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A tour de force of tediousness,
This review is from: Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It (Vintage) (Paperback)
Travel books are invariably about more than mere journeys - they are evocations of places (the sights, the smells); they detail strange cultures experienced and fascinating people met; often, they reveal as much about the author as they do about the journey. I'm sad to say that this book is almost entirely about the author, which might have been worth reading had he come across as an interesting, insightful or even insane character. He doesn't. This book is a woeful waste of paper; an almost endless plod through a series of fascinating destinations, none of which the author bothers to investigate for the reader. Instead he talks endlessly about himself and his tedious little adventures. There are mild nuggets of humour here and there, granted, but they are rare. Much more common are his accounts of getting wasted, and the utterly dull 'adventures' he has while under the influence. The Paris Story can be summed up in a sentence - "Met a girl in a cafe, smoked some dope, she wandered off, I was a little worried about her but fortunately she got home alright." I challenge subsequent reviewers to prove that I've missed something of epoch-defining importance in this chapter.
He comes across as the very worst type of teenage drug bore. What's more, he seems to regard himself as something of an intellectual, justifying this rather mystifying belief by repeatedly reminding the reader that he's "read a lot of W. H. Auden." Good for you old boy!
Read this book if you must. If you like it, please drop me a line and tell me what on earth I missed.