Eastern Approaches Fitzroy Maclean This is anot

first_img_Eastern Approaches,_ Fitzroy MacleanThis is another fellow cut from the same cloth as Fiennes. In his time, he was a diplomat, soldier, politician and adventurer and his novel maps out his life prior to and during the Second World War. Maclean is a great writer and captures the excitement and danger of fighting behind enemy lines in the Western Desert during one of the most turbulent times in recent history, as well as describing his adventures in Soviet Central Asia. It has been suggested that Ian Fleming used Maclean as one of his inspirations for James Bond, and if this is true, then there can be no greater accolade to bestow upon a chap.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Don’t Tell Mom I Work on the Rigs: She Thinks I’m a Piano Player in a Whorehouse by Paul CarterCarter’s account of his life on numerous oil rigs round the world, is very, very funny. I can’t stand reviews that throw in the “laugh out loud funny” cliché since I never have, but since this didn’t, I did. From pet monkeys in Brunei with obscene hobbies, and dwarf-throwing in the Philippines (though this might be the second book), to the best account of toothache in Russia you will ever read, Carter paints a rich portrait of the roughnecks, criminals and all round hard-cases that this lifestyle attracts. This is delivered with a laid back comic charm that I guarantee will make you want to read the sequel.___Falling Towards England,_ Clive JamesThis is the second of James’ Unreliable Memoirs and charts his early years as a young Australian who arrives in sixties London. The novel is delivered with a great deal of self-deprecation, as he lurches from one disastrous job to another, and he was clearly something of nightmare to be around. Like him or loathe him, no one can deny that James can write, and he can spin an entertaining tale with the best of them. Sartorial matters take up part of his tale and he variously dresses like someone who is insane or a vagrant. The badly tailored green suit from Hong Kong which renders him periodically blind is something of a highlight in all of this.____French Revolutions, Tim MooreTim Moore decided to cycle the Tour de France route a month before the event took place, and this book charts his progress round the famously gruelling race. Moore is not an athlete, a super-fit sportsman or even a very good cyclist, and thus predictably, his account is as painful, injury-laden, miserable and funny as one might expect. Lacing himself up with drugs and booze at every lunch stop, he memorably writes at one point that usually pride comes before a fall, but in his case it was a carafe of red wine. Moore might not have been much of a cyclist at the start, but he is an extremely good writer and delivers a very entertaining account of his epic adventure. ____Playing the Moldovans at tennis, Tony HawksNot content with lugging a fridge around Ireland, Hawks embarked on yet another silly challenge when he bets his mate, Arthur Smith, that he can beat every Moldovan football international at the sport suggested by the title. Forget the contrived situation, and sit back and enjoy what is a humorous, touching and well-written tale of the Moldovan underworld, gypsies, near kidnap, killer man-holes and an excellent twist at the end which sees one of the two mentioned above singing the Moldovan national anthem naked and drunk in Balham High Street. This book has nothing to do with tennis and everything to do with that peculiar British trait that makes many of our number do very odd things. A few months ago, you (the Skyscanner users) voted that the most essential travel item (aside from a passport) was a good book.Skyscanner writer Nick suggests ten of his favourite holiday reads – with a travelling theme of course.I recently wrote a piece about books where the location of the story plays a key role in the novel. With the exception of Dr No, there is not a single one of those novels I would take away with me. Crime and Punishment is not a novel for the summer, unless you are holidaying in a gulag somewhere, and it smacks of intellectual snobbery. To put yourself through this kind of thing unless you have to (which unfortunately I did at some point) is not my idea of fun.For a bit of holidaying reading, what you want is just a good, entertaining book, not some pretentious mind-squeezing tome, and the selection below represent some of my favourites – though I must admit they might be a little biased toward male readers.A Light-Hearted Top Five The Sex Lives of Cannibals, J Maarten TroostWhen Troost’s girlfriend gets a job on a remote atoll in the South Pacific, he decides to up sticks and move there too. Convinced that he will write some literary masterpiece on what he supposes to be an island paradise, the reality is rather different. Far from being Eden on sea, Troost relates an engaging tale of toxic fish, deadly bacteria, pollution, electricity shortages, food shortages and most importantly the “Great Beer Crisis.” Couple this with blistering heat and “the Macarena” played on loop, and this place could make a strong case for being pretty much the worst place in the world. Fortunately though, even if the beer was in short supply, schadenfreude is not, and it provides a lot of laughs.Five more serious ones – but very good nonetheless____Venture to the Interior, Laurens Van Der PostSetting aside Van Der Post’s alleged proclivities, he nevertheless remains an extremely fine writer. Written in the 1950s, this novel charts his journey for the British Government through the hitherto uncharted regions of Nyasaland (now Malawi). The novel begins with a hair-raising series of flights from England to Nairobi – which is an expedition in itself, before he even reaches his destination. Van Der Post writes beautifully about a continent he knows well, and even if the style can seem a little dated, the allure of Africa is captured in his prose.____Danziger’s Travels, Nick DanzigerThis is a book that divides people, though personally I thought it was a cracking read and you have to admire someone who has the balls to travel in some of the most dangerous places on earth with no back up and little money. The book charts the author’s eighteen month journey through Asia in the 1980s and memorably, his two month stint with the Mujahadeen as they fight the Russians. People have described the book as being a bit self-absorbed and there may be some truth to the claim, but if I was on my own for a year and half and living on my nerves, then I’d be pretty “me-focused” too.____Nothing Venture, Nothing Win, Sir Edmund HillaryNowadays, the public perception of Everest is that it’s like some giant theme park that anyone with a spare $20,000 can leap up and down with a bit of oxygen and some helpful sherpas. This is very much not the case, but in 1953 when Hillary stood on top of the world, this really was a truly unbelievable feat. The story charts his successful ascent of the mountain as well as many other adventures he undertook in his life. Hillary strikes me as a man who, despite great achievement, was incredibly modest, and this is demonstrated in the chapter when he finally makes it to the top of Everest and if you’re not paying attention, you can almost miss it._____Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know, _Ranulph FiennesIn the days of the Empire, I imagine all Englishmen were like Ranulph Fiennes – sadly now, these types are few and far between, and will only be found in the British army or in embassies in odd places. Clearly Fiennes is a bit bonkers, but this is probably a natural corollary of being unbelievably driven. The book takes the reader through numerous and incredibly demanding adventures all over the world from the South Pole to the North Face of the Eiger. Maybe Fiennes isn’t the finest writer in the world, but you’ve got to love a bloke who is prepared to cut off his own fingers in the shed. 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