Words in motion

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I love to travel and love reading travel literature. The first travel literature book I read was Dervla Murphy's In Ethiopia with a mule. Since then, I have read about numerous regions, countries and cities, each book illuminating the subject. The key to travel literature is personality: you have to want to go on the journey with the author as they are your guides. I'm going to write more about my favourite travel books in due course; today I'm focusing on Yoga for People... who can't be bothered to do it.

Lured by the title, I hoped that this was a travelogue about self-help and the many ways that people around the world try to find calm and relaxation in their lives. Indeed, the blurb on the jacket gave this impression. Instead, we're offered Geoff Dyer's own self-indulgent whining. He speaks about drifting and his feelings of nothingness and... well, that's it. I gave up after about 5 chapters, realising that I didn't have the time to waste on this man and his non-journeys. Dyer continuously asserts that's he's not bothered about what he's doing.

So, really, the question is: why should we be?

5 comments:

BostonPobble said...

Thanks for stopping by over at mine. Glad you liked the story. And, while I'm sure you've read it because it is a classic travel book, just to make sure ~ you have read Travels with Charlie by Steinbeck, right? If not ~ DO!

you like to travel, but where're you from? UK?

Adrian said...

I live in the UK, in London. I come from Cork, in Ireland.

Sara said...

I have read so many great things about that book that it has long been on my list to eventually read. Hmmm, sounds disappointing.

Kellie said...

Oh my God I fucking hate this book! It just made me want to hunt down and do unspeakable violence to Geoff Dyer's whingey self-centred face. I hated it so much I wrote a review for Amazon (which tellingly wasn't published).

How can he write that bit about the impoverished kid selling cans of coke and think he looks like anything other than a complete bastard?

Ida, I'd give you the book to witness the terribility of it for yourself, but I gave it to the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People shop.