you never know what you're going to get." Very true (Forrest Gump) for this adventure.
John Harris describes his own story as he engaged it when he was twenty-five.
In particular a story about friendship. All types of elements from the backpacker's world are here. Dissing the longing for a secure life in a Western country (home, car, family, dog), working the 9 to 5 job, travelling around different countries, meeting other backpackers, interacting with the locals and experiencing other cultures.
The only minor points in the book according to me are the following: There is a certain loss for the main characters but it's only briefly mentioned at the time but never ever brought back in to memory again. This was somewhat unconvincing to me. The second point is the entering of one of the country's. They enter it without receiving a stamp in their passport. This is likely to give a problem if discovered upon exit. When I arrived at the border of Mexico-Guatemala, a fellow backpacker (who I met on the bus from Mexico-City) and I had our passports checked at they airport but we both didn't receive a stamp. This WAS a problem! We were led to a distant customs office. We had a little interrogation, some phonecalls, a fine paid and at least two hours lost.
So at least there should have been some anxiety about that in The Backpacker. Not so. Nothing at all.
If you can smile about the somewhat egocentric point of view from the main characters than this, predominately book for males, is a good read. I especially recommend it as a holiday read. If possible at a beach in Thailand.