The Adventurist: My Life in Dangerous Places


The Adventurist is one man's story, a story that will change the way you think about travel, survival, where you have been, and where you are going.

Enter the world of Robert Young Pelton (if you dare), adventurer extraordinaire, author of Come Back Alive and The World's Most Dangerous Places (required reading at the CIA), and host of his TV series, Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places.

A breakneck autobiography, The ...

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Adventurist: My Life in Dangerous Places

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The Adventurist is one man's story, a story that will change the way you think about travel, survival, where you have been, and where you are going.

Enter the world of Robert Young Pelton (if you dare), adventurer extraordinaire, author of Come Back Alive and The World's Most Dangerous Places (required reading at the CIA), and host of his TV series, Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places.

A breakneck autobiography, The Adventurist blasts across six continents and spans four decades of hard-core living with its dispatches of mayhem, adventure in exotic locales, survival against formidable odds, memories of the pivotal events, and memorable portraits of the people that have shaped Pelton's obsessive spirit.

Be shelled with the Talibs on the front lines of Afghanistan; hang out with hit men and rebels in the Philippines; survive a plane crash in Borneo; narrowly escape a terrorist bombing in Africa; dance with headhunters in Sarawak; crew with pirates in the Sulu Sea; explore the events that led Pelton to his unusual calling (including how he honed his survival skills at "the toughest boys' school in North America"); and, perhaps most important, discover Pelton's secret mission--to understand the hearts and minds of the people he meets.

The Adventurist is a real book about the real world, an inspirational read that takes you places you might never willingly go.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Walking laboriously through minefields to the Taliban's forward line, I pause to catch my breath. The impact of former shells on the gray ground has created white, round scars. But violence is not the strongest impression. Here in the thin mountain air, the world seems tired. Wispy clouds float against a light blue sky. Worn, goat-pocked mountains echo not with bleating but with the deeper thunder of explosions. The Talibs' most forward position is a ridge littered with large shell casings, unexploded rockets, dug-up anti-tank mines, and thousands of 12.7 mm machine gun shells. Around me is an assortment of heavy and light weapons and I am cautioned not to stand up for too long or step off the path. 'Mines...Snipers' the young, black-turbaned mullah reminds me in sparse English. Overhead I can hear bullets whizzing and whistling, short twirps and whines of sound. It's hard to explain how blasé you get about bullets, like flies that can kill you."
--From The Adventurist

So begins the autobiography of the man dubbed "Dangerman" (Toronto Globe and Mail); "tourist with an attitude" (Outside magazine); and "the patron saint of adventure travelers" ( But The Adventurist is more than a book about eluding death, it's a book about challenging life--the defining book for the adventure generation.

From the Hardcover edition.

Library Journal
Part autobiographical, part adventure story, The Adventurist is one of the funniest books this reviewer has read in a long time. Pelton, author of World's Most Dangerous places most people would not set foot in and there he befriends waiters and shopkeepers as well as hitmen and terrorists. He then mixes these travel experiences with the tale of his rise as a professional journalist through comical anecdotes. Whether he's dodging gunfire and bombs n Algeria or earning his keep as a copywriter in Ontario, Pelton keeps his reader laughing and on the edge of his seat as he leads them into the always interesting and sometimes scary places and situations. Although some of the chapters have already appeared in Blue, Road and Track, Soldier of Fortune, and World's Most Dangerous Places, all of the tales in this most enjoyable book are worth reading again. Highly recommended for any travel collection.-Stephanie Papa, Baltimore Cty. Circuit Court Law Lib., MD
Kirkus Reviews
If an inflated ego and unbridled machismo were all it took to write well, Pelton (The World's Most Dangerous Places, not reviewed) would unseat Shakespeare. Pelton lives an extreme lifestyle: he travels to Afghanistan, Borneo, and Algeria and hangs out with guerrilla groups. He dances with headhunters in Sarawak, survives a plane crash in Kalimantan, and plays with pirates on the Sulu Sea. The leader of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army thinks Pelton is a mercenary hired to kill him. Such stories would have to be told by Henry Kissinger to lose their innate excitement, but Pelton nevertheless destroys his narrative through his super-smug and self-congratulatory authorial stance. Comparing himself to figures no less epic than Hercules and Odysseus, he seems to have swallowed his own self-aggrandizing public-relations blitz, meanwhile dropping weighty existential melodrama ("I feel I am someone from his past and he is someone in my future"), outlandish exaggeration ("I will learn this hard African French or I will not survive"), and jaw-dropping clichés ("There is knowledge beyond books out here") within the space of two paragraphs. All this blustering and posturing distracts incessantly from quieter narrative moments: the descriptions of his troubled childhood, his education at "the toughest boys school in North America," his early years working in advertising, and his troubled relationship with his mother are related in a straightforward and affecting manner. Unfortunately, though, Pelton's "Adventurist" persona returns. When one reads such lines as "Then she met me, someone who had the uncanny ability to notonlyread her mind but tell her what she was thinking and who she was," it becomes difficult to keep a straight face. An interesting narrative killed off by its own bluster.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767905763
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/19/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST BROADW
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 626,300
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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