Kate's Reviews > Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu

Cruelest Journey by Kira Salak
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's review
Jul 27, 08

bookshelves: africa, travel, memoirsbios
Read in July, 2008

I obsessed with Mali, so I thought this book might be good tour of the country down the Niger river. Instead it's another lame explorer veneration, this time Scottish explorer Mungo Park. The best travel advice I ever got, also traveling as a woman alone in a nearby area, was that a country is more than its landmarks, and that you should try to get to know as many people as you can if you really want to know what a place is like. I feel like she barely makes an effort to engage with people, nor does she even do a great job describing the landmarks. She mostly just talks about herself, her physical condition and her fear of villagers. The book is way too self-absorbed and self-congratulatory but not in the way where you can draw out any universal themes about humanity. Not highly recommended.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Jessica Green I thought it very reflective of difficult travel. I've been to developing countries, where as a Westerner, I've felt hostility, suspicion, and been treated like a walking World Bank. I didn't find her story self-absorbed in the least.

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