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The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean

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The Idiot and the Odyssey

Walking the Mediterranean

By Joel Stratte-McClure

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Format: Paperback, 354 pages
Published In: Australia, 01 November 2008
When inquisitive American journalist Joel Stratte-McClure decides to walk around the Mediterranean Sea, we're in for an exhilarating adventure. As a 30-year expatriate in France, he explores the coast, countryside and regional cultures - as well as his own mind - with compulsive vigour. Armed with a copy of Homer's Odyssey, he re-opens this great book for us as he ponders life, divorce, Buddhism, alcoholism, the art of trekking and a vast collection of weird, wicked, wonderful people along the way. This is a trip to get into!

From the Author

When inquisitive American journalist Joel Stratte-McClure decides to walk around the Mediterranean Sea, we’re in for an exhilarating adventure. As a 30 year expatriate in France, he explores the coast, countryside and regional cultures – as well as his own mind – with compulsive vigour. Armed with a copy of Homer’s Odyssey, he re-opens this great book for us as he ponders life, divorce, Buddhism, alcoholism, the art of trekking and a vast collection of weird, wicked, wonderful people along the way. This is a trip to get into! About the Author: Joel Stratte-McClure, an American journalist/adventurer who lived in France for over three decades, has been writing about his global trekking and hiking adventures since the 1970s. His work has taken him to over 100 countries and his articles on a variety of subjects have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, Time Magazine, The London Times, People Magazine, Who Weekly, Fast Thinking and numerous other publications. He’s currently based in Los Angeles where, when he’s not hiking, he writes the Tinseltown SpyWitness column for the Los Angeles Daily News and is writing a book entitled “Hollywood’s Twenty-Five Hottest Latinos: How They Got There, What They’re Doing Now And Where They're Going.”

EAN: 9780977586653
ISBN: 0977586650
Publisher: ETN Communications
Dimensions: 22.5 x 14.6 centimetres (0.50 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
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Customer on
 
You are never too old to go on a new adventure; your own `unique journey' and whether it is vicariously through the pages of this book or in fact if you are inspired to fulfill your dreams, The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean is the perfect springboard to begin. There are those of us who have lived a purpose filled, driven life and in need of some reflective time. In this multi layered book you may well get lost then find yourself again and experience something potentially life changing.

Joel Stratte-McClure is a successful journalist who has reported from some of the worlds most exotic and dangerous places. At 50 he has his life under control or so he thought. The sudden and irrevocable collapse of his 20 year marriage, prompted the eternal question facing us all of `where he was going in life and why'. Inspired by Homer's Odyssey; a childhood fascination for Greek and Roman mythology, the intrepid adventurer conceives a Herculean quest, steps out of his comfort zone and decides that he is `destiny bound' to walk some 16,000 kms along the shores of the Mediterranean. The result is a richly blended tale of adventure, detailed travelogue, self reflection (ruminations) and anecdotes. Frequent quotes from Homer and the omnipresent Odysseus add to this richness and are a clever literary device. Ultimately, it is a journey to replenish the mind, body and soul.

As a wandering minstrel he plays an enticing tune and is joined by various companions on his quest; none more companionable than the faithful family labrador Bogart, "who never complains .....and he listens to whatever I want to talk about." There are a cast of colourful characters (real and imagined), various strangers, acquaintances, son Luke, various gods (the thought that the dog is a god doesn't escape him), goddesses, a sorceress, and seductive sirens that provide delicious and enchanting digressions. He has a clear view of them as characters thus blending them perfectly with the narrative.

As a travelogue, the reader can trust in the detailed research of the people, places and historical events that have shaped the world of the Mediterranean. The path taken (staying as close to the shore) is exhilarating, breathtaking and often unpredictable. The author also offers his sage like advice on favourite walks and a guide to walking meditation by incorporating a Hiking addendum on the Mediterranean.

The book certainly brings a new dimension to travel and adventure writing. Ultimately, Med (itation) trekking is about the journey; `the path is the goal, the goal the path.' The author has cleverly interwoven the wisdoms imparted by Buddhist teachings and moments of gratitude are humbling; "We walk for ourselves and we walk for those who cannot walk." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Count me as a devoted reader and I eagerly anticipate a thrilling sequel. If you look for the good in this treasured literary gem you will find it over and over. When a reader can't wait to turn the page, yet at the same time want to stay immersed in the moment, then the author has written a compelling narrative of universal appeal that will linger well on after the last page is read. Reviewed by Judith Barnett Launceston Tasmania
Customer on
 
You are never too old to go on a new adventure; your own `unique journey' and whether it is vicariously through the pages of this book or in fact if you are inspired to fulfill your dreams, The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean is the perfect springboard to begin. There are those of us who have lived a purpose filled, driven life and in need of some reflective time. In this multi layered book you may well get lost then find yourself again and experience something potentially life changing.

Joel Stratte-McClure is a successful journalist who has reported from some of the worlds most exotic and dangerous places. At 50 he has his life under control or so he thought. The sudden and irrevocable collapse of his 20 year marriage, prompted the eternal question facing us all of `where he was going in life and why'. Inspired by Homer's Odyssey; a childhood fascination for Greek and Roman mythology, the intrepid adventurer conceives a Herculean quest, steps out of his comfort zone and decides that he is `destiny bound' to walk some 16,000 kms along the shores of the Mediterranean. The result is a richly blended tale of adventure, detailed travelogue, self reflection (ruminations) and anecdotes. Frequent quotes from Homer and the omnipresent Odysseus add to this richness and are a clever literary device. Ultimately, it is a journey to replenish the mind, body and soul.

As a wandering minstrel he plays an enticing tune and is joined by various companions on his quest; none more companionable than the faithful family labrador Bogart, "who never complains .....and he listens to whatever I want to talk about." There are a cast of colourful characters (real and imagined), various strangers, acquaintances, son Luke, various gods (the thought that the dog is a god doesn't escape him), goddesses, a sorceress, and seductive sirens that provide delicious and enchanting digressions. He has a clear view of them as characters thus blending them perfectly with the narrative.

As a travelogue, the reader can trust in the detailed research of the people, places and historical events that have shaped the world of the Mediterranean. The path taken (staying as close to the shore) is exhilarating, breathtaking and often unpredictable. The author also offers his sage like advice on favourite walks and a guide to walking meditation by incorporating a Hiking addendum on the Mediterranean.

The book certainly brings a new dimension to travel and adventure writing. Ultimately, Med (itation) trekking is about the journey; `the path is the goal, the goal the path.' The author has cleverly interwoven the wisdoms imparted by Buddhist teachings and moments of gratitude are humbling; "We walk for ourselves and we walk for those who cannot walk." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Count me as a devoted reader and I eagerly anticipate a thrilling sequel. If you look for the good in this treasured literary gem you will find it over and over. When a reader can't wait to turn the page, yet at the same time want to stay immersed in the moment, then the author has written a compelling narrative of universal appeal that will linger well on after the last page is read.

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