to perfectly capture the essence of an adventure. He really emphasizes key elements such as the 'get up and go' factor and I love it.

Simple chapter headings, 'sunrise, dawn, challenge, alone' etc will keep the reader entranced and enthralled in this journey. As with all of Alastair Humphrey's books they are beautifully written, a rarity for this genre, it really does make such a difference to read, for the simple element of expression.

If you are a 'traveller' (I use that expression reluctantly), or a more noble adventurer, then this is the book for you. I myself have done cycle touring and I could now comfortably settle down to life of cups of tea and heated car seats, this book reignites the spark in me to get back on the open road, and when I do, the first thing I do will be to pack this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is another India, 17 July 2013
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This was the first book I read by Alastair Humphreys which I came across quite by accident whilst looking for something else but I'm so glad I did. It is not like any other travel book I have read before where you get an almost day-by-day account of a journey in diary form. This book captures 'Alastair's India' as he walks the length of a holy river, condensed into what appears to be a single day. Alastair writes, "I don't have the capacity to bottle the extraordinary essence of India" but in the 121 pages I felt he did exactly that. Not only are there some incredible descriptive passages of daily life in rural India, some wonderful insights into the philosophy of travel through the use of interior monologues, but the occasional dramatic aside pulls you into the action, and the vocabulary and patterns of language used throughout complement the content and make this a highly sensory read.

For those of you who are thinking about dipping your toe in the water and setting out on a journey of your own, be it a small 'Microadventure' at home or a 'Macroadventure' in far flung lands, this book would be a great travel read and inspiration for your own journey.

This is short enough to read in one sitting and yet packed full of interesting thoughts about travel and delivered with great humour. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should give you itchy feet, 29 Jun. 2012
By 
misterbaz (Chelsfield, Kent) - See all my reviews
This isn't your usual travel book. The author eschews a linear narrative in favour of an episodic approach while musing on the nature of such trips and the emotions they evoke in the traveller. Sometimes it's not even an episode, but just the recollection of a fleeting moment - like catching the eye of a person hurrying past and exchanging smiles - to illustrate an aspect of solo travel.

Whether you like this or not may well depend on whether you've ever done any such travelling yourself. Anyone who has ever backpacked in a developing country will recognise his descriptions of the boredom and discomfort, of being stared at and inundated with questions. But then there are the things that make it all worthwhile: joining in village cricket matches, an invitation to a Hindu temple, being caught up in a wild, unexplained celebration. And through it all, the generosity of the people, even when they are totally bemused by his plan to walk across India and never accept a lift.

I was hooked a few pages in after identifying with his three stages of flabbiness - descending from physical through mental to moral - and how getting on the road is one way of combating this. (Note to self: fix bike and get on road.) The only small niggle I have is that I would have liked attributions for the quotes that start each chapter. It's the first of his books that I've read (although I do follow him on Twitter and dip into his inpirational blog occasionally) but this will certainly encourage me to catch up with his back catalogue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to chuck it all in and get on the open road!, 22 Nov. 2011
This review is from: There Are Other Rivers (Kindle Edition)
I'm one of those people who devour adventure books because vicariously I can be out there experiencing it too. In this book Alastair takes us on an internal journey as much as describing parts of his walk across India. It resonated with me deeply in parts, the need to be someone extraordinary, the desire to shed all physical possessions and just exist simply. I identify with the need to keep moving - I move every few years but I'm not as brave as Alastair. I also fell in love with India when I travelled there. It's one of those places I felt at home in so it was great to revisit some of those impressions through the eyes of such a seasoned traveller.

I find myself strangely jealous of the freedom to sleep under the stars, to walk towards the setting sun, to take each day anew. If you sometimes feel this way, you'll love this book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Struck a few chords, 17 Jan. 2012
I must admit, despite being a fan of Alaistar's previous books and his excellent blog I was apprehensive with the way he described this book. I enjoyed the descriptions and sequential journal-esque style of his round the world books and was hoping for more of the same with There Are Other Rivers. He honestly admitted that the way he wanted to present this journey was unorthodox and was a risk. Thankfully it paid off in a way I really didn't expect. I absolutely loved the format and the style of subject chapters giving insights into his inner struggles and outward experiences day to day. I greatly related to alot of what he writes about - the duality of solo wanderlust versus the craving of companionship, the self imposed challenge versus the desire to be comfortable with normality. It is been really comforting to read the words of someone who deals with the day to day ruminating and destructive thought processes which can hinder progress yet find ways of breaking through, passing the crux and pushing towards the desired achievement. I recognise many of Alaistar's character traits within myself and find the personal and honest nature of the writing greatly insiring. A thorough recommendation to pick this up (then pass it on to a friend or donate to charity).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of a solitary man, 30 Aug. 2014
By 
Noel (Belfast, UK) - See all my reviews
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Right at the start of this book Alastair Humphreys lists three things this book is not about.
1. A book about India
2. A chronological account of a coast-to-coast walk across southern India
3. An epic adventure tale

This a very short book, about 100 pages, and it is none of the above-mentioned though elements of each of them do crop up in the narrative. It is easier to say what this book is not about than what it is about. I think it is about a journey into the mind of this adventurer who happens to be walking across India following the course of a river, coast to coast.

Anyone who has travelled alone, outside their comfort zone whatever that might be, will very quickly get in tune with the mind, musings and thoughts of this book. The question why? is confronted from different perspectives. The seeking out of a challenge for its own sake, physical and psychological striving, and the achievement of the End.

I was hooked from the I read the Author's Note referred to above and found it a thought-provoking read. It is a very personal insight into the mind of a solitary traveller and worthy of a second reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for anyone who daydreams about escaping the modern life, 14 Dec. 2011
Alastair's latest book sees him in trekking solo across India, but this is not your typical backpacker tale. The fact that it's set in India and Alastair follows the Kaveri river is irrelevant. This is a book about what drives Alastair to seek out new adventures and tough challenges.

This is not a prescriptive guide to trekking along side one of India's holy rivers, but a touching human story about the urge to free the mind from the clutter of modern life and hark back to a more humble, simple time in our existence. Alastair explores a primordial instinct we all share but one that 21st century life tries so hard to suppress: to urge be nomodic; to roam free just like our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This theme is one that resonated with my own beliefs and something I could connect with particularly well.

Alastairs words inspire and aggitate the soul, leaving you filled with the energy and excitement to go out and explore. So what are you waiting for? There are other rivers...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exploration of the essence of travel, 8 July 2012
I've read some of Alastair's previous books, and absolutely loved them. To be honest I was slightly disappointed at first to find that this was not more of the same. This is not a travelogue. It does not have the usual structure of travel writing, i.e. "I went here, I went there, I talked to this man, I thought this/that, I carried on to the next city/mountain/whatever". Instead, this is more of a exploration into what drives people to explore and go on adventures, which makes it a refreshing and inspirational book. Alastair's (admittedly impressive) solo walk across India is just the vehicle used to explain this.

The book is beautifully written, and leaves you (well, me anyway) nodding your head in agreement. Alastair gives us a much needed reminder of the things we all know about ourselves that we have perhaps forgotten, and awakens the adventurer inside us. Be prepared to be left with itchy feet having read this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration by the bucket load, 23 Jan. 2014
I knew from previous reviews that this book broke the typical travel book format but it still came over as new and refreshing. Rather than take you from one geographical point to another, or along a chronological line the book dips in and out of a journey alone and on foot across India. The focus is on the different aspects of the experience rather than the progress over time and space. It's a short book, beautifully written and moving, delving as it does into the core of what makes us humans tick. For anybody who has experienced the roller coaster effect of undertaking an arduous journey this book will take you right back there to laugh and weep in equal measures. If on the other hand you are an armchair traveller then I strongly recommend that you hide your credit cards and lock the doors before you begin reading. This could well be the book that finally tips you over the edge. Inspiration by the bucket load.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical, soulful journey., 12 Mar. 2014
I picked this up after hearing Al speak at an event (catch him if you can, he's inspiring and insightful).

There may be other rivers, but there are very few books which bring the same imaginative, immersive experience as this. Al doesn't rely on sweeping, Tolkien-esque descriptions of landscape to try and draw you in, it's more a study of who he is as each moment in time and how the journey reflects in him.

The prose has an almost soft and lilting feel to it, winding through the loosely structured narrative like the titular river. You can sense his passion and genuine love for the lands travelled.

I've bought three copies in total, as I keep giving them to people (never lend a book), and I'll keep doing so.
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There Are Other Rivers
There Are Other Rivers by Alastair Humphreys
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