Thursday, September 25, 2014

Audio Book Review: "Under Asian Skies" by Sam Manicom

Listening to an audio book is almost as good as meeting the author in person.
A popular adventure motorcyclist author is Sam Manicom.  His first book "Into Africa" (printed and audio book available) highlighted his travels around Africa.  His second book "Under Asian Skies: Australia to Europe by Motocycle" continues the story of his world travels on his BMW GS Motorcyle.

I have recently finished listening to "Under Asian Skies" - all 11h 40m of the book!

The pace of the book is good which meant that I never felt I needed to speed the reading up or that moments in the chapters had little interest, which might have lead me to skipping to the next chapter. There with certainly enough interesting 'talking' points to keep me engaged.  The chapters (and hours) seemed to speed past and before I knew it, I was into the last hour of the book.

Listening to Sam as he reads his adventures outloud had me fascinated with his attention to detail. He briefly mentions writing a journal (as part of his daily routine) and somehow managed to capture huge amounts of detail, mostly around people, places and daily activities. You won't be dulled into a narration of his daily journal, instead you will gleam an insight into the life of a motorcyclist overlander.

The authors voice is amazingly clear and articulate and his tone and mood wonderfully stylish. His writing is organised and in my opinion, entertaining and informative.

I purchased the book through Audible and listened to the book via my phone, mostly linked to my Toyota Prado's radio or on the bus commuting to work meetings.  The only downside of the audio book is the lack of ability to mark an interesting paragraph and re-read.  The Audible app has a bookmark feature but I was never quick enough to get the phone out of my pocket, unlock it and bookmark it, or I was driving and needed to focus on city traffic.  Buzz words or phrases would leap out of Sam's reading like "Into full cruise mode" and "Travel Blind" which would capture the moment in Sam's journey and in my listening.

I would recommend the audio book over the printed book purely because of the way that the author narrates his story.  It was his overland journey, he knows the people and places he reads about it in a way which we can't capture when reading a book, and that counts a lot.  Adding your voice to a printed book misses elements of the travels that potentially the author might have found fascinating.

Time to listen, visit Audible.com and purchase a copy of the book.  It only costs the equivalent of 3 Australian 'Flat White' coffees!