It’s 1963 and a depressed American, Rupert Brigg, is sent by Uncle William to Greece for a summer working vacation. Rupert is recovering mainly from tIt’s 1963 and a depressed American, Rupert Brigg, is sent by Uncle William to Greece for a summer working vacation. Rupert is recovering mainly from the death of his little boy, if one can, but also from the failed marriage. Rupert was in the business of art auditions with a specialty in furniture but on the Greece trip is looking for old coins or hopefully some statuary. He forges friendships with many people during this European summer and even finds himself enjoying part of it, and he even becomes nostalgic of particular moments before they are over.
With a book title like Forgery you know something will be amiss, but what? The title gives the book a feel of a mystery and it tends to dabble slightly in that area, particularly in the middle third of the novel. There are many forgeries here and some take a while to uncover. What is not a forgery is the good writing. This book will hold up well to a second reading, and perhaps then more layers will be uncovered. I wouldn’t say this is a great book, but certainly a very good one. ...more
What an amazing adventure and feat! A world first. Ed Stafford was the first person to walk along the Amazon River across the South America continent.What an amazing adventure and feat! A world first. Ed Stafford was the first person to walk along the Amazon River across the South America continent. He foolishly thought it would only take a year, and in reality it took a little over two years and four months. Walking nearly every day through very difficult terrain, while also documenting the journey through modern technology is seriously amazing.
Stafford didn't intend to go it alone, his companion that was to go with him ended up leaving after several months. Cho joined the journey early on and really deserves many accolades as well. There were some people, friends or journalists, that would join along for a time, as well as many guides that stayed along for varying lengths of time. The constant was always Ed and Cho.
Stafford's autobiography of the journey may not have been the most detailed about the landscape, and greatly minimized many of the dangers the Amazon jungle offers. Another surprising fact is how the men managed to not get too seriously ill or hurt during their journey. A few instances came up, but what was probably the hardest on the expedition was Stafford's depression.
To undertake and complete a journey that takes a very long time, and demands more physical and mental challenges than one planned for, takes a lot from oneself, especially when constantly dealing with life threatening issues. Stafford hadn't prepared mentally and early on talked often about how bored he was. I was surprised and getting bored myself at this repetition, but that was what he had to deal with --repetition. Repeatedly the locals were afraid of this white man (Cho is black), there was a lack of stimulus other than hacking a way through the jungle and flooded lands. As they went along what was seriously dangerous became exciting because it was new.
Maybe the natural elements were minimized, but the danger that threatened the expedition the most were other people. The Peruvian natives had serious distrust of white people, and for good reason unfortunately. There were drug trafficking areas where everyone is in danger. When they got to Brazil the people were friendlier, but now their visas were expired and they were threatened with deportation and inability to complete the expedition.
Ed Stafford may not have been the best writer for his book, but it makes for a more intimate account. I was fascinated early on, the middle got a little muddy, but the story in itself is enough to enjoy.