On his nineteenth birthday, Peter Allison flipped a coin. One side would take him to Africa and the other to South America, the two places he wanted to explore before he died. He recounted his time spent as a safari guide in Africa to much acclaim in Whatever You Do, Don’t Run and Don’t Look Behind You. Sixteen years later, he makes his way to Santiago, Chile, ready to seek out the continent’s best, weirdest, and wildest adventures, and to chase the elusive jaguar. In just the first six months, Allison is bitten by a puma (several times), knocked on his head by a bad empanada, and surrounded by piranhas while rafting down a Bolivian river—all because of his unusual fear of refrigerators and of staying in any one place for too long. Ever the gifted storyteller and cultural observer, Allison makes many observations about life in humid climes, the nature of nomadism, and exactly what it is like to be nearly blasted off a mountain by the famous Patagonia wind. Allison’s self-deprecating humor is as delightful as his crazy stunts, and his love for animals—even when they bite—is infectious.
Length: 200 pages
Source: Toronto Public Library
Publication Date: December 20th 2011
Ever since I read my first Peter Allison book in April of last year I've been waiting eagerly to read his newest book of adventures! Unfortunately I was on the waiting list for the library since the book's release date but at least I was the first one to read the copy I got last week (Which I finished in a few hours mind you).
This one was just as funny and entertaining as I had hoped it would be though you can tell that Peter went at his journey across South America a little older and a little wiser. I say older because he frequently refers to himself as that. But despite being a little older he held up a lot better than I would have if I had been the one traveling so much.
Of course, for me the best part of the book was that he still managed to get himself into loads of hilarious and dangerous positions. My favourite part of the book is when he talks about meeting Roy, a puma that he was to "walk" every day for about a month. Now while these large cats are considerably smaller than the lions in Africa they're still stronger than any man. They're bodies are all muscle despite their delecate appearence and Peter sure got to experiance the power that Roy had first hand as he was often the one that was getting bitten by, jumped on and dragged along through the rainforest by Roy.
Peter Allison's tales in this book are sure to delight any fan of his works, he's snarky and hilarious in a way that only he could be. His experiences are wonderful to read about and I'm glad he decided to write a third book based on his adventures in South America, the country that lost the coin toss when he was 19 years old and wanting to take a year off. Instead he went to Africa and became a safari guide, later he returned to Australia and finally he was able to see what life could have been like had the coin fallen on the opposite side all those years ago. If you enjoy travel memoirs and that will have you laughing out loud at the author's antics this is the book for you. I highly recommend it! I can't wait to see what he writes next!
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★ ★ ★ ★ ★