by Michael Crichton
dusty gem from my bookshelf
I was reading a review of Crichton’s Jurassic Park on Little Hyuts and decided I should pull this dusty gem off my bookshelf. I have been reading a lot of paranormal, UF and PNR and needed a little reality to throw into the mix, keeps me from walking lopsided, kinda like V-8. But, it turns out that not only does he talk about his physical, medical and a few family and personal travels, he talks about his forays into spoon bending, psychics and other paranormal type activities. Not that he believes in everything he checks out as this travel book is more about how he reflects inward as he explores the world. Not as much of a deviation as I thought I was taking!
“When I look back on my travels, I see an almost obsessive desire for experiences that would increase my self-awareness. I needed new experiences to keep shaking myself up.” (pg 347)
Once you understand and are ready to go on all of his journeys, it is a very fun book. He would escape his current life when things weren’t going so great and plop himself in an uncomfortable situation which helped explain his feelings or issues. His humor is self-deprecating and he fully admits his short-sightedness and inability to understand himself until he is out of his comfort zone. And then he is still quite stubborn! But he traveled all over the world to see headhunters, climb Kilimanjaro without proper supplies, swim with sharks and nearly killing himself diving in dangerous conditions. It is a little exhilarating, exciting and hilarious and I wanted to be there with him on some of those journeys. Now realize, I also thought for a brief time about climbing Everest after reading Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air, which was a great fantasy hike, the reality of it would kill me.
The chapters aren’t too long, his relationships change as the travels encompass long stretches of his life, but he only highlights certain parts to get his interesting story across. In a way, it is like a book of short stories with the same main character. A few of his friends, family and girlfriends repeat, but not always and not for long.
It was great, it was a table of tapas with friends, you got to try so many different dishes it felt like you should be stuffed to overflowing, but instead were pleasantly sated. Travels reminded me a little bit of Eat, Pray Love for a few reasons. Both are non-fiction, the author is traveling away from home to find out more about themselves and it is quite funny at times, usually at the expense of the author. They both give the reader a self-deprecating account of their actions and thoughts back when they were clueless. My sense of humor exactly! 4 stars.