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Inside the Crocodile: The Papua New Guinea Journals Paperback – 8 Jul 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (8 July 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178462442X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784624422
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,702,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A fascinating, richly-composed look at life in Papua New Guinea. A Gold Medal Winner and highly recommended. --The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

About the Author

Dr Trish Nicholson, writer, social anthropologist and world traveller, has twenty years of experience of international development in the Asia Pacific. During her five years in the West Sepik province of Papua New Guinea, she served as Honorary Consul for the British High Commission.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm always drawn to books about people who've made life changing choices, done the unusual and had experiences that I will only ever read about.
Trish Nicholson writes memoirs like this. Her other books about Butan and the Philippines were fascinating and this one more than equals them.

We all hear and see through the media of television how people live in different parts of the world but back in the eighties to think of visiting such a place would never enter our head.

Trish broke the mould, she accepted a job in Papua New Guinea in a place called Sandaun. She brought order to the chaos that was the Department of Personal Management,obeyed the local customs and endeavoured to work around bureaucracy within the local government.
This is an adventure story too. Trish didn't just relax during her free time, she risked her life in small planes which sound like they were held together with blue tack to explore the surrounding islands. Walking across bridges made with vines which were fraying in the middle, swimming in rivers shared with crocodiles and shrugging off her repeated bouts of malaria as if they were the common cold. Each one of her adventures in the book is a story in its own right. You just never know whether she'll make it back to her home in Sandaun in one piece. The writing in this book is so descriptive that I felt I was walking alongside Trish frequently telling her not to get on that plane or cross that rickety old bridge.

I enjoyed reading about her work colleagues, Jim, Martha,Sinur, Clarkson and I fell in love with Jim's dog Frisbie. The local lanuague was mostly Pidgin which I had fun trying to work out what it meant but a glossary at the end of the book helped.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This account of Dr Trish Nicholson's five and a half years in Papua New Guinea in the late eighties and early nineties is absolutely fascinating. Using her extensive diaries as the basis of her narrative, she takes us from a chilly wind-blown Scotland to her arrival and consequent culture shock in tropical, humid Papua New Guinea. Nothing daunted, however, she uses her great people skills plus the help and friendship of fellow expats such as Jim, PNG colleagues like the marvelous Clarkson and Martha, and Frisbee the Hound Dog to find her way in the maze of PNG life and bureaucracy. Her job was to reorganise, restructure and give training to the Department of Personnel Management in Sandaun as part of a project financed by the World Bank. However, this was not a challenge for the faint hearted. So many personnel lived in remote areas, and the records were such a mess, it even involved paying staff who were already dead!

In her task, I was often amazed at her ability to survive the mind-numbing procedural complexities combined with the sometimes petty and anarchic disregard for truth and transparency of those entrenched in the system. Fighting ongoing Malaria, dramas such as pay-back killings, vengeful jealousies and corrupt practices, it took more than Trish's strength to cope. Towards the end of her stay, she became dangerously ill with Malaria. Nevertheless, she builds wonderful friendships with her PNG colleagues and earns immense respect for her courage and pluck in tackling almost anything that comes her way. This includes a three day hike through dense and inhospitable bush that would have sent me scurrying for home about one hour into it, particularly the idea of crossing bridges made of rotting rope or vine over deep river gorges.
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Format: Paperback
This book was entered and was a gold medal winner in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:

Title: Inside the Crocodile: The Papua New Guinea Journals
Author: Trish Nicholson
Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 27
Stats
Editing: 10/10
Style: 10/10
Content: 10/10
Cover: 9/10
Of the 27 readers:
27 would read another book by this author.
25 thought the cover was excellent.
27 felt the pacing was excellent.
16 felt the best part of the book was the writing style.
11 felt the content was the best part of the book, in particular, the vast array of problems the author faced and how she resolved them.

Readers’ Comments
‘A thoroughly fascinating story. I have never visited that part of the world but now I’d love to. The writing style was perfect for a book of this nature: light with an excellent balance of pace and descriptive prose.’ Female reader, aged 45
‘By far the best book in this year’s Wishing Shelf Book Awards. An intriguing look at life in Papua New Guinea from the POV of a development worker. The author’s love of the cultures and the characters she meets shows in her writing. I’d recommend this to anybody interested in travel and understanding life in a different and often difficult country.’ Male reader. Aged 38
‘The book starts so well with the crocodile and talks of sorcery. And, from there on, it keeps getting better. I was sad at the end when she left but the last line of the book made me smile. A lovely read, warm and packed full of cultural richness.’ Female reader, aged 57

‘A fascinating, richly-composed look at life in Papua New Guinea. A Gold Medal Winner and highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
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