Martin Fletcher - Almost Heaven - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780349139999
    • Publication date:24 Oct 2013

Almost Heaven

Travels Through the Backwoods of America

By Martin Fletcher

  • Paperback
  • £10.99

*A fresh, fast-paced and humorous look at 'hidden' America.

After seven years as Washington correspondent of THE TIMES, Martin Fletcher set off to explore the great American 'boondocks' - the raw and untamed land that exists far from the famous cities and national parks. His extraordinary journey takes him to places no tourist would ever visit, to amazing communities outsiders have never heard of, to the quintessential America. He encounters snake-handlers, moonshiners, creationists, outlaws, polygamists, white supremacists and communities preparing for Armageddon. He goes bear hunting in West Virginia, fur trapping in Louisiana, diamond digging in Arkansas and gold prospecting in Nevada. From the eccentric but friendly to the frankly unhinged, the inhabitants of backwater America and their preoccupations, prejudices and traditions are brought vividly to life.
'Fletcher is not only capable of excellent penmanship, but is also able to view the country and its people as both outsider and insider, and does so without being judgmental. I found his warm and subtly humorous style very appealing, and I highly recommend this book' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Biographical Notes

Martin Fletcher was educated at Edinburgh University and the University of Pennsylvania. He joined THE TIMES in 1983, became its Washington correspondent in 1989, and US editor in 1993. Married with three children, he is now based in Belfast.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349109350
  • Publication date: 01 Apr 1999
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: Abacus
Surprising, entertaining and original — SUNDAY TIMES
A gourmet's guide to the boondocks — INDEPENDENT
Sharply detailed and warmly insightful ... fascinating and consistently enlightening, wonderfully funny and unbelievably true — TIME OUT
A well-observed, warm-hearted travelogue, with plenty of good humour and a cast of amazing characters — TLS
Hachette Books

See You Again in Pyongyang

Travis Jeppesen
Authors:
Travis Jeppesen

From ballistic missile tests to stranger-than-fiction stories of purges and assassinations, news from North Korea never fails to dominate the global headlines. But what is life there actually like?In See You Again in Pyongyang, Jeppesen culls from his experiences living, traveling, and studying in North Korea to create a multi-faceted portrait of the country and its idiosyncratic capital city. Not quite memoir, not quite travelogue, not quite history book, Jeppesen offers a poignant and utterly original examination of the world's strangest country. Anchored by the experience of his five trips to North Korea, Jeppesen weaves in his observations and interactions with citizens from all walks of life, constructing a narrative rich in psychological detail, revealing how the North Korean system actually functions and perpetuates itself in the day-to-day, beyond the propaganda-fueled ideology.He challenges the Western notion that Pyongyang is merely a "showcase capital" where everything is staged for the benefit of foreigners, as well as the idea that Pyongyangites are brainwashed robots. Going beyond the clichés of "taboo tourism" and the "good versus evil" tenor of politicians and media reports, See You Again in Pyongyang is an essential addition to the literature about one of the world's most fascinating and mysterious places.

PublicAffairs

All Over the Place

Geraldine DeRuiter
Authors:
Geraldine DeRuiter

Most travel memoirs involve a button-nosed protagonist nursing a broken heart who, rather than tearfully watching The Princess Bride while eating an entire 5-gallon vat of ice cream directly out of the container (like a normal person), instead decides to travel the world, inevitably falling for some chiseled stranger with bulging pectoral muscles and a disdain for wearing clothing above the waist.This is not that kind of book.Geraldine met the love of her life long before this story began, on a bus in Seattle surrounded by drunk college kids. She gets lost constantly, wherever she goes. And her nose would never, ever be considered "button-like."Hilarious, irreverent and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the five-year period that kicked off when Geraldine got laid off from a job she loved and took off to travel the world. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she understands her Russian father now better than ever before. She learned that at least half of what she thought was her mother's functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called "being Italian." She learned about unemployment and brain tumors and lost luggage and lost opportunities and just getting lost, in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned what it's like to travel the world with someone you already know and love. How that person can help you make sense of things, and can, by some sort of alchemy, make foreign cities and far-off places feel like home. In All Over the Place, Geraldine imparts the insight she gained while being far from home-wry, surprising, but always sincere, advice about marriage, family, health, and happiness that come from getting lost and finding the unexpected.

Robinson

Moscow

Laurence Kelly
Authors:
Laurence Kelly

Founded in 1147, Moscow was for much of its early history in thrall to other nations - to the Khans, the Tartars and the Poles. The city was devastated by fire time and again, but with each rebuilding, it grew ever more magnificent. For every church that was destroyed, it seemed that two more were built. In this evocative and fascinating anthology, Moscow's turbulent growth is recorded through the voices of visitors and residents: Peter the Great's bloody reprisals after the revolt of the streltsy in 1698; a visit to the city's brothels by medical students in the 1890s; Kutuzov abandoning Moscow to Napoleon in 1812, and Napoleon's ignominious retreat from the burning city; Pushkin railing against the mindlessness of 1830 society; the flowering of literary greatness in the ninenteenth century and of the Moscow Art Theatre in the twentieth; and the dazzling profusion of jewels in the Treasury of the Kremlin.These and many other milestones in over seven hundred years of history are brought vividly to life.

Black Dog & Leventhal

Atlas of Lost Cities

Aude de Tocqueville
Authors:
Aude de Tocqueville

Like humans, cities are mortal. They are born, they thrive, and they eventually die. In Atlas of Lost Cities, Aude de Tocqueville tells the compelling narrative of the rise and fall of such notable places as Pompeii, Teotihuacán, and Angkor. She also details the less well known, including Centralia, an abandoned Pennsylvania town consumed by unquenchable underground fire; Nova Citas de Kilamba in Angola, where housing, schools, and stores were built for 500,000 people that never came; and Epecuen, a tourist town in Argentina now swallowed up by water. Original artwork shows the location of the lost cities, as well as a depiction of how they looked when they thrived.

Black Dog & Leventhal

Atlas of Cursed Places

Olivier Le Carrer
Authors:
Olivier Le Carrer
Constable

The Bookshop That Floated Away

Sarah Henshaw
Authors:
Sarah Henshaw
Abacus

Rolling Through The Isles

Ted Simon
Authors:
Ted Simon

From the bestselling author of Jupiter's Travels and Dreaming of Jupiter comes an entertaining and inspiring new journey round Britain.Having crisscrossed the globe twice, Ted returns to the British Isles to rediscover the country of his youth. The result is a revealing portrait of modern Britain and a witty and affectionate journey back to the past, when Ted would hitchhike across the country visiting friends (and girlfriends).He returns to the site of his old school with its astonishing war time history and visits familiar haunts where he did his National Service and got his first job in newspapers. He also visits less-familiar places. Some inspire him (Winchester Cathedral). Others defeat him (a tax office in Nottingham). As he rolls through the Isles, he discovers that a great deal has changed: busier roads, bureaucracy and, worst of all, the dreaded 'Sat Nav'. But there is also much to celebrate and enjoy along the way.Packed with fascinating stories, extraordinary encounters and glorious depictions of the British countryside, Rolling through the Isles takes the reader on an unforgettable trip with a celebrated adventurer and writer.

Abacus

Urban Worrier

Nick Thorpe
Authors:
Nick Thorpe

Hunched exhausted at his computer one ordinary Monday morning, world-class workaholic Nick Thorpe has reached the end of his tether. Fearing for his health and family life, he knows something has to change. But where to start when trying too hard is part of the problem? Nick makes a bold resolution: he will spend a year learning to let go. Beginning with a plunge off a Cornish cliff, he soon graduates to wing-walking on a bi-plane, city-centre clowning and a revealing weekend at a naturist convention. But the more he tries to relax, the bigger the questions: can you be happy if you're not in control? Is true contentment all in the mind? And what does his small, brown dog know that Nick doesn't?From a school where pupils make the rules, to meditation and rafting in Sweden; from the chaos of a Durban street shelter to a silent monastery in New Mexico, URBAN WORRIER charts a humorous and often moving quest for the ultimate modern grail: how to find balance and fulfilment in today's high-speed world.

Abacus

Crazy River

Richard Grant
Authors:
Richard Grant

No-one travels like the renowned writer-adventurer Richard Grant and, really, no-one should. Having narrowly escaped death at the hands of Mexican drug barons in Bandit Roads, he now plunges with his trademark recklessness and curiosity into Africa. Setting out to make the first descent of a previously unexplored river in Tanzania, he gets waylaid by thieves, whores and a degenerate former golf pro in Zanzibar, then crosses the Indian Ocean in a cargo dhow before the real adventure begins on the Malagarasi river. Travelling by raft, dodging bullets, hippos, lions and crocodiles, hacking through swamps and succumbing to fevers, Grant's gripping, illuminating and often hilarious book will thrill his devoted readers and bring him to an even broader audience.

Abacus

A Mountain In Tibet

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen

Throughout the East there runs a legend of a great mountain at the centre of the world, where four rivers have their source. Charles Allen traces this legend to Western Tibet where there stands Kailas, worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike as the home of their gods and the navel of the world. Close by are the sources of four mighty rivers: the sacred Ganges, the Indus, the Sutlej and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra.For centuries Kailas remained an enigma to the outside world. Then a succession of remarkable men took up the challenge of penetrating the hostile, frozen wastelands beyond the Western Himalayas, culminating in the great age of discovery, the final years of the Victorian era.A Mountain in Tibet is an extraordinary story of exploration and high adventure, full of the excitement and colour expected from the author of Plain Tales from the Raj.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Central and South Asia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Arabia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Escape from Riyadh - William Gifford PalgraveA scholar and a solider, a Jesuit and a Jew, a French spy and a British ambassador- Palgrave was a man of contradictions, all of them highly compromised when in 1862-3, fortified by Pius IX's blessing and Napoleon III's cash, he attempted the first west- east crossing of the Arabian peninsular. To steely nerves and a genius for disguise he owed his eventual success; but not before both were sorely tested when, as a Syrian doctor, he became the first European to enter Riyadh. The desert capital of the fanatical Wahabis, dangerous for an infidel at the best of times, was then doubly so as the sons of the ageing King Feisal intrigued for power.Desert Days - Charles Montagu DoughtyDuring two years (1875-7) wandering in Central Arabia Doughty broke little new ground; dependant on desert charity, his achievement was simply to have survived. Yet his book, Arabia Deserta, was instantly recognized as a classic. Its eccentric prose proves well suited to that minute observation and experience of Bedouin life which was Doughty's main contribution to exploration. T.E. Lawrence called it "a bible of a kind"; both syntax and subject matter have biblical resonances, as in this description of a day's march, or rahla.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: West Africa

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: East and Central Africa

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Among the Sudanese - James BruceBruce reached the source of the Blue Nile in 1771, a century before the search for the source of the White Nile became headline news. His descriptions of the cruelties and orgies at Gondar, the Ethiopian capital, were greeted with disbelief; so was his account of the Sudanese rulers, and their queens, at Sennar. He was later shown to be an accurate observer as well as the eighteenth century's most intrepid traveller.Not the Source of the Nile - Richard Francis BurtonIn Burton a brilliant mind and dauntless physique were matched with a restless spirit and a deeply troubled soul to produce the most complex of characters. Contemptuous of other mortals, including Speke, his companion and rival, he found solace only in the extremities of erudition and adventure. A Glimpse of Lake Victoria - John Hanning SpekeIn July 1858, while returning from Lake Tanganyika with Burton, Speke made a solo excursion to the north in search of an even larger lake reported by an Arab informant. Although partially blind and unable to ascertain its extent, he named this lake "Victoria" and boldly declared it the long sought source of the White Nile. The Reservoir of the Nile - Samuel White BakerAmongst professional explorers and big game hunters, none was as successful as Baker. A bluff and plausible figure, wealthy and resourceful, he conducted his explorations on the grand scale, invariably reached his goal and invariably reaped the rewards.Last Days - David LivingstoneLivingstone was nurtured in poverty and religious fervour. He reached southern Africa as a missionary doctor but, more suited to solitary exploration, edged north in a series of pioneering journeys into the interior. Encounters on the Upper Congo - Henry Morton StanleyStanley made his name as an explorer by tracking down Livingstone in 1871. But obscure Welsh origins, plus the adoption of US citizenship and professional journalism, did not endear him to London's geographical establishment. His response was to out-travel all contemporaries, beginning with the first ever coast-to-coast crossing of equatorial Africa. A Novice at Large - Joseph ThomsonBarely twenty and just out of Edinburgh University, Thompson was unexpectedly employed on the Royal Geographical Society's 1878 expedition to the Central African lakes. Unlike Burton he admired Africans; unlike Stanley he would not fight them. His motto - "he who goes slowly, goes safely; he who goes safely, goes far" - was never more seriously tested that when, just six weeks inland from Dar es Salaam, his first expedition lost Keith Johnston, its leader and Thompson's only European companion.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Australia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: North America

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: South America

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Arctic

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Sphere

Billy Connolly's Route 66

Billy Connolly
Authors:
Billy Connolly

Britain's best-loved comedian hits the most famous highway in the world on an unforgettable journey.Billy Connolly, music-lover, biker, and scourge of the beige and bland the world over, has dreamed about taking a trip on the legendary Route 66 since he heard Chuck Berry belting out one of the greatest rock 'n' roll records of all time. And now he's finally had the chance to do it, travelling every mile on his custom-made trike in search of the real America that can still be found beyond the nation's freeways.Taking in both the essential icons and the hidden gems of the 'Mother Road', Billy also meets up with plenty of the memorable characters who call it home. With his instinct for a good story, and the infectious enthusiasm that has made him our most engaging national treasures, Billy Connolly is the ultimate guide to the ultimate road trip.

Abacus

Playing Cards In Cairo

Hugh Miles
Authors:
Hugh Miles

PLAYING CARDS IN CAIRO is a fly-on-the-wall account - like THE BOOKSELLER OF KABUL - of life (for western readers) in a strange and exotic environment. Hugh Miles lives in Cairo and is engaged to an Egyptian woman. Twice a week he plays cards with a small group of Arab, Muslim women and through this medium he explores their lives in modern Cairo, the greatest of Arab cities. It is a secretive, romantic, often deprived but always soulful existence for the women as they struggle with abusive husbands and philandering boyfriends. The book is a window onto a city - and a way of life - which is at a crucial juncture in its history. Hugh Miles, who knows the Arab world intimately, is the perfect guide.