For those of us who love travelling but may have mobility issues that make extensive travelling difficult, reading provides a great alternative. A myriad of travellers have been putting pen to paper for decades and here are four of the best to get you started:
Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2007, this a heartbreaking and exquisitely written masterpiece. Set in 1960s Nigeria, a boy from a poor village goes to work for a radical university professor. Soon they are joined by Olanna, a young woman, and Richard, an English writer. When civil war engulfs the nation the characters are separated and their lives pulled apart in unthinkable ways. A powerful account of the Biafran War that explores the subtleties of human relationships and psychological impact of colonialism.
Well known for his pithy, observational insights into local culture, Bill Bryson is famously excellent at capturing the essence of any country he has visited. This novel highlights the quirkiness of the island country of Australia: its friendly inhabitants, its hot, dry weather as well as its lethal and peculiar wildlife. Combining humour, wonder and fun facts, it’s well worth a read for anyone who is interested in getting a flavour of Australia.
A cult classic that was widely popularised by the Leonard Di Caprio movie of the same name. This novel captures travel in Thailand in the 1990s. Cheap, unhygienic guesthouses, backpackers drinking cheap beer, undiscovered beaches and drug kingpins running the show from the background all feature in this brilliant novel. If you’ve never visited Thailand, or even if you have, this novel is a must read.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2008, this powerful novel showcases the raw underbelly of India and the Caste System that keeps people firmly in poverty. Darkly comic, the story follows a Bangalore driver through the corrupt system of modern India. A narrative genius and an authentic voice, this novel was a publishing sensation and a provocative read that is hard to put down.
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