Review – Travels


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.

About ocdreader

I love to read! I always have a book or four going, I have more books in my to-be-read pile than I can read in a year and yet I continue to haunt the bookstores. I have a problem, but I somehow soldier on. I enjoy talking books, so pass on your recommendations and thoughts - I would love to hear them.
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9 Responses to Review – Travels

  1. Erin C. says:

    I really loved this book when I read it YEARS ago. I’m thinking that I may have to pick it up and read it again! What is the saying… read a book 3 times in your life. Once when you are young, once when you have children and then once when you are old. Hmmmmmm. The only book I’ve ever reread is Where the Red Fern Grows. I have always felt like there are too many good books out there to reread, but perhaps I should change my view. What do you think?

    • ocdreader says:

      I love to reread though I can’t with some books. My first read through a story is generally so quick, I don’t catch all the nuances, but lately, because of blogging and so many books I haven’t as much. 😦 Rereading is like revisiting old friends, it makes me feel cozy inside.
      I would agree about rereading during different stages of your life. I have read a few books, Tess of the D’Ubervilles and Rebecca most recently, where I wished I read them first when I was younger. I would have been able to appreciate the female lead more!
      I still haven’t read Where the Red Fern Grows. I should make sure to do that soon.

    • Cathy I says:

      I also read this book years ago, and was delighted with the connection to the paranormal, because I was exploring some of those same phenomenon and had no idea the author was “open” to those experiences.The review however, makes me think I don’t remember much of the book except for the overwhelming rememberance of loving it. I think I still have two copies because I seemed to be driven to buy every copy I found and pass them around. So, I will also reread it. Erin, some books are old friends and are meant to be savored and reread. I have also found that some of the books I have reread were fantastic at the time of the first reading because they resounded to my life experience at the moment, and as I moved forward I did not connect in the same way.

  2. Sara says:

    What an interesting book! I have been really enjoying biographies lately. I haven’t started anything new since Emma. I kind of want to dive right back into Jane Austen, but a couple of other books are calling me in different directions!

    • ocdreader says:

      Me too! I read Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking this weekend (it is short) and it was so interesting and funny!
      I am sure you will find something wonderful to read, you always do.

  3. Very interesting. I always read UF and PNR so it might be nice to read something totally different.

  4. Jill Marie says:

    Awww! You tagged me! :] Thanks for that!
    Crichton is a wonderful author. I should go back and re-read some older titles of his.
    Surprisingly I have never read this one! I guess I’ll start with that!
    Great review ^^

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