Books, General, Travel

The Dark Tourist | Review

Title: The Dark Tourist

Author: Dom Joly

Rating: 5 Stars

Dates read: 19 Mar 18 – 30 Mar 18

Publication date: 2 Sep 2010

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre(s): Memoir, Travel

Description:

Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection — the schoolboy currency of Beirut. Dom’s upbringing was interspersed with terrifying days and nights spent hunkered in the family basement under Syrian rocket attack or coming across a pile of severed heads from a sectarian execution in the pine forests near his home.

These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places. And in this brilliantly odd and hilariously told travel memoir, Dom Joly sets out on a quest to visit those destinations from which the average tourist would, and should, run a mile. The more insalubrious the place, the more interesting is the journey and so we follow Dom as he skis in Iran on segregated slopes, spends a weekend in Chernobyl, tours the assassination sites of America and becomes one of the few Westerners to be granted entry into North Korea. Eventually Dom journeys back to his roots in Beirut only to discover he was at school with Osama Bin Laden.

Funny and frightening in equal measure, this is a uniquely bizarre and compelling travelogue from one of the most fearless and innovative comedians around.

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Books, General

Life On Air | Review

Title: Life On Air: Memoirs Of A Broadcaster

Author: Sir David Attenborough

Rating: 5 Stars

Dates read: 27 Jan 18 – 28 Jan 18

Publication date: 19 Sep 02

Publisher: BBC Books

Genre(s): Memoir; Non-fiction

 

Description:

Sir David Attenborough is Britain’s best-known natural history film-maker. His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly six decades, and in this volume of memoirs Sir David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places he has visited.

His first job – after Cambridge University and two years in the Royal Navy – was at a London publishing house. Then in 1952 he joined the BBC as a trainee producer, and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series (1954-64) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe, to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat. He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then Director of Programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). However, in 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing, and has established himself as the world’s leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series, including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), The Private Life of Plants (1995), Life of Birds (1998), The Blue Planet (2001), Life of Mammals (2002), Planet Earth (2006) and Life in Cold Blood (2008).

Sir David is an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1985. He is also Britain’s most respected, trusted and lauded natural history broadcaster and writer, championing conservation and standing at the forefront of issues concerning the planet’s declining species. A lot has changed since his first television documentary, and in this updated edition of Life on Air Sir David tells us of his experiences of filming in the 21st century. Continue reading “Life On Air | Review”

Books, General

Book Haul #4

Soooooo, we’re here again already. In my defence, this book haul is only being posted so close to the last one because I was struggling with personal issues surrounding writing posts. I haven’t bought all these books in a couple of weeks  That said, it’s still a large number of books to admit to buying, or receiving, since the beginning of the year. Last time round, (view here) I admitted that I was buying lots of books and…well…that’s not changed. I’ve bought 21 books this haul. That’s not too b….who am I kidding, it’s bad. I’m loving it.

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