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Sideways: Travels with Kafka, Hunter S. and Kerouac

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Travels with Kafka, Hunter S. and Kerouac

By Patrick O'Neil

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Format: Paperback, 348 pages
Published In: Australia, 01 March 2010
Three times during his twenties Patrick O'Neil threw in a desk job, ended relationships and flung himself at the world. With the words of his literary heroes ringing in his ears, he set off determined to pursue adventure and a grander, more romantic vision of life. It wasn't long before he was tumbling in and out of absurd predicaments and genuine danger, which found him in the clutches of lawless military cops in Rio, staring down armed Jamaican gangstas, and hiding from murderous cowboys in a lonely Mexican outpost - or was that last encounter just a figment of his peyote-fired imagination? Despite frequent peril on the road - not least in New York, where he came between an obsessive-compulsive housemate and his paper towels - O'Neil found like minds, inspiration and enlightenment. Tripping from the Sahara Desert to the Amazonian jungle, Sideways reveals that the way forward isn't always straight ahead.

About the Author

Patrick O'Neil was born in Melbourne in 1978 and still lives there most of the time. He completed an Arts degree with majors in English and International Politics then embarked on a largely undistinguished career as a newspaper journalist. He has spent every cent he's ever made on travelling.


Whether we are with the author at the administratively aggravating Hungarian-Slovakian border post without a visa, being massaged for free in Marrakech, or partying high in Alto Paraiso, Brazil, there are laughable situations, poignant moments, physical danger and the possibility of deep friendships. However, this book is neither solely travelogue nor episodic philosophy, but a ruse that employs travel and modern philosophy to enable entry into the author's searching mind. The ruse is colourful and enjoyably packaged. There is much pleasure to share on this journey, during which the author's untidy circumstances are tempered by his acute observances on the subtleties and nuances of the human condition. Although written in a breezy style, this book belies its serious undercurrent. It operates on a number of levels, the most important being what the author may have purposely omitted from the dialogue. We are often brought painfully close to the author through his swift clarity and distilled descriptions, but there is a literary reticence masquerading as bonhomie which we are not permitted to go beyond. O'Neil's next offering is greatly anticipated. Barbara Cullen was CEO of the ABA and now manages small business policy for the Victorian Government

EAN: 9780143203247
ISBN: 014320324X
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.6 centimetres (0.01 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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