The Adventurist: A 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...
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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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: 9780385495677
  • Publisher: Doubleday Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/6/2000
  • Pages: 229
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001

    The real thing

    In an era of Crocodile Hunters and overweight backstabbing 'Survivors' its refreshing to discover a person who is without doubt or exception the definition of adventure. Pelton's book is speaks as plainly and as powerfully as possible to the reader about what it is like to be in deadly places and with killers. He simply recreates in painstaking physical and emotional accuracy what is like when you dance with death. He doesn't seem to fit in with the typical yuppie stereotype so pervasive in adventure magazines probably because so few people dare to follow in his footsteps. He does what he does because it is who he is. But he is not selling anything or even trying to add great importance to what he does. He is simply putting together an increasingly more powerful string of events that help the reader understand the life of adventure. There is nothing on film or television that even comes close. Pelton does have a TV show on the Travel Channel so maybe we will see more. What I found interesting is that he finds adventure and meaning in everything. His childhood, his coming of age, his friends and his experiences. And not all of those experiences, well actually none, fall prey to the standard adventurer syndrome of bragging or exageration. If anything I wanted to know more about every single story he tells. Sometimes he leaves us at the top of a misty jungle mountain or surrounded by pirates or on the front lines in Afghanistan. But that is just me expecting there to be a resolution or ending to every story. What makes this book so damn readable is that Pelton doesn't just cover incredible once in a lifetime adventures that none of us would understand. He finds purpose and meaning in teaching English in Tajikistan while on the run from the police, crashing a plane in Borneo, being seduced by a ravenous female during a business meeting, in death and birth and even when flying to the many war zones he frequents. I feel like I know Pelton and he wants us to understand that we are adventurous even if only by reading his book. The Adventurist taught me how to look at life differently, how to squeeze more out of what appear to be mundane experiences and most importantly that adventure is what life is about. Read it and you will meet a man whose simple evocative words can change your life.

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