THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
Into the Heart of Borneo is a hilarious travelogue outlining the misadventures of British travel writer Redmond O’Hanlon and his friend, the poet James Fenton, who set off to explore parts of unmapped Borneo on a mission to observe the rare flora and fauna, with specific hopes of finding the (potentially extinct) Borneo Rhinoceros. The two middle-aged men were woefully unprepared for such an expedition and admirably unconcerned about the potential risk, reliant mainly on their sense of humor and their affinity for getting drunk with the locals. Repeatedly teased by their three friendly guides as being fat and old, they somehow survive a very treacherous trip. Their trek was a true adventure: he heat was excruciating, the river rapids were indeed rapid, and the mosquitoes, ants, and leeches were voracious. O’Hanlon is a quirky writer with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a true love for nature, and we recommend all his books. Into the Heart of Borneo was his first travel book though, and maybe his best.
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OTHER A5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL BOOKS - REDMOND O'HANLON
While O'Hanlon is most famous for Into the Heart of Borneo , his two books on his adventures through the Amazon and the Congo are just as crazy and just as funny. We also highly recommend Trawler, his 2003 tour with a commercial fishing crew in the North Atlantic. Learn more about Redmond O'Hanlon by clicking here.
“Powerful as your scholarly interest may be, there is no matching that irrational to find a means of keeping your head on your shoulders, of retaining your frontal appendage in its accustomed place, of barring 1,700 different species of parasitic worms from your bloodstream and Wagler's pit viper from just about anywhere; of removing small, black, wild-boar ticks from your crutch with minimum discomfort (you do it with Sellotape); of declining to wear a globulating necklace of leeches all day long; of sidestepping amoebic and bacillary dysentery, yellow and blackwater and dengue fevers, malaria, cholera, typhoid, rabies, hepatitis, tuberculosis and the crocodile (thumbs in its eyes, if you have time, they say)."
- Redmond O'Hanlon, Into the Heart of Borneo
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