It’s Only the Himalayas: And Other Tales of Miscalculation from an Overconfident Backpacker

We rated this book:


Hilarious, risqué, and, as with most adventures, engaging reading when it isn’t your fright and misery. My first writing teacher used to say that if you were not embarrassing yourself writing about personal experiences, you weren’t doing it right. Young Susanka has obviously arrived at that maxim independently. She says her parents will receive a censored version of the book. Probably wise.

Arriving in Cape Town with her frenemy Sara, they repair to Gansbaai, for great white sharks — a bladder-threatening account, despite cages!!

Thereafter, the ladies spend less-than-ladylike time skirting the dark continent’s wilder element, sleeping on hard ground, encountering mosquitoes, daisies, lions, flooding, and hippopotami. Kathmandu becomes their Nepalese introduction, with fathers recruited for shared “adventuring.”

The mastery of immediacy and sensorial impact exhibited by this fine writer is astounding. Readers suffer through oxygen debt, physical exertion, bean soup poisoning, and poorly equipped despair. (Only the Himalayas, after all.)

Chicom paranoia, primitive latrining, and monasterial grandeur characterize Tibet. Urban filth and misery in India precede chaotic introspection in a rural ashram, then Indonesia, Borneo, Laos, Thailand . . . many too many drinks, men (and almost a woman). Fine insights, both personal and societal, a wise set of warnings for any world traveler; highly recommended!!

Reviewed By:

Author S. Bedford
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Brindle & Glass
Publish Date 12-Apr-2016
ISBN 9781927366479 Buy this Book
Issue June 2016
Category Travel


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