Paul O’Leary: overseas adventures – by Michael Mardel – Review

You can read this book in two ways: as a fictional story on travel and adventure, or as an informative travel guide. Whichever way you go, you are going to find it both entertaining and worth your money. I read it as a tour guide book as I was very much interested in knowing as much as I could gather about countries such as Cuba, France, United Kingdom, etc., and I must say that this book did not disappoint me in the least. The book has been written in a somewhat humorous style. Where it differs from the rest of the tour guides is that rather than focusing on the big tourist attractions of a country which you can read about in any Lonely Planet guide, this book focuses on smaller places which are equally attractive and worth traveling to:

” At long last we were on our way to Romsey. It’s a small country town with two supermarkets and a hole in the wall for bank customers. Mitre 10 is at the entrance to the town and is full of whatever you need for hardware. They had plenty of wheels to choose from so we opted for 15 cm (6 inches) diameter ones to keep me clear of any grass in the middle of the driveway. We bought extra lengths of rope and something to attach them to the steering bar. And, of course, the lengths of wood which I had measured out.”

And even when it does describe the big, more famous tourist attractions, it does so in an original and equally humorous way:

“That night I dreamt I was flying around the Eiffel Tower like a bat. It was deserted and I had the place to myself. I darted in and out of the structure, and then scared a few tourists who were wandering past, arm in arm. Then I flew to Notre Dame de Paris and caught up with Quasimodo who was doing his own scaring. We laughed when people fell over running away. They would have some interesting tales to tell.”

If you pay close attention, you will also get some little tidbits and insights about the culture and society of these countries, again something that is not readily available in most tour guidebooks .

Although this is the third book in the Paul O’Leary series, this is the first ever book from the series I have read and I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest! This is a very original way of writing a travel guide and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

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