Top critical review
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Poor travel book. Recklessness doesn't equal adventure.
on 12 July 2003
It is a shame, this could have been a more inspiring book about travel or just a good adventure story anyway, but what we get is someone throwing themselves foolhardily from one life-(or rape-) threatening situation to another with almost wanton abandon as if she has no value for her own safety or respect.
We would also hope that by the end of the story she learns to slow down and really appreciate or even take the time to be part of the culture around her but sadly this doesn't happen either.
To take this book as an inspiration would be to legitimise throwing your life on the line pointlessly and recklessly time and time again in order to hope to understand why you shouldn't. She did, and she was the lucky one who came out of it and survived. She can't understand the wisdom of others as to why taking unnecessary risks is....well....unnecessary. She never learns to judge for herself what is or is not worth the risk and when is the time to do it or when it is time to wait. She still ends up saying that if she wants to do something she'll do it, which having read the book means throwing caution to the wind and throwing your life away when it can be done> If something is really a geuine wish, by taking time and learning what the locals have learnt and using their wisdom to guide you, it is still possible to use the wisdom of others to further your own self-growth without being totally foolish and reckless.
However, she never learns to take the locals word for anything and gets into trouble again and again. Truly an independent minded person but hardly an inspiration to snyone unless they also have no respect for their own life - particularly as she spends half the book bemoaning the differences bewteen the sexes and apparently being pleased that men can also be raped. A little obssessed by her own hangups about her own sexuality which prevents her in any way accepting the culture of PNG which is all around her.
I would have to say don't follow this type of adventure yourselves, since, as evidenced in the book itself, around 7-8 out of 10 people showing such a lack of wisdom in their decision-making DO end up either raped, mutilated or dead and yes that does include the Westerners (especially because of their race) and yes it does occur to both sexes because there is nothing exclusively male or female about travel - cotrary to her limited perceptions.