Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A model for us all

I picked up 'The Mammoth book of Wild Journeys' which is a collection of travel writing excerpts from the early 20th century to the present.
Each of the 40 writers has a mini bio at the start.
The best bio is this one:

"Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Fawcett DSO was born in England in 1867 and led several expeditions to the Amazon and Mato Grosso. In 1925 he disappeared without trace in the Brazilian jungle whilst searching for a lost city. With Fawcett perished his son Jack, and their friend raleigh Rimmell."

AWESOME!!! And, need I say it, Whizzo!

The worst writer I found was this guy:

"The travel writer Shiva Naipaul died in 1985, aged forty. His books include 'Fireflies', 'the Chip-chip Gatherers' and 'Beyond the Dragon's Mouth'. An annual prize in his memory is awarded by the 'Spectator'."

Yeah, well I'm thinking this prize is awarded to the most ignorant and stupid travel writer of the year.
This guy (who is a proffessional free-lance travel writer) was sent to write about Morroco.
He writes "Nor, perhaps, would I have gone if I had known it was the holy month of Ramadan and been forewarned of the privations and dangers to which I would be exposed to..."

Well, with that level of research perhaps the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Award is for the travel writer most like Matthew Reilly!


Liam said...


pete said...

As you know, Fawcett received his DSO during the Great War.

"Save me some kippers, lads, I'll be back for breakfast" he said, as he set out on a single handed night attack behind enemy lines, armed only with a bayonet.

After wiping out two German divisions, liberating the town of Charmes, and sending a brief manuscript to the Royal Society concerning a previously undiscovered species of waterfowl found in the Alsace region, he returned to his unit. "Whizzo lads. I would have gone all the way to Berlin, but I ran out of tea"

Have a look at his picture in Wikipedia: not only does Fawcett have the requisite steely gaze of the adventurerer, but a pipe and ridiculous moustache as well!

Mindy said...

Harry, I think you should start growing a ridiculous moustache immediately.

harry said...

You first, partygirl.

Only once have I grown a ridiculous moustache and that was to look like a trucker/pornstar, and I have no real desire to repeat it.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

I didn't know Mammoths could read.