I wouldn’t travel with Redmond O’Hanlon personally, although I’m quite happy to be a vicarious companion. And judging from O’Hanlon’s opener here–where he tries to find someone to accompany him in his latest foray–it seem that my opinion is shared by O’Hanlon’s friends. Except for one–who is shown to be under a mistaken impression about what a jaunt down the Amazon is like, not to mention having Redmond O’Hanlon planning the trip.
The title aptly describes the action. If you read O’Hanlon’s Into the Heart of Borneo, this book follows without nary a break. While it doesn’t have quite the originality of the first book, it doesn’t fail to fulfill the promise of that book either. O’Hanlon’s a little bit wiser, but still as trusting and stubborn. He presses on in circum- stances where most would have turned around–things like the fiercest tribe of natives in the world, torrential rainfall (not to be trifled with, especially on a river), and rapids in which he is dumped and unable to escape until a mile or so down river.
The best thing about O’Hanlon–although the amazing trips he takes are worthwhile in and of themselves–is the companions that he does manage to take. I’m not talking about the physical companions, who do provide humorous interludes, but the ones that are to be found in the books–the explorers who have traveled this route before. Rather than just supplying a bibliography, O’Hanlon uses them to annotate his own trip. An adventurer and a scholar, O’Hanlon’s one of the best.
[Finished 10 December 1994]