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The Fearful Void Paperback – 1 Jan 1989

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publications; 1st Griffin Ed edition (1 Jan. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517571145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517571149
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 776,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first came across this book after being entranced by the burning desert of the film Lawrence of Arabia. Many years later while at a study group in Claremont-McKenna College, I was hugely disappointed by the nearby desert in Southern California and was only mildly struck while visiting Las Vegas. But that is another story.
My younger son brought my attention back to this book while researching a project for social studies. Taking it back off my library shelves after so many years, I found myself becoming completely transfixed as I reacquainted myself with his travels across the Sahara.
This certainly is a compelling book not only to a young reader but also to someone treading nervously into middle age. You can almost feel the wind in your face, the sand in your mouth and the smell of the camel as you share the author's arduous journey across most of a continent.
Even now I find the text easy to read and the empathy one develops with the author is a marvellous testament to his powers of communication. At the end of one evening when I finally laid the book to rest, I applauded Moorhouse for his guts and tenacity and his sheer vision required to begin a project like this.
I would highly recommend this book to everyone as one book they should certainly consider reading at least once in their life.
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Format: Paperback
When I was thirteen and a half I had never read a book....it was sissy and fit only for girls. I am partially sighted and my best friend introduced me to the RNIB's talking book service. Much against my English teacher's wishes I was allowed to join (back then you needed a medical certificate to confirm one's sight impairment). Like many I was captivated my David Lean's brilliant photography in Lawrence of Arabia and thus I picked this as one of my initial choices. It was the first book to arrive. Whilst the narration was dreadful - RNIB has improved immeasurably in its standards of recording and reader panel since then, the book is fabulous.

Moorhouse describes in extremely vivid detail his personal desire to explore the concept of fear and to do this he chose what Wilfred Thesiger (probably the foremost desert traveller of the twentieth century) considered an outrageous expedition: to cross, on his own, from west to east the Sahara Desert, a journey of approximately three thousand miles. This was in the autumn of 1972, long before the era of gloabl position satellites so that, like mariners before him, he had to calculate his position via sunshots and a sextant.

The expedition was a disaster from the start. What makes this book so much better than Michael Asher's own account of a similar and successful journey, is the quality of the writing. He spares nothing of himself and admits both his failinand those of the companions who accompanied him. There are descriptions of the physical deprivations he had to endure and the loneliness as well - his marriage had only just dissolved. Do read this book: it is in the heroic tradition of Scott and Shackleton. All I would really like is for the RNIB for one day having the resources to re-record the book.
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Format: Paperback
This was a great book to read. The journey itself was immense and that grabbed your attention immediately. Even more so was the way Moorhouse described the Sahara it was as if you were there. A really wonderful travel book about an epic journey.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is listed on national geographic 100 greatest adventure books of all time. Moorhouse describes the Sahara tribesmen and their antics superbly, the story of his adventure together with his self realization is better than most. A bit like Eric Newby, wild dogs and Englishmen leave most of the rest of the adventurers for dead with their portrayal. A must read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sea with No Trees. 2 Dec. 2004
By Junglies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I first came across this book after being entranced by the burning desert of the film Lawrence of Arabia. Many years later while at a study group in Claremont-McKenna College, I was hugely disappointed by the nearby desert in Southern California and was only mildly struck while visiting Las Vegas. But that is another story.

My younger son brought my attention back to this book while researching a project for social studies. Taking it back off my library shelves after so many years, I found myself becoming completely transfixed as I reacquainted myself with his travels across the Sahara.

This certainly is a compelling book not only to a young reader but also to someone treading nervously into middle age. You can almost feel the wind in your face, the sand in your mouth and the smell of the camel as you share the author's arduous journey across most of a continent.

Even now I find the text easy to read and the empathy one develops with the author is a marvellous testament to his powers of communication. At the end of one evening when I finally laid the book to rest, I applauded Moorhouse for his guts and tenacity and his sheer vision required to begin a project like this.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone as one book they should certainly consider reading at least once in their life.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fear not the Fearful Void 26 Feb. 2000
By Havacat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Moorhouse is masterful in describing his travails traveling across North Africa in the mid-1970's. Reading this, you share his frustrations and occasional joys, see "Timbucktu" thru the eyes of a westerner arriving from the desert on camelback. Highly recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars superficial and disappointing 28 Dec. 2014
By trying - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vanity was the basis of this endeavor and the author completely fails at any sincere of real connection with his surroundings or the individuals he encounters, even at the most basic level.
His contempt for and sense of superiority over the people he meets including his hosts in a foreign land are obvious and the result is a distasteful and one sided account of a failed journey that is as shallow and superficial as the writing itself.
Picked this up as it was mentioned in Lesley Hazleton's " where mountains roar" (which is an amazing book btw) and couldn't have been more disappointed
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book had a profound effect on my life... 16 Jun. 2014
By An Average Joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title says, "This book had a profound effect on my life." And you're thinking, "Oh, really?...Pray tell" OK... I read it as an armchair traveler in 1976. I dreamed of going to someplace so utterly, utterly "other". Fast forward, ten years, I'm living and working in the Mideast and was there for the better part of 20 years." I lack Moorhouse's courage, and, speaking from experience, his fool-hardiness. And I like my creature comforts.Sadly, the fearful void he describes has probably by now disappeared. Modernity is everywhere. Rather than traveling with a sextent, today he could use satellite GPS to locate waterholes. Is there a Starbucks in Timbuktu? Wouldn't be surprised. I remember a Bedouin singing a song "Wadi sheeda yatoolayayi..." or something like that about winter in the desert. Between his broken English and my broken Arabic he tried to explain, "Fire, circle, my brother, like this: (he put his arm around me: this is warmth and closeness), night cold..." Finally he just gave an expression of disgust as if to say " this tribal closeness in a wilderness is something a modern person could never understand." No. Not the way he did. But at the time, I thought about "The Fearful Void" and it did give me a bit of an inkling of the importance of courage, and trust, and loyalty so necessary for survival. I am so glad I found it on Amazon to re-read and keep on my shelf.
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