I’ve already mentioned here my interest in this circumnavigation story more than once. The book about it surprised me more than once as well. First, by having been apparently written by Mike himself – I had expected a ghost writer. (If there was one, they did an amazing job.) Second, by being really good. Sure, Mike was blogging all along the way, but blogging is easy. Even I can do that, but for all my graphomaniac tendencies I wouldn’t trust myself to write a readable book. Consequently it surprises me that eight months after its publication I’m still the only one admitting its ownership at LibraryThing.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t say a new Steinbeck was born. But I did enjoy it about as much as Travels with Charley, although inevitably for different reasons. One was reading about something I had been, so to say, watching live while it lasted. Another was the book’s motto, ‘You’re only as big as the dreams you dare to live’. I’ve no idea who this was stolen from but it’s great. And there were original words as if written about myself, for example ‘My mind never let me rest for long. I was always thinking of jobs that needed to be done’. Or:
Everything was going so well.
Of course, you know it’s never going to last.
Which brings me to the most important reason for liking the book. It’s not about extreme hardships successfully overcome. It’s about persevering despite being constantly hindered by unexpected delays, technical malfunctions and the like. Things tiring you and tempting you to give up not by their immensity, but by their seeming pettiness and perpetuality. By there always being some new bother just behind the corner.
Still, however many times you may consider giving in, in the end you don’t, and at long last you get to the end of the journey.
As far as I can tell, Mike is in most things totally different from me. I daresay we have something in common too.