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The Backpacker by John Harris


I found The Backpacker, a travelogue, to fall somewhere between the humor of Twain's The Innocents Abroad and a low budget made for cable action movie. It's not quite believable but still a load of fun.

John and his girlfriend Sanita decide to take a vacation together to India. It was going to be a romantic getaway. It wasn't. Sanita gets violently ill and heads home to London. John is saved from a robbery in a train station rest room by a long-haired traveler named Rick. Rick invites John to Thailand and the rest is like a Bing Crosby/Bob Hope "Road" movie starring Cheech and Chong or Harold and Kumar. They smoke lots of pot. They chase native girls. They infuriate the local mafia and are forced to flee to Malaysia. Next stop is Singapore, where they steal a boat and smoke more pot. They stop on islands and party. A friend gets killed. They pick fruit in Australia and burn stuff down. They go to Hong Kong. It ends.

The story is engaging and fun as heck, but I just don't know if I believe this "true" story. Maybe it lost its credibility when they "fooled" the border guards while crossing into Malaysia or maybe it was when they torched a building on a farm in Australia and walked down the road to the next town without being stopped. Regardless, a good journey is all about the ride, not the destination. This book was a riot.

Dan @ Central

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 2, 2012 8:18 AM.

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