A gripping adventure that takes the listener on a backpacking trip through South East Asia.
John’s trip to India starts badly when he finds himself looking at the sharp end of a knife in a train station cubicle. His life is saved by the enigmatic Rick, who persuades John to abandon his mundane plans for the future for much, much more.
Fast forward to the Thai island of Koh Pha-Ngan, where they pose as millionaire aristocrats in a hedonistic Eden of beautiful girls, free drugs, and wild beach parties. Soon pursued by the Thai Mafia, they escape to Indonesia, Australia, and Hong Kong, facing danger at every turn.
©2001 John Harris (P)2011 Audible Ltd
I listened to the entire first half of this book and it just never grabbed me. I just got bored. Too bad really because I love the setting, and The Beach is one of my favorite books. Things happen occasionally, but more often the story is filled with long accounts of not especially exciting train rides, pointless conversations between characters who you are not certain are relevant to the story, and inexplicable decisions on the part of the main character.
The narrator Tom Lawrence was very good, I would easily listen to another performance. The author John Harris is better at fiction/semi-fiction than reality.
The book is a retelling of a story in that age old pub fashion/fishing story. A small little adventure blossomed into a grand story with the retelling. The teller may think it really happened that way but the reality is likely much more sedate. Much like James Frey and his "A Million Little Pieces", there is a lot of embellishment in a story branded as non-fiction. It is an entertaining read though, just not true to the non fiction travel genre.
Its an all around great performance. His voice matched the mental picture of the protagonist in the story. He is properly emphatic when the story calls for it.
I am not sure if everything is true (I would love to read more interviews from the author), but John Harris is a very descriptive and entertaining writer, that really captures your attention and will bring about a urning for travel and exploration. I will add that his moral compass is not always in check, but at least he seems to realize it! Also, the reader does a fantastic job of sounding different with each character and making the book come alive.
"Didn't live up to my expectations or other reviews"
A bit tiresome this book, learnt nothing about the interesting countries/culture, just fairly far fetched stories about 'lads abroad' behaving badly.
"Total escapism, totally nail biting..... BRILLIANT"
I really enjoyed this book. It has everything, exotic cities, drugs, girls, sex, intrigue, deceit, friendship, sun drenched beaches, high seas adventure as well as exploitation, painful loss and new beginnings.
I felt very connected to all the main characters and lived their wonderment and pain with them.
Thoroughly recommend this book!
"A bit "thin""
I wasn't after war&peace but the story was a bit shallow...no real depth to characters, just a series of events.
Good job with the delivery, and the voices for the different characters
Yes would recommend as it was a fast moving entertaining story.
Not the usual genre I read, so cannot really compare but would recommend
I like listening to books and Tom Lawrence read the book extremely well and I could really imagine where his character was.
I never listen to books in one sitting but there were times when I did not want to switch it off as I wanted to know what happened next.
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