Thursday, April 20, 2006

Book Off The Shelf (An Excellent Book #2)

I have decided it's time to dig out from the bookshelves and dust down what I consider to be another 'Excellent Book' (Book Off The Shelf #2). Book Off The Shelf #1 (you may remember) being Tarquin Hall's Salaam Brick Lane).
I first came across Out of Chingford, Round the North Circular and up the Orinoco in the late 80's when I was working in a Head Office department of 'A Very Well Known Supermarket Chain Beginning With 'T'!). My immediate boss Doris (the Office Supervisor) used to buy book upon book, and after she'd read them she would always lend them to me. I'm pleased to say that she had excellent taste in books (and by that of course I mean she bought books that I liked)! The 'Doris library' I recall, consisted mainly of Biographies, Autobiographies and Travel Writing.
So anyway, a couple of years ago I remembered (for some reason) this particular book that I'd read in my late teens and started on a mission to find a copy and read it again. Well, it took a while, partly because I couldn't actually remember the title! I remembered the North Circular bit (you can't really forget it once you've encountered the North Circular!) but the rest was all rather hazy - somewhere out of London and up a river... was it the Zambezi??
But then came the day when Amazon came up trumps as ever... and there it was - out of print but part of a motley variety of second hand copies just waiting to come home with me! I see that my beloved copy was actually published in 1989 by Coronet, so presumably Doris bought it when it first came out and leant it to her book-loving 19 year old office minion!
I suppose you might be wondering (I'm going to tell you anyway!) what the book's actually about? Authors Tanis and Martin Jordan are the adventurous couple who go galivanting around the world (usually inhospitable parts of it) and share their escapades in an amusing and gripping fashion with us, the humble readers. I think they went on this particular adventure up the Orinoco River in the 70's.
I not only love this book, but think it's probably the best title I've ever come across. I am perhaps slightly biased seeing as the places are all familiar... well Chingford (I was born about 10 miles from Chingford) and the North Circular anyway... I am slightly less familiar with the Orinoco!
So there you have it - definitely worth a read if you can track down a copy from Mr. Amazon.


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