Sunday, 21 October 2012

Review - Semi Detached by Gareth Jones

Twenty-six years old, bored with the nine to five and looking for adventure, Gareth takes off to South America and into backpacker land. Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile… if you’ve ever been there yourself, you’ll know the routine. Go to a city, wander around feeling bored, then get pissed and have fun. At least that’s the way he does it.

What I liked about the book is that it wasn’t written by a journalist. There’s no in depth descriptions of the history and politics of every place they go to. And there’s no travel program isn’t this wonderful? bullshit. It’s a proper young person’s hedonistic flight into the sort of mad life such “holidays” can bring. A South American On the Road for the modern generation.

Gareth and his mates may not be everyone’s sort of people. Their sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle can sometimes be shockingly over the top. And the way they pretty much abuse the fact that they’re in a poor country by treating it like a playground is not exactly moralistic. But there again, this is what most young people do on their “year out.” (Plus there is a half-hearted epiphany or “realisation” of this towards the end).

If you’re looking for a travel book that doesn’t get bogged down with a lot of dull information or heavy plotlines then this is for you. Nice and simple. And a lot of fun.

This is a self published novel and could do with a bit of editing to tighten things up, but it’s still worth checking out. As with the other books I’m reviewing, this won’t be on the bookshelf of most shops, but will be available to order.

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