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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The Adventurist is one man's story, a story that will change the way you think about travel, survival, where you have been, and where you are going.
Enter the world of Robert Young Pelton (if you dare), adventurer extraordinaire, author of Come Back Alive and The World's Most Dangerous Places (required reading at the CIA), and host of his TV series, Robert Young Pelton's "
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 31st 2001 by Broadway Books (first published 2000)
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Luke Baumgarten
God this guy loves himself.
Aug 16, 2008 Andrew rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrew by: A running buddy
On the way to a 24-hour trail ultramarathon race, a friend of mine lent me “The Adventurist”. It is the autobiography of Robert Young Pelton, a guy who essentially travels around the world trying to have adventures and then writes about them. He deliberately goes to the most dangerous places on earth, including war zones, unexplored jungles, and areas with high rates of violent crime. Although he is not a journalist per se he does write books about his travels, including the popular “The World's ...more
If you read DP and thought it was amazing, and wanted to learn more about it's author, thinking surely his autobiography would be an illuminating read about a fascinating person, then you are very much like me, and like me will probably be very disappointed.
When speaking in a shorter, more journalistic style about political situations, or logistics, or anything that doesn't require, or lend itself to waxing poetic or philosophic (as in DP), he excels. He doesn't 'do' introspective, apparently.
While I'm sure Mr. Pelton has lead a very interesting life, you only get minor glimpses of this fact reading The Adventurist. The book suffers from too-short snippets of his adventures around the globe that are presented in no discernible order, interspersed with even briefer snippets of his childhood, education, work history, marriage, etc. I was interested enough to keep reading to the end, and some of the stories were very compelling. However, most of them end abruptly, often leaving me to wo ...more
Frank Kelly
A short, somewhat chaotic memoir of one the greatest living travel writers - but not just any travel writer. Pelton has made a life of seeking out the most dangerous, god-forsaken spots in the world and going there fearlessly. Having grown up in a somewhat hard-scrabble life in Canada - survived growing up would be a more apt description - he was made for what he does. The book jumps from short travel vignette to his short memory of his youth and back which made it a tough for me to keep my focu ...more
Shocking at times. Horrifying that such places (and societies with such violent mindsets) exist on earth. Excellent read. Well told.
A wonderful idea, terribly executed and terribly written. The things the author has seen, the things he's done and and the places he's been, the unusual childhood he should all make for fascinating reading. And it would, were it written by someone less irritating, repetitive and arrogant, less self-satisfied, less prone to vast simplification of complex themes. The great content of this man's life and adventures cannot overcome the utterly shitty writing.

On the positive side, having re
Early chapters alternate between his childhood and adulthood. In later chapters the alternation becomes less frequent and eventually stops altogether. I enjoyed this format/technique as it served to understand his early life's role in shaping his adulthood.

I appreciated the "anthropological" approach takes with other cultures. He seems to be able to avoid the kind of stereotypical gung-ho attitudes that are conjurered by the term "adventure travel".
Thomas Vree
This one precedes the books where he buddies up to real deal BTDT guys in the airport lounge, milks them for their stories and then passes them off as his own. This is the charge leveled against him by some folks I know, who really dislike him. As one wag puts it, “I’d call him a bullshit artist, but that would be insulting to bullshit artists.” Still, reading this helps keep that “pack it all in and go wandering” flame alive.
This was a heck of a book that makes you really think about how mundane your 9-5 job really is. The author, Pelton, is a crazy bastard for sure. The one thing I remember about this book (and not liking) was that Pelton has a sort of boasting style to his writing. Yes, he's lived an unbelievable life, but he doesn't need to keep reminding us of that fact. His descriptions of his travels do that for us.
Some people lead interesting lives, but few can write about their lives in interesting ways. Pelton reminds us of that. Reading this, I kept thinking "This is the most boring book about the most interesting life that I've ever read." I guess that makes it a rare accomplishment. It's difficult to make an interesting subject boring but this book manages. So sad.
Robert Young Pelton is perhaps not the world’s best writer, but he has possibly the world’s best story, and he’s lived every single word. A highly recommended autobiography from the man who goes —usually safely — in search of adventure in the world’s most dangerous places, and is himself as interesting as any tale. ...more
The title says it all. This is a book that chronicles the journey of a multimillionaire fed up with the rat race he was living in and left it all for adventure. The places he goes and the experiences he has are out of this world. The truest, purest adventure book I have probably ever read.
dora morgan
i actually finished this a while ago. it was a pretty good book in that it showed his start on his adventurist path and how he got to be the way he is. it mixed in some childhood memories with his current travels and made you feel his drive and sometimes his regret.
keith koenigsberg
A lot of hot air. This guy is too high on himself. Frankly no matter how fascinating his adventures might have been, his attitude wears on you quickly. In addition the book is just not well-written. Clunky language. Skip it.
Mike Zavershnik
I'm finding the story Pelton's life just as interesting than the stories of his international adventures. To learn about the upbringing that led him to leave home and risk his life on a regular basis is an interesting study.
Definitely interesting. He's not the greatest writer and sometimes just sounds arrogant, but he's still been to come interesting places and done some interesting things.
Melissa gave me this book as a gift a long time ago. What a great book. One of my all time favorite books about gutsy adventure journalism.
Brings traveling up to a new level, this guy travels in ways I can't even image, I bow down, he's probably half crazy but I respect that.
RYP is the man - coolest book around. You think your life was hard, try being a Canadian adventurist..

This man has done crazy amazing things but doesn't let you into his head enough
fun book, makes you want to quit your job and move to nicaragua.
Very interesting. I don't think I could do the things he did.
Paul marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
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