This book gives a short glimpse into the author’s colourful and adventurous life and beautifully describes his unusual journeys to remote and fascinating cultures. Its 384 pages include 14 handsome maps and 150 of his high quality colour photographs carefully integrated into the text. His 52 reports, versions of which originally appeared in The Herald, the Sunday Herald, The Scotsman, The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Sunday Times, are varied in character. Some are very dramatic, such as when he falls through the ice in Lake Baikal in Siberia, is attacked by a pack of dogs in Vanuatu in the Pacific, or is trapped on top of a derailed train in the Congolese jungle. Others are more descriptive and lyrical, for example when he travels up the Amazon River, climbs sacred Mount Emei in western China, or sails down the Niger River to Timbucktu in Mali. He paints captivating pictures of the landscapes and the people he encounters, and at the same time he puts them the history of the civilizations he meets. As a result, he lures the reader into a sensory — but always realistic — world of foreign sights, sounds and smells. His journeys reflect his desire, both in his life and his travels, to take risks, explore his limits, and go ‘beyond’.
'Patrick Richardson is an authentic traveller, who is intrepid, curious and endlessly resourceful. He writes about his unusual and adventurous journeys with eloquent zest, with an eye for the revealing, quirky detail, with an open mind and a carefully controlled lyricism. Like the best travel writers, he does not only journey through faraway places; he also journeys through his own imagination. He well understands danger, strangeness, difference and contingency; and he knows that the exotic is not necessarily glamorous. He is a master.'
'This is a record of the most sustained travelling I have ever come across. On tiny budgets, over forty years Patrick Richardson has probably seen more remote parts of the world than any other traveller. He is not looking for funny stories or opportunities to advertise himself; he merely seeks to be there, to see, to look, to listen and to witness. Cities generally leave him cold; it is to the rural, the village, the road, mountain and desert that he is drawn. These reports are at times almost melancholy, openly admitting to suffering, deprivation and isolation as much as to exultation. We, the readers, peek over his shoulder into the dizzying multiplicity of our planet. He has endeavoured to bring it all back home in this remarkable book.'
'Patrick Richardson’s travelogue and memoir is a joy to read. It takes you back to the time when travel was something we did for its own sake and the world was all to be discovered. Reading his fluid and evocative prose is like going down that dusty road again, not knowing where we’ll be tomorrow.'