Into the Heart of Borneo: Can Account of a Journey Made in 1983 to the Mountains of Batu Tiban with James Fenton

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Salamander Press, 1984 - Borneo - 191 pages
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Reading this book inspired me to book a 22-day trekking tour of Malaysian Borneo, the fabled land of Iban headhunters and the magnificent hornbill. O'Hanlon -- an Englishman, literary scholar and amateur naturalist -- undertook an 1800s-style expedition into the jungle in 1983 with three local Iban guides and one English friend, a poet. About their adventure he wrote this thoroughly enjoyable book, filled with laugh-out-loud humor and wondrous descriptions of birds, rivers, forests, the incredible equatorial heat, and all the squeamish details that those 19th-century reports politely left out. Part of the delight in reading this account comes from O'Hanlon's quirky personality and his deep enthusiasm for nature, and a large part comes from his portrayal of his guides as intelligent men who find in their two English charges an unending source of amusement. O'Hanlon exaggerated nothing. I thought of him often while I walked on muddy paths and rode in narrow longboats in Sarawak, sweat streaming from every pore, drinking in the sounds and smells of the jungle.  


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