Robyn Davidson's journey was epic, and her story was well-told and inspiring. Very interesting stuff, and made me much more interested in the AustraliRobyn Davidson's journey was epic, and her story was well-told and inspiring. Very interesting stuff, and made me much more interested in the Australian desert and dromedary camels....more
A very intriguing read. McDougall creates an adventure/travel story, mixed with ultrarunning history and its prominent athletes, mixed with running scA very intriguing read. McDougall creates an adventure/travel story, mixed with ultrarunning history and its prominent athletes, mixed with running science and some very eyeopening information and studies regarding mankind, distance running, and evolution. I was captivated by it all.
To anyone interested in running, or fulfilling your own dormant athletic potential, I recommend this book, and I also recommend exploring the joys of running.
I am already a barefooter most of the year long, and have been trying to include barefoot running in my regimen. Injuries have kept me down, but McDougall and Eric Orton and the Tamahumara give me hope.
Critique: I did find his writing style to be distracting some of the time. Sadly, I don't know if this book will stand the test of time due to endless cliches and comparisons, slang, colloquialisms and pop culture references. Lots of "dude," "bonehead," slang names and sayings, etc.
Inspiring, easy to get through. In short--read it.
"When you run on the earth and run with the earth, you can run forever." (114) -- a Tarahumara saying
"You don't stop running because you get old. ... You get old because you stop running." (202)...more
First off I want to say that this book was an enjoyable read. I really like learning about different cultures, parts of the world I haven't been, andFirst off I want to say that this book was an enjoyable read. I really like learning about different cultures, parts of the world I haven't been, and people I am unaware of. I enjoy reading about their ways of life, their religion, the different practices and types of Islam, their ruggedness and humanity. For that, I found this book valuable. Mortenson and Relin can tell a captivating story, interspersed with so much drama that it makes itself almost unbelievable (which probably should have made it more obvious). Were it all true, I would have given it another star. The fact that much of it is fiction masquerading as fact easily detracts (at least) one star--and I'm forgiving.
I waited to review this until I had also read Jon Krakauer's Three Cups of Deceit. (I don't plan to read Stones into Schools.) In light of Krakauer's thorough analysis of events in the book, the book does strike me differently, although not a lot worse. The book is very pro-Mortenson--there's talk of him winning the Nobel Peace Prize, his extremely modest salary (not really though), rarely a negative sentiment portrayed. He is shown as a true hero, infallible, ever-tiring, the best of the best. Krakauer helps put that in perspective. But as a story, as drama, Three Cups of Tea unfolds nicely. I know this was calculated, but still ...
I won't get overly analytical, but even though I read this knowing that there were major narrative issues and falsifications, it didn't disgust me. I think it was very worthwhile to have read both sides of the "story"--for some reason I was very interested in these events, the whole *real* storyline arc. Glad Krakauer came into the picture.
Mortenson needs to answer for his faults, his lies and misrepresentations. Some changes need to happen within CAI. Until then, their goal will never be further successfully realized. I think that's obvious.
But CAI has a great startup story, a great purpose, and some good history behind it. Good people in Pakistan and Afghanistan are helping run it. Much good can be created through it.
Here's to the good work Mortenson *has* done (because it does deserve recognition), and to him owning up to all the bad he's done, and a brighter future for CAI. ...more
I started reading Elder's book before the first time we went to New Zealand. I finished it *after* our second trip a year later. That's how captivatinI started reading Elder's book before the first time we went to New Zealand. I finished it *after* our second trip a year later. That's how captivating this book is.
This is a travelogue. A very well-detailed, daily log-oriented, journal-style travelogue. You may get lost in the many details at times. You can tell that he is passionate about his travels, and gets very into the history and culture--these are the best parts of the book. I was hoping this type of travelogue would be good for recommendations--that the details would be helpful. However, due to Elder's choices and personality, I found the details almost useless.
Elder is a very wealthy self-made man, and ... he is quite condescending. He makes fun of Japanese skiers, "insults" a South Island B&B owner repeatedly by referring to him as an "Archie Bunker," hates adults with so-called "crazy hair" (they have unresolved personality issues). He also hates cultural performances, litters cigar butts in the grass outside his host's home, and doesn't know how to (or care to even try) put chains on his car. All in all, I'm not sure why this guy even travels. He seems to love being pampered, living a cushy life, taking extensive so-called exotic tours (helicopters, guided trips, boats) while only tramping through the bush occasionally. Though I do definitely give him credit for some of his tramps, such as the three-hour hike near Whakatane.
I've been to NZ twice, and each time only the North Island (I know, I know), but even so, I wouldn't take much from this book as far as recommendations--depending on your budget. Elder definitely details a higher-class NZ trip than I could afford. This alone doesn't make the book bad, just unrelatable. His Northland trip did sound appealing, however, along with his stay at Opotiki.
All these issues notwithstanding, it could still be a good book, and I wanted it to be. And while some of it is slightly memorable and interesting, it's just not redeeming enough for me to recommend it to future or past NZ travelers....more