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Publisher's Summary

Sam Manicom's dynamic fourth book is an enticing yet frequently challenging motorcycle journey across the dramatic landscapes of Mexico, the United States and Canada. Sam's partner Birgit is no longer a novice motorcyclist - riding through southern Africa and South America turned her into a rider capable of facing any challenge. But Sam was worried.

As they arrived into North America they had been travelling around the world by motorcycle for six years and he was beginning to think that North America was going to be easy; too easy in fact. Were all the challenges of travel in the developing world countries going to be missing? Sam couldn't have been more wrong.

Samuel Johnson wrote, "The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them how they are." After all, aren't these some of the main reasons for going travelling? To experience as many different things and ways of life as possible? To discover new and wonderful things, but also to have preconceived ideas challenged.

This true-life story has more twists and turns than a Rocky Mountain Pass, and more surprises than anyone could expect. As it did them, at times it could challenge you too. Woven into this surprising story are canyons, cowboys, idyllic beaches, bears, mountains, Californian Vineyards, gun-toting policemen with grudges, glaciers, exploding volcanoes, dodgy border crossings, and some of the most stunning open roads that a traveler could ever wish to see.

A gripping rollercoaster of a journey across North America. Sam and Birgit are thrown into a completely new set of challenges. These adventures bring alive the history, geography, human relationships and the pure joy of the open road.

©2011 Sam H.N. Manicom (P)2017 Sam H.N. Manicom

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Brilliant!

Absolutely brilliant! I only wish there was another book after this one! I would recommend this to anyone!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Yet another fantastic part to his series

I've loved every book Sam has release and this one is no exception. It pleases me greatly when an author narrates their own book because they bring to you their actual emotions when they tell their story. Sam does it here again.

Bravo Sam. Such a pleasure to experience this book with you. Come back to the USA and really see the country, just avoid the cities and experience real America.

I defy you to get this book and NOT enjoy it. Well worth the money and time.

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Loved it.

Loved the story. Will get the other three. 😍soon. Blah blah blah blah blah blah

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Pretty well done

I enjoyed the story but the appendix dropped my rating to 2 stars 4 without.

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Steady Read

Nice finish of all four books... the attention to detail is great. keep writing and telling stories

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Fantastic Read

Fantastic book, that left me satisfied and ready to explore my own personal world with wider eyes. Sam Manicom does a Fantastic job describing the places he goes. Having lived right next to two of the towns he describes (Concrete Washington and Annacortes Washington) I can say what he described felt honest and at the same time made me wish when I lived there I had paid better attention to what was around me.

I really enjoyed this book and cried at the end. Beautifully done Sam.

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Master Storyteller

Sam’s authentic storytelling style leads the reader on a rich expertly woven adventure journey. Sam has a unique way of helping the reader relate to foreign worlds through his words, an admirable gift. Through Sam’s courageous and curious approach to his travels, I have learnt to see the positive in the most challenging of circumstances. This master story teller has shared his adventures in a way that is real, sincere and most definitely makes you feel as if you are riding alongside him on the open road. I can almost smell the two-stroke oil as I immerse myself in Sam’s stories.

It was a treat to listen to the audio book read by Sam himself. His calm and quirky voice, showcased his sharp wit and excellent sense of humour.

As a motorcycle enthusiast and lover of adventure and travel, I have enjoyed each of Sam’s books immensely. I highly recommend that readers should start with Sam’s first book, Into Africa. I guarantee that you will not be able to resist reading all four of the legs and stories back to back.

In this, Sam’s latest book, I was particularly touched by the impassioned plea for all people to become organ donors. I have laughed, cried, smiled, shaken my head and been entertained through many long nights while insomnia kept me awake.

I know it will take a long time before I find another favourite author. To Sam I say Merci, Gracias, Dankie, Gratzie, Nkosi kakhulu and Thank you for sharing your stories with me and the world. Bravo my friend, bravo.

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Great book.

The narration is great. It is so much better when it is the author narrating. The epilogue is very touching and a perfect way to end the series.

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A wonderful tale told

I had already enjoyed the written manuscript by Sam Manicom, but to have the story told by the author himself brings a different life to the tales of his journey. As always, Sam brings strongly the human side of worldly exploration, the motorcycle Libby being simply the accomplice.

Tortillas to Totems is worth the read for any aspiring traveler to the Americas, in any vehicle one chooses.

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Made me appreciate are reevaluate the sights out m

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Sam is perhaps the best motorcycle adventure writer of the modern era and one of the better travel writers in general. He does a great job with narration. I am a big proponent of having the author read his/her own work and same does an impeccable job. His enthusiasm draws you in and keep you interested throughout. The recording is also of a very high quality.

What did you like best about this story?

I own all four of his audiobooks as well as print copies of ""Into Africa" and "Under Asian Skies". I was worried that this, his last book, would be somehow lesser because half of it takes place in familiar, highly developed, and easy to tour countries (America and Canada). Let me say that is not the case. It does have a different feel but makes a good bookend for the series. The first half takes place south of the American border, and is a wonderful adventure in the traditional sense, and will surely appease any fan. Surprising to me is that the adventures in America and Canada were compelling as well. There isnt the sense of the unknown one feels in developing countries but there are still great tales to tell. He made me appreciate many of the sights and experiences I often take for granted.

What about Sam Manicom’s performance did you like?

Sam's performances are excellent, surprising since he is not a professional narrator by trade. But generally I prefer an author over a narrator any day. He maintains his enthusiasm throughout and has a voice that doesn't wear on you even after a marathon listening session.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were not standout moments in this book, as there were in his past three books. For me it was more of an overall lesson. There is adventure and something to appreciate everywhere, even in developed places. I can't always get away for months at a time, but I could do several shorter trips. I will surely take more long weekend trips because of this book.

Any additional comments?

All of his books are great. My personal favorite continues to be "Under Asian Skies" but they are all worthwhile reads/listens.

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  • mike
  • 02-06-18

Remarkable

Any additional comments?

Once under it's spell why would you not go and buy a bike and travel the world. Well, yes I'm sure there are lots of reasons, but this book is the next best thing. Sam's delivery is spot on. His observations of who he meets and where he goes are so well described extending well beyond the obvious. I think I have read all Sam's books now and have considerable disappointment there are no more to come. Many thanks Sam!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Selin
  • 07-04-17

Another brilliant book by Sam

I've read two of Sam's books and listened to two of them. They are all brilliant. When narrating his audiobooks he's like that diverting story teller around the camp fire. If you like travel books (motorcycle or not), Sam's books are a must. Tortillas to Totems is no exception!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter Jones
  • 06-05-18

A good listen.

I have listened to all Sams books and enjoyed them all. This book was a struggle at first and I nearly stopped listening. My decission to continue was correct I finished it having enjoyed it. The ending was a shock though.

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  • ttbko
  • 05-07-18

I love this book!<br />

what an amazing adventure, beautifully lived, fascinatingly written and a complete joy to listen to.

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  • Roger Spackman
  • 06-17-17

A ride worth taking.

This is not a motorcycle book.... the motorcycle is simply the vehicle (metaphorical and literal) for the story.

Sam Manicom is a brilliant story teller and therefore it is only appropriate he narated his own stories. These are in my opinion show how wonderful the world is and how the vast majority of people are both friendly and generous when given a chance.

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  • Jon
  • 05-09-17

An adventure travel story that I got lost in

If you could sum up Tortillas to Totems in three words, what would they be?

After listening to the first three books in the series my hopes were high for another thrilling adventure told by the author himself. I was not disappointed. Happily this book could possibly be the best of Sam Manicom’s and that is say a lot, because the other three books are outstanding yarns of life literally on the road. At times Sam’s reflective thinking is close to the study of nature and religious belief. He almost coins a new genre of adventure motorcycle theology.

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  • Karl
  • 05-02-17

Save the best till last

Last book in the series that has taken Sam around the world and did not disappoint, A journey through the Americas with all the sights sounds and emotions is enough to make you want to pack your bags and do the journey yourself, exactly what a travel book should be.

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  • Mrs S.
  • 04-30-17

Another Sam Manicom Classic

As with his other three audiobooksei Sam, the author narrates the book himself.

For me this feels like I am along for the ride with him and Birgit, his girlfriend on their journey from Mexico up to Alaska, and over to New York, visiting many U.S and Canadian states along the way.

I love Sam's books, he has a real ability to conjure a picture for me, and his narration is enjoyable, comforting and thoroughly enthusiastic.

An absolute delight for motorcyclists, adventurers, travellers and anyone who loves a great slice of life story.

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  • james elward
  • 01-18-18

The much anticipated end to an exceptional journey

Any additional comments?

Do yourself a favor, if you haven't listened to the first 3 of Sam's books - what are you doing with your life! Once again, listening to Sam's own telling of his round the world journey is just amazing. The people, the places and Sam's unique insights into the world of adventure travel is such a pleasure. I so often re-listen to Sams travel when i need some reassurance that the world is not all about the 9 to 5 and that not all people are just in it for themselves. This last installment is another testament to what adventure travel is about and the only disappointing part is that it's the final chapter of such an inspirational journey.

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  • Travis
  • 10-19-17

Epic!

What a fantastic story, and what wonderful people. I'm going to miss these two, they've been my companion in the car for the last few weeks and the way he writes has really made me feel connected with them and their journey. Do yourself a favor, buy this audio book! 😄

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  • Zaak
  • 10-02-17

The Final Leg

The 4th and final for Sam's 8 year adventure. Really well written amd read!