April 17th, 2004

emu

Peter Moore – Swahili for the broken hearted (04-017)

Peter Moore – Swahili for the broken hearted (04-017)

Number: 04-017
Title: Swahili for the broken-hearted
Author: Peter Moore
Language: English (Australia)
Year: 2002
# Pages: 342 (3690)
Category: Travel
ISBN: 0-553-81452-4

I discovered Peter Moore when I travelled in Oz. Lately it seems that the rest of the world is discovering him as well; some of his books have been translated into Dutch even. If we don’t count the disappointing list-book ‘No shitting in the toilet’, this is his third travel account. As so many of us travellers know, we travel because we’re on the run for something. In Moore’s case it is the broken relation with the GND (Girl Next Door), his travel partner in Central America. He decides to cross the whole of Africa.

So he starts in Cape Town, where he immediately sees that he could fall for the town, therefore falling in the tourist trap to stay there too long. But as he finally gets on his way, we follow him on the long way to Cairo. We read about his visa troubles, how to avoid beggars, how to run from political turmoil and where to go to see loads of tourists, but also where to avoid them. Moore makes travelling seem easy. I have travelled through countries where others would stop at the border, yet I’m not sure if I would travel alone through Africa. After reading this book I am tempted though. This certainly is a recommendation for Moore.

His writing is like his reading. Funny, looking for highlights, but also for simple fun. Take the mick out of yourself always works fine, especially as he tells about meeting Bill Bryson. Yet I also felt that near the end I wanted the book to be over. Perhaps I was longing for Cairo, the end, as much as he did himself. Not a good sign, only three books and I have had enough for now. Just a hint: put all the fun and sights into 250 pages and it would have been brilliant. Now it is just good.
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