on 6 November 2010
Wil writes unapologetically, with candor, insight, veracity and a healthy disdain for convention. The combination of lyrical brilliance and wry, self-effacing humour meant that when I wasn't moved, I was thoroughly amused.
This guy is clearly gifted.
on 16 August 2011
This book got me excited about travelling again, after a lull and burnout in my early twenties. It completey captures the excitement of crash-landing in a new country, and makes you feel the blend of anticipation and nervousness you get when you strike out on a crazy, alcohol-laden (and occasionally drug-fuelled) adventure. Gritten writes with the free-wheeling poetry of the beats, vividly bringing to life the South American locales he passes through on his journey. He's a likeable autobiographical narrator, but the book isn't just a personal odyssey. It also represents a kind of cultural exchange, and between the wild parties and romancing it reveals the more sordid side of Western tourism. The second half of the book - depicting the author's growing disillusionment with the backpacker's lifestyle - was just as gripping for me, albeit much darker. I've passed my copy on to many friends, so it's getting pretty battered and travel-worn these days - something the writer would probably find appropriate.