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Monks and Motorcycles: From Laos to London by the Seat of My Pants 1956-1958 [Paperback]

Franklin E. Huffman

Price: CDN$ 26.28 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 16 2004
In 1956, 22-year-old Frank Huffman embarks on a journey that will take him from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to the exotic Orient, and eventually around the world. In this fascinating tale of adventure, Huffman shares his experiences and emotions during two years as a French interpreter for a community development team on the Plain of Jars in Laos, Indochina.

At the end of his tour in Laos, he buys a motorcycle and sets out for Europe, with only a National Geographic map of Asia and the optimism of youth as his guide. He takes us along for the ride as he

  • climbs the fabled Angkor Wat in Cambodia,
  • cycles up the road to Mandalay in Burma,
  • floats up the Chindwin River on a river boat,
  • is chased by a motorcycle-hating cow near the Taj Mahal,
  • participates in a mutiny on a ramshackle bus in the Pakistani desert,
  • thumbs his way across Iran to Turkey, and
  • carouses through Europe in a Simca with pilfered sleeping bags and C-rations.

Throughout this marathon, Huffman offers keen insights on the culture and society of Laos and the some 25 countries he passes through, and also provides trenchant commentary on subsequent events in those countries. Huffman's self-deprecatory humor and his undisputed mastery of the English language make Monks and Motorcycles a delightful read.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (Sept. 16 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595327605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595327607
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 16 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vicarious Adventures March 18 2005
By a. Nemoianu - Published on Amazon.com
When I finished reading Franklin Huffman's travelogue--with a whole section of interesting pictures, albeit a bit faded and just black-and-white--the first thought that came to my mind was: It is hard these days to conceive of a young American traveling as freely through the world, particularly in Asia, as this author (also well-known linguist and accomplished diplomat) did in the fifties. All the more reason to do it vicariously, by reading it, chapter by chapter, one more interestig than the other, and enjoying funny happenings, cross-cultural misunderstandings, lessons in ethnolinguistics, and lots of geography--the last maybe more needed now than ever. The style is direct and highly accessible; the lessons are far-ranging and memorable. For the impatient reader: Each chapter can be read separately, like a short-story taking place in a different place.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Adventure Jan. 22 2005
By John B. Toker - Published on Amazon.com
This book captivates a sense of adventure and transformation from the `every day' life into the enchantment of what can be. Each chapter fits as almost complete stories, which allows the power of events to happen at a timely pace. Normally, I read several hundred pages, for this type of genre, in a few hours. Monk's and Motorcycles is the sort of book that lends itself to reading a chapter at time. The author's ideas leave `food for thought.' This book reflects a sincere person who's able to convey how his life is today as it stands, partly, on the `shoulders of the lessons learned in the time that this story takes place.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgetable adventure across Southeast Asia and beyond March 3 2006
By Tanner Cerand - Published on Amazon.com
Monks and Motorcycles is unlike any other book I've read, before or since. A fascinating account of an unforgettable adventure across Southeast Asia and beyond, Monks and Motorcycles challenges readers to think that breath taking experiences the world over are just a motor cycle ride away. Masterfully written and powerfully affecting, Monks and Motorcycles is a gift to dreamers and travelers alike! Don't let it pass you by.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book June 12 2014
By LL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful adventure story written by a true scholar. We had the privilege of meeting the author who is now in his later years and he told us about his book so we had to read it and loved it.

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