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Fred's Diary 1981

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  28 reviews
This is an Alternative Cover Edition of ISBN-10: 149424178/
ISBN-13: 978-1494241780
Not only a time-capsule but a cautionary tale of gems, drugs, and jail time as he explores waterfalls, Buddhist temples, and snow-capped peaks. Doug E. Jones

Fred’s heart-felt awe towards the beauty and the intensity of the place, his appetite for living the adventure, the mishaps and his clea
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 358 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by CreateSpace (first published December 7th 2013)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  46 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Frank Kusy
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came to this diary with some expectation, having written a very similar diary myself…and only a few years after this one. And I was not disappointed. ‘Fred's 1981 Diary’ is a fascinating time capsule from the heyday of backpacking round Asia, when Dylan and Marley blasted from tinny tape machines, everybody headed north to the trekky north of Thailand or the funky houseboats of Kashmir, and dope was cheap and plentiful. Though in Fred’s case, the dope gets him into an awful lot of trouble, and ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I really enjoyed this travel diary which Fred kept as he journeyed firstly to Hong Kong then on to Thailand where he regrettably ended up in jail. After being deported he records his time in both India and Nepal. If you are looking for a travel guide this is not the book for you but it does give an insight into the reality of how it was for young western travellers over 30 years ago. Every day Fred would jot down all the details of what he did and saw or even ate. It was so interesting to see ho ...more
Susan Joyce
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fascinating Journey!

Fred's Diary 1981 is based on Fred's actual hand-written diary as he travels to Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal. Jotting daily notes, he records the mundane and the marvelous!

In Hong Kong, he finds work as an extra in a TV production, then picks up his backpack and moves on to Thailand. Being stoned is a big part of Fred's travel adventures and being in possession of drugs gets him thrown into a Thai jail. Seemingly hell, I felt anxious while reading this chapter. But
Ronald Mackay
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Robert Fear Fred’s Diary 1981, Travels in Asia
Long periods of travel of the sight-seeing variety inevitably involve much that is routine, unremarkable and, occasionally downright boring. Travel writers and diarists often make this explicit as does Bruce Chatwin in “In Patagonia” and William Fiennes even more eloquently in “The Snow Geese”.
Robert Fear, in “Fred’s Diary 1981”, Travels in Asia also records the humdrum, the unexceptional and the ordinary – until, that is, he finds himself swept up
Julie Haigh
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of memoirs/travel memoirs/travelogues
Recommended to Julie by: Read the author's two previously released shorter diaries
A very enjoyable and very detailed diary.

I was lucky enough to win a signed paperback copy of this book in a competition. I also have the kindle editions of both the new edition and the older edition, and, at various times, I did read parts of all of them to compare-eg: when I was at a hospital appointment, rather than taking my precious signed copy, I read on the original kindle version-I later got the brand new kindle version and continued reading from the two new editions. I like diary format
Sarah Butfield
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying something of a renaissance I feel at the moment delving into travel memoirs of the 1980's and this one certainly does not disappoint. Written in a diary format it not only takes you on a journey, but delivers a reality experience from a time when social media did not insist on delivering your story in real time. This book allows for reflection and thought whilst experiencing the culture of Asia in full technicolor. Some of the scrapes that he gets into by today's standards would be ...more
Caryl Williams
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fascinating book in diary format about the author's travels through Asia back in 1981 started off quite quietly, and I wasn't sure about the writing style where every detail was recorded but I soon got into it, and my goodness did it pick up. A real rollercoaster of a read written in a very clever and informative style. This really would make a fascinating movie, as one reviewer has already stated. Kept me hooked and reading until the end. I don't want to give too much away by revealing all ...more
Oct 25, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebies
FREE on Amazon today (10/25/2017)!
Mike Cavanagh
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Robert's accounts of his travels in Asia. It's a great insight into what was the standard 'pilgrimage' for young people in the 1970s and 1980s: to experience the exotic cultures and the breath-taking landscapes of south-east Asia, India and Nepal. Robert's diary is both a pithy travelogue and also a reality check in a way for what can also go wrong and the consequences of being in a different culture with different ways.

I definitely recommend this memoir, with one p
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fred’s Diary is just that, a diary. This book is a compilation of the daily writings of Robert Fear describing his travels through Asia, his personal experiences, thoughts, and growth.

It will take you a while to get into the cadence of the work. It is a daily diary, some days extremely monotonous, others documenting fascinating events. Just like life. Some entries are explicit in description of interesting places, others are a simple indication of having gone somewhere, visited a city, or taken
Stephen Bentley
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a difficult review to write. Why? Because I do appreciate the author in publishing this diary made a very brave decision to do so “as-is.” It must always be borne in mind that all reviews are simply one person’s opinion. There were good things about this book and things that annoyed me but ultimately it is worth the read.

The brave decision for me, was that he decided to transcribe it from the raw material without embellishment or any attention, or possibly regard, to the craft of writing
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Fear has written a masterpiece. Writing a story in the form of a daily diary is always a challenge but Robert Fear has shown how well he has mastered the art. On first look the presentation is simple – almost too simple. The reader is likely to be put off in the beginning with mundane details – the price of each and every item bought, the menu at every meal – but within a couple of pages the reader is mesmerized with the underlying beauty and gets hooked. The era is captured beautifully. ...more
Lizzie Harwood
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a trip on many levels: in terms of backpacking in 1981 with the differences between that age and this; a trip inside a man's mind who at times grapples with emotional survival with his on & off girlfriend but also grapples with survival when he lands in a Thai jail for possession of drugs; and a psychological trip because the author smokes SO much weed during this journey. It's an odyssey in dope and other nefarious substances and I did wonder if at any stage he'd end up quitting th ...more
Susie Kelly
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look back at the tail end of the hippy trail of the 1980s, when Fred abandons his job with a bank and goes off backpacking round Asia from Hong Kong through Thailand to India and Nepal.

Recording his daily life meticulously, Fred's diary gives the reader an intimate account of his journey, which is about self-discovery as much as discovery of the countries he visits. The reader shares his meals (as a lover of Asian cuisine my mouth watered more than once), his lodgings, his fellow
Lucinda Clarke
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fred gives the reader an insight into many of the places he visited a few decades ago. I suspect a lot has changed since then, but many of the most important remain. I particularly liked his descriptions of the Taj Mahal in India. I was also amazed at how brave he was still smoking grass while waiting to be deported after being locked up for the same offence. His descriptions of prison were perhaps the scenes that I will remember the most. I would have liked more description of
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I have never visited Asia so I was keen to experience it through this diarised account of a young man's travels in the 1980's. A sense of honesty comes through, which is a strong influence in this format of writing as it is an open and detailed account of the people, the places and personal adventures he experienced. I applaud the author for including some of what we might call 'ordinary' aspects of travel and day to day living as it reinforces that this is true and n ...more
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read-books
I won this book as a First Reads Book. Very good descriptions of travels. He enjoys the beauty of nature and other countries so takes you right along with him. The many experiences, he leads you through are exciting and interesting.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Not being able to travel to the many places that Fred's Diary talks about, I was able to enjoy the journey though Robert's writing. This book was very intriguing and I was always looking forward to the next journey he took you on!

Karen White
Apr 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I did not find this very entertaining. It is a basic diary informing you of when he went to bed or woke up or got on a train. You can read of what he smoked, what he ate, who he talked to and how much he paid for things. Just not my cup of tea. Some people seemed to have enjoyed this book.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tedious but its a Diary

This Diary is what the author lived and experienced so has value to him. Has no value to this reader except drug use is stupid and using in Asia is destructive. The tone of voice is like a diary and I kept hoping for something else, but didn't happen.
Ruth Dresher-Brown
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s been about two weeks since I completed this book. As my memory is still fresh I find it difficult to put the words down for review. I journaled for 17 years, not a day by day, blow by blow diary, yet I think I understand his intention. The story provides nice descriptions of his time spent and the wonders he encountered and the people he came to know and befriend. It was not an easy read for me. I guess I’m surprised how some reviewers loved it, not so surprised by those that also had diffi ...more
Heidi Vlach
I frequently found myself disinterested and skimming forward in this book. Yes, it’s a personal diary, so it can’t be expected to read like a novel — but Fred says he’s writing this diary specifically for others to read, so I think it’s fair to scrutinize the material.

Mundane information seems to get the most attention in this book. Time of day and currency exchange rates are carefully noted. The reader hears about every minor physical complaint Fred has, his aches and pains and diarrhea, and h
E.J. Bauer
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wasn't entirely sure when I started reading this travel memoir as I have never been keenly interested in Asia as a destination. I was also not convinced about reading a daily diary. I am glad I kept reading. I quickly discovered that the minutiae of everyday wayfaring recollections highlights this author's scrapes and adventures to perfection. From Hong Kong to Thailand and then to Nepal and India, Fred treats us to almost mundane descriptions of breakfasts, menus, exchange rates and drug trip ...more
Sep 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could have done better

After reading this book I feel sorry that he missed out on a opportunity to write a well written informational book. Every chapter started out the same. He really didn't delve into anything, which was a pity. I wish he put more thought into this book it could have been a winner.
Debra Patronis chatham
Good Diary

I found the day to day interactions interesting. The cheap accommodations, room sharing with strangers, and drug use surprised me. Overall I liked the book.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time unless you are interested in how much dope he gets during his travels. It was definitely not a book I would recommend.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. It was an interesting recounting of Fred's travels in Asia and India. Some thing that I wanted to do back in the 70s but alas never did.
rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2018
Matthew Dexter
rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2015
Ruth M. Morgan
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2016
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Born in Leicester in 1955, Robert's family moved to Surrey when he was 11. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School. After this he worked in a bank in the city for several years before getting the travel bug. Fred, a nickname he got at school, stuck throughout his travels and has remained with him to this day. His travels took him to Ibitha for the summer of 1977, hitch-hiking around Europe in 19 ...more