Sam Manicom's dynamic third book transports you to Southern Africa, South and Central America. Sam has a gift for describing the vibrancy of people and places, and you are led effortlessly through three very different parts of the world by his enthusiasm and his acute observations. Human behavior, drama, passion, disaster, humor, and the pure adrenaline buzz of overlanding such far-flung, wild and exotic places are all here.
This thought-provoking mix is brought alive by both his descriptive, which can make the mouth water or the hairs on the back of the neck crawl, and the historical tidbits and cultural notes about the people and places he visits. Distant Suns highlights the joys of traveling with others and how, when you are with others, you often do and see things you otherwise may not have done; but also touches on the added stress that comes with traveling in groups - even small groups.
Unlike his two previous books, Sam travels with a companion, Birgit, who you'll have met during the course of his previous book Under Asian Skies. Distant Suns is the story of how boy meets girl, both endowed with a mile-wide streak of wanderlust, and both fiercely independent, but learning to live together on the road, and saving each other's lives on occasion. Birgit catches your attention right away with her incredible initiative and capability with her bike. Yet, she'd only been riding a bike for 600 miles when they arrived in Kenya at the beginning of this journey.
Sam and Birgit's adventures are never without peril, but the attitude they have is what makes them terrific world travelers. Over the course of three years, a lot of things can and do go wrong, but Sam and Birgit don't let any of them stop them from completing their journey. When Paul Theroux wrote, "Take the leap. Go as far as you can. Try staying out of touch. Become a stranger in a strange land," he could have been describing Distant Suns.
©2008 Sam H.N. Manicom (P)2016 Sam N.H. Manicom
Distant Suns ranks in the top 10% of audiobooks I own. The book, on it's own, was quite interesting. The Audiobook is read by the author which brings it to life.
I loved the descriptions that catapulted my imagination to the locations visited. Manicom has a remarkable gift of filling one's senses with the sights, sounds and smells of the region. Beyond the vivid settings, the story told of joys, struggles, hardship, fascination and reflection. This time, Sam is joined by his partner Birgit, whom he met in Australia. This romance which began in "Under Asian Skies" has evolved to include Birgit on her own bike.
Overlooking Machu Picchu, there is a moment of reflection for Sam which resonated deeply with me.
Several scenes described in this tale caused laughter. Most importanly, perhaps, "Distant Suns" left me in wonder and with a greater thirst to visit many of the locations described in this book.
Like "Into Africa" and "Under Asian Skies," "Distant Suns" will fill your imagination with wonders from some amazing regions of our world. The dynamic of Sam and Birgit making the journey adds a unique and welcome perspective. This symmetry also fills one's hope of traveling with a partner on expeditions, near and far.
Love Sam's travel books. I've listened to his others multiple times each. This is not just for folks that like motorcycle travel. Anyone who enjoys travel stories should enjoy this book as well. I really enjoy Sam's reading of the book. He has a very soothing voice that helps to make my long commutes in the car a lot more relaxing.
Perfect for anyone who loves travel, or would love to travel. Amazingly descriptive, it feels like you are right there with Sam and Birgit as they face and overcome many challenges on their adventure. Whether you like motorbikes or not, you'll love this book!
I would, and do, recommend Sam Manicom's books to my friends. His book "Under Asian Skies" is my favorite but all of his books are incredible.
He takes you to the destinations, he doesn't just tell you about them. Many books in the genre are about covering miles or written only with a motorcyclist in mind, his books are for the traveler regardless of mode of transport. Its about having experiences, making connections, and forming memories that will last a lifetime. He weaves a great tale that will keep even armchair travelers enthralled yet also includes valuable info for those that may really attempt a similar journey (via bus/car/bike/motorcycle).
I grew up reading Jack Kerouac and Hemingway and there is a bit of that sense of adventure and experience in Mr Manicom's writing.
The English accent is pleasing to American ears but the recording is also of a very high quality. No pops, hiccups, or irregularities. Since it is his own work, and he is passionate about it, you feel a great energy in the narration.
It's his first book traveling full time with his partner Birgit. I think having her along added a lot to the dynamic. I am a long time fan of his books and saw him go places and experience things he wouldn't have done had he ridden alone. It reminded me how much my wife ads to my life.
He also challenges our preconceived notions about a country or even a continent. A great number of people judge a country by a few random news articles or stereotypes. While he occasionally experiences troubles, the vast majority of people he meets are warm, welcoming, and helpful (even in "war torn" countries and those with "drug lords").
His books, all of them, are perhaps the best in the genre. Sam isn't a guy checking off countries and borders, he is a man living a full and rich life. He reminds us all to slow down and experience the places, people, food, and sights. If you have a Audible credit BUY THIS BOOK.
"Great adventure travel book"
The fact this book is narated by the author gives it a very genuine feel.
Sam Manicom is a great storyteller and highlights how for the most part people all around the world are basically Decent.... although of course you do come across some rotten apples along the way.
"Another memorable ride"
Sam takes us on another entertaining ride through the roads less travelled and inspires us with his can do, will do attitude.
"Adventure packed beautifully described travels"
Beautifully read story by the author, story full of oily bits and adventures, if you're a biker looking for bike stories or a helpless romantic looking for armchair travels you will find what you need in this book, allow sam to take you along with him on his travels. Every scene described beautifully allowing you to feel every pothole and every hour spent at the border crossings.
Book number 3 is just as inspiring as sam's previous books and his writing has personally inspired me to go on my own travels and for that I thank you Sam
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