Possibly the best “travel” book I’ve read – The question is are you experienced enough to read it?
Last week I mentioned some books in my article on secondhand bookshops and the nicest bookseller in the world. A few people asked about them so I thought about adding a small supplemental review of travel books I’ve read while in Nepal. Starting with one of my favorites “Are you experienced” by William Sutcliff.
There are three very important considerations before even remotely thinking about reading Are you experienced:
1) Are you British? Or do you get the British sense of humor? If not, then Are you experienced may not appeal to you as much. Indeed, you might even find parts of it offensive or irrelevant in terms of the British slang used throughout the book.
2) Have you traveled for over a few months? If not, you may not get this. If yes, read this book and relive your journey with a giant smile of recognition.
3) If you have loose bowels don’t buy this book. It can cause uncontrollable laughter and unfortunate accidents.
If you are of an open mind and can accept the above, then just go for it and get the book!
What’s the book Are you experienced all about?
Sex. Well, not really, but yes it’s basically about a reluctant backpacker only going to India so he can try to sleep with his best mate’s girlfriend. And no, it’s not a tacky
book, it’s side splittingly funny.
A sudden reluctant backpacker thrown into the horror’s of India at the heated suggestion of a charming girl. Dave (no relation), is forced to come to terms with “finding himself” rather than Liz’s bed. The reason is simple. Once Liz lands in India she quickly becomes one of those annoying travelers who becomes Indian. Or, at least thinks she does.
Enter the all-knowing Jeremy who’s “lived” India already, and Dave soon hates Liz and her new mentor with utter sarcastic wit.
Meet every backpacking, hippie, traveler stereotype you can think of
Public school boys (rich kids), girls in crises, horny guys, hippie travelers, meditating all shagging gurus, annoying beggar kids and the odd stoner all make appearances here. As do self doubts, bad sex, worse sex, no sex. Projectile vomiting, and one of the best toilet scenes ever written. Thanks in part to a possible dog burger.
Throw in the dark serious underlying storyline of shallow human nature while traveling to discover oneself when all you do is go back home anyway. Made perfectly clear by a chance, and a not very welcoming, run in with a journalist and you have an amazingly accurate take on the travel culture of today.
Gaseously funny reading
At a mere 235 pages many fans of “are you experienced” read this in one sitting. And, it’s not hard to see how. If you get the humor then it’s very very hard to put down.
One of those books that make you not ashamed to sit in a corner, alone. And then burst into outrageous guffaws of recognition, belly laughter, and if you are not careful a possible flatulent accident (I still blame the Nepalese samosa).
Hard to follow up book
I am now reading a rather famous “backpacker” type book that was made into a movie quite a few years ago. It pales in comparison to “Are you experienced”. I don’t know whether this is due to the amount of time I’ve been traveling, or due to the enjoyment of William Sutcliff’s sense of humor which I prefer.
“Are you experienced” is simply put, one of the most humorous travel books I’ve ever read.
Have you read this book? What did you think about it?
If you’d like to buy this book, please consider purchasing it through my Amazon affiliate stores below: I get a tiny, tiny commission of about USD$00.14. Maybe enough to one day save up and buy a Kindle so I can keep these books with me as I travel.
For all other regions please check your local listings
If you’d like to read some more travel reviews on books, movies and guides I’ve read then please visit my travel book review section.
Have you read this or another really good travelogue? If you have, can you leave the name of the book in the comments, I am always on the look out for good travelogues!
This is an additional travel book review based on books I’ve read throughout my journey
Liked this post?
|Never miss a post!
Subscribe to my free newsletter now for weekly updates. (Get my ebook & mobile app for free! )