am 10. Juni 2000
I have a hefty amount of admiration for Robert Young Pelton: not only is he a guy who gets to go to all the places I'd like to see, but he's a pretty talented writer with a nifty wit as well.
So what's my beef with this book then? It seems like RYP admires himself equally well. To his credit, he never actually comes out and says so; nevertheless, his overly florid prose gives the secret away. While there is some great writing in this book (most of which has appeared before in his Dangerous Places books, see below) there are far too many passages that reek of an author out of control. Where was the editor on this book?
I have no problem with the content here: the biographical passages describing his youth are just as compelling as his travel stories. It's a great story... I just wish he had written it with the same modest restraint that characterizes his other work.
For his great stuff, pick up a copy of The World's Most Dangerous Places (preferably the new edition.) Required reading for the enlightened traveler and citizen of the 21st century.
am 22. Juli 2000
Having enjoyed immensely Pelton's prior work, The World's Most Dangerous Places, I was thoroughly disappointed with The Adventurist. As another reviewer aptly noted, Pelton's latest book was a rambling 220-page self-aggrandizing press release. Worse yet, the prose is very choppy (jumping abruptly from narratives about the front lines of Afghanistan to discourses about his stunted childhood) and lacks compelling detail. Just when a narrative starts to become interesting, it simply fizzles out. In short, The Adventurist is a collection of short, disjointed passages that bluntly, flatly, and shamelessly portray the author as an intrepid hero, as opposed to a woven narrative that describes the author's experiences and allows the reader to form his own opinions about the author. The Adventurist would have been better served by a ghostwriter with a sense of literary style.