- Capa comum: 402 páginas
- Editora: Octopus Ink (13 de setembro de 2016)
- Idioma: Inglês
- ISBN-10: 0995381003
- ISBN-13: 978-0995381001
- Dimensões do produto: 13,3 x 2,6 x 20,3 cm
- Peso de envio: 540 g
- Avaliação média: Seja o primeiro a avaliar este item
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Sometimes you run from love and commitment only to find it in a way that you can find no escape but to succumb to love and face it head on. Roger experienced just that when he left Australia and bumped into Taty.
The book could also be titled “Young Love”….simply fun like having Taty on his back as he crawls like a turtle into the water… making love on the beach, a beach where they were the only occupant except for the sky, the white sand and the sea. The joke was when a family showed up with kids and they didn’t have a chance to fetch their clothes. Adventurous!
The author’s writing style in my view is crisp, clear and I am sure envied by those who read his book. I liked the fact that the book was interspersed with some Spanish phrases, which was a very… very good idea. Also worth mentioning is the glossary/dictionary that is helpful for those of us who needed assistance with the meaning of some of the words.
Set against the beautiful backdrop of Ecuador we follow Roger and Taty as they endeavour to overcome their doubts and fears together whilst embarking on incredible experiences exploring all that the country has to offer with its nightlife, wildlife and culture.
This book is enjoyable because both characters are flawed but well-intentioned, desperate to be loved yet determined to be independent. It soon becomes apparent that this vivid recount is that of a truly life-changing set of circumstances in the author’s journey, one that pushed him to his very limits emotionally, physically and spiritually. And just when you think the story has been told, the author takes us down a rabbit hole into the depths of his soul as he searches for the meaning of his love for Taty.
If you enjoy exploring the nature of human emotion then you will be moved by the unique insight of love offered through the eyes of the somewhat unconventional and free-spirited author.
Luckily the story picks up when Keays ends up being arrested because his visa had expired (duh), and he ends up in an Ecuadorian gaol, which he seems to manage with amazing aplomb.
On his release, he resumes his relationship with his girlfriend, but on the expiry of his new visa, leaves the country and hits the road again, simultaneously maintaining internet contact with the ex (?) girlfriend, and having sex with other women.
Keays paints an interesting picture of himself, whether intentional or not. He comes across as arrogant, selfish, egotistical, and a womaniser who hits on women younger than himself for casual sex. He seems like a typical commitment phobe and/or someone pursuing greener grass. His personal introspection, however, is well written and adds depth to what could have become a somewhat vapid and bland book about his sexual conquests and hedonistic travel adventures.
Get past the lengthy teenage-type section at the beginning and it's a story worth reading. I'll admit the travel aspect drew me more than the love element, but the combination of the two made it a powerful story. And for those of us who travelled in pre-internet days, it's interesting to read how much things have changed. Text messages, Facebook, and, Keays works on the Internet while travelling. A far cry from me ringing home from the central exchange in Bombay (as was) and my postcards from Nepal never arriving at their destination. My promised Indian job (charity work with free board/accommodation) didn't pan out, but there was lots of work in Sydney. Keays doesn't even have to leave his hotel room for work if it has wifi.
The book raises some interesting moral issues about travelling and relationships: casual sex, sex without contraception, getting involved with people from different countries and different cultures, expectations, going back home – home doesn't change – the traveller has changed, are white western men the golden prize for latinas (or other non-white women) – the cash cow to be milked until the gold has run dry? To what extent can we remain friends with people we met/had sex with on our travels? And for how long?
Keays uses Spanish well throughout the book, although flits between translating some words, eg barrio, but not others eg muy bien. Given there is a glossary at the beginning, it seemed an odd mix. And I'm not entirely sure the average non-Spanish speaking reader couldn't work out documentos, gringo, discoteca, passaporte, for example. It's never easy to decide how to use foreign languages in books but I'm not a fan of translations in brackets after the word/s. It detracts from the flow too much. Given he doesn't use full conversations in Spanish, I thought the glossary on its own without in-text translations was fine.
The structure of the book is clearly defined and well thought through in three distinct sections: the initial stage of the romance and its development; Keays' time in gaol, subsequent release, and the adjustment of the relationship as the pair finds a balance between work, studies and love; and finally, leaving Equador and the girlfriend for more adventures and sex with other women, culminating in a reunion in Barcelona. Chapter titles are good, showing thought and imagination, acting as an enticement for each particular chapter. Descriptive passages are not overly long, but evocative of stunning scenery and run-down squalor, depending on the location. The frustrations involved with dealing with slow Spanish-speaking bureaucracy are well expressed.
And I loved the map. Maps are a must-have for travel books.
I was surprised to see it had four beta readers and an editor as I thought it read like a self-edited book with some very basic errors (including a couple in the glossary), and relatively weak initial chapters of Part 1. Do these spoil the story? No, just let it down. What should be an easy four star book, ends up as three and a half.
I really must write my own travel/love story on the other side of the world!