Reading Kerouac’s On the road feels more than a duty and I was full with curiosity and enthusiasm, but I couldn’t get close to the book somehow. Maybe my anticipation was too great or my understanding of the truly American feeling of faithlessness is insufficient, probably both, but I really did struggle and felt an awful shame of doing so. It turned out that this great classic is one of the very few mandatory reads I didn’t enjoy. I consulted friends and to my surprise they confessed similar feelings. Are we too young to understand the revolutionary ideas? Have we read too many similar books? Do we take our freedom of movement too naturally? I wonder.
Archive for the ‘North America’ Category
Posted by mukikamu on August 11, 2008
Posted by mukikamu on April 24, 2008
Now that the movie came out, reading Krakauer‘s book was inevitable to find out what the big deal about Christopher McCandless’ story is. Unfortunately I couldn’t find out. The whole media frenzy seemed to kill the essential about the adventure and about the personalness of his choice. I am sure our hero would clearly despise people trying to make a saint out of him. Plus, the book was a dissapointment. Maybe if I would have started the book thinking, that I was going to read a long National Geographic (in this case Outdoor) article, I wouldn’t have felt so cheated. Not that the writer is bad. Not that I hate biased biographies, on the contrary. However the only episode I liked was the passage about the author himself concurring an Alaskan mountain. The episode when the “followers” are depicting Chris’ trailer, is directly laughable. His machete. The belt that kept his trousers up. Really. Life of Brian. I feel sorry and can see the tragedy, but I admire those more who have actually done something astonishing (climbed a mountain or sailed the oceans) and survived.
Posted by mukikamu on February 28, 2007
Ewan and Charley are good friends and fun-loving lads. They managed to execute a dream that many have on dull office days, namely to get away for weeks, get on a motorbike and let the hair blow in the wind. Motoring around the world eastwards from London, through Siberia and North America sounds romantic and adventurous indeed, but can turn out to be challenging for idealists. In fact you realize how luxuriously lazy your life is, when you decide to give it up and fight the elements and the tarnac lacking roads of Siberia. As a bonus, you might get to be life-long enemies with your best friend. But of course, you asked for it.
First of all, I hate motorbikes. If their is something that drives me mad is the loud roar of an engine and I can’t imagine anything more disturbing in nature than this devilish machine. Secondly, I haven’t seen the TV series that documents the trip, however I read the travelogue and am sure that the series must be better. Little is written about the places our heros press through; the focus is more on the adventure, the personal experiences and the spirit of independent travel. Part of the attraction naturally is Ewan McGregor, who is a likeable chap and an undeniable celebrity. In this unique case therefore, I suggest that pictures speak better than words.
Oh, yes and they are setting off again in 2007. This time to Africa. Watch these spaces (and their website) …
Posted by mukikamu on February 5, 2007
High time to pay tribute to my much esteemed Mr. Palin who undoubtedly is the travel hero of our times. I am currently reading his lately published diaries from the Monty Python times and am again amazed by what an enchanting and good-natured human being he is. He manages to fill travel documentaries with warmth naturally avoiding being commonplace and banal with a healthy sense of self irony. When most travelling showmen are directly rude and definately not funny when talking with locals, Michael Palin manages to highlight the charm and humor in his encounters with foreign cultures. I am not a singular fan I must say. He has a very community enhancing website where praise and admiration is in abundance. His books, DVDs and audio material is available everywhere (there is quite a Palin merchandise out there), so he is certainly not a hidden gem or the great discovery of this blog, but my efforts to promote travel books would definately be incomplete without him. I can’t really make a pick from his books, the best is to start from Around the world in 80 days and work systematically through to his last appeared work Himalaya. He is currently working on a BBC series about the “New Europe” which leaves me inpatient to see what he has to say about my homeland, Hungary.
PS.: I am also trying to get my hands on a DVD where Palin interviews my other contemporary hero David Attenborough ( I admire him so much that I should have written his name fully with capital letters :-)), so stay tuned for an even more subjective praise for British entertainers soon. (My family is unanimous in believing that I am obsessed with British gentlemen and BBC documentaries. Just that you know.)