Part fiction, part non-fiction, Charles Nicholl's The Fruit Palace was a book begging to be written on the Great Cocaine Story from the 1980's. Setting out to report on the who, how and why of Colombian cocaine smuggling, Nicholl propels himself to the forefront of the story, in typical gonzo fashion. In the process he he samples plenty of product, deals with loads of shady characters and puts himself squarely in harms way in order to try and get the scoop.
Hunter S. Thompson's legendary road-trippin novel follows Raoul Duke and his Attorney, Dr Gonzo, on their drug-fuelled search for the American Dream in Las Vegas. The book that birthed gonzo journalism, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is widely considered as an American literary classic and one which deserves to read again and again in order to enjoy, understand and then simply enjoy once again.
King Solomon's Mines is a classic adventure novel that introduced the great white hunter Allan Quartermain to the world in the late 19th century. Written in personal narrative format (despite being fiction), the novel was hugely successful and tells the story of a group of Englishmen who set of into the hinterland of deep dark Africa in search of fabled treasure and the missing brother of one of their party.
Arabian Sands by Sir Wilfred Thesiger is an all-time classic mostly describing his travels and exploration of The Empty Quarter, Yemen and The Western Sands in Arabia in the mid to late 1940’s. An extremely important and fascinating account of the nomadic Bedouin (the Bedu) and their lifestyle, Arabian Sands exposes the reader to a wealth of information on the people, history, geography and customs of this arid region.
Like most children I can recall many times where I would stay up late in bed reading a book by torch under the blankets. Escaping to foreign lands between the page, I felt an absolute need to read just one more page. Whilst I no longer need to read under my blankets, that feeling of unabated joy was something akin to what I felt when reading Nordhoff and Hall's historical novel of the most infamous of mutinies.