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The Backpacker Paperback – Nov 1 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale; Reprint edition (Nov. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840247711
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840247718
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Lord of the Flies for the bored 20-something generation. Written in an accessible and conversational style, it's a book you’ll find hard to put down and a story you'll find equally hard to believe."  —Adventure Travel

"[The Backpacker] is as exciting as any novel but with the added bonus of being real." —Booklist Online

"Truly unique." —

About the Author

John Harris has traveled for many years, including as a building instructor in Nigeria through Voluntary Service Overseas. 

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love these backpacker adventure stories so I am biased to begin with. As I backpacked myself in my younger years the travel experiences are always exciting. However this story is really exceptional in regard to danger and well worth the read and you will have a really cool story to re-tell.
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By hush on Dec 27 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
rattles on a bit
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Oddly Inspirational July 10 2005
By Lindsey Kaughton - Published on
Format: Paperback
With its laddish overtones, ribald; almost crass style, I wanted to dislike this one from the start. The trouble was I could not put it down. It's all those things I always believed makes for a bad read - bad grammer, worse punctuation, simple and linear plot - and yet here I am giving the damn thing the thumbs up. The reason being, I think, is that John, the hapless protagonist, conveys his story to us without the usual analysis. It's writing brfore writing became so self-concious.
Decent read by a backpacker who experienced some horrific things Aug. 7 2014
By Deborah Fortuna - Published on
Format: Paperback
Good book. This travel read, of course, is all true and actually happened. These guys took risks and experienced tragedy. It's a good read for someone who is interested to travel to Thailand's beaches---know what things to avoid.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Adventure of a Life time Feb. 11 2013
By Dan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book kept me on my toes throughout the whole read. I tried to read as little as I could, so that the experience could last longer, but I was unable to put it down.

If your into spontaneous adventure, with tales of danger along the way, throughout south east asia, australia and hong kong, then this book is your you.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Life is like a box of chocolats Aug. 30 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
you never know what you're going to get." Very true (Forrest Gump) for this adventure.
John Harris describes his own story as he engaged it when he was twenty-five.
In particular a story about friendship. All types of elements from the backpacker's world are here. Dissing the longing for a secure life in a Western country (home, car, family, dog), working the 9 to 5 job, travelling around different countries, meeting other backpackers, interacting with the locals and experiencing other cultures.
The only minor points in the book according to me are the following: There is a certain loss for the main characters but it's only briefly mentioned at the time but never ever brought back in to memory again. This was somewhat unconvincing to me. The second point is the entering of one of the country's. They enter it without receiving a stamp in their passport. This is likely to give a problem if discovered upon exit. When I arrived at the border of Mexico-Guatemala, a fellow backpacker (who I met on the bus from Mexico-City) and I had our passports checked at they airport but we both didn't receive a stamp. This WAS a problem! We were led to a distant customs office. We had a little interrogation, some phonecalls, a fine paid and at least two hours lost.
So at least there should have been some anxiety about that in The Backpacker. Not so. Nothing at all.

If you can smile about the somewhat egocentric point of view from the main characters than this, predominately book for males, is a good read. I especially recommend it as a holiday read. If possible at a beach in Thailand.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nonsensical but entertaining Oct. 26 2006
By D. Macpherson - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of books about SE Asia; novels, memoirs and biographies. This appears to me to be a novel and neither of the other 2. I am in the middle of reading the book and I have to say that a number of issues let it down. Its continuity struggles by tripping and falling over itself in its quest to be an all adventure tale. From the near beginning when the narrator is accosted in the train station in Goa and saved by his alter ego when his assailant receives a kick to the head I couldn't help wondering why our hero wasn't sprayed with remnants of the 4 inches of water and crap that he had been wading through seconds before, I knew that I would be mildly entertained by this text and not enthralled as I had hoped.

The latest laughable events have involved our explorer going down with Dengue Fever yet to miraculously recover once he discovered it was merely a virus and not the hoped for Malaria. Having known people nearly die from Dengue and its resulting ailments I find this stretching the truth that little too far. The recent outbreak and deaths in South Asia will testify to that.

Nevertheless, an entertaining read. It will never be a Quiet American (Graham Greene), a Bangkok 8 (John Burdett) or a Smoking Poppy (Graham Joyce) even, it may well make a heady comparitive with the likes of Hell on Hoe Street (Jeremy Cameron - make sure you have cockney rhyming slang translator) or an Operation Fantasy Plan (Peter Gilboy).

I'm just anticipating what other entertaining nonsense I will have to endure before reaching the end.