Expedition by Steve Backshall
Shine a light into the unknown.
There are still dark corners of our planet that are yet to be explored. In this remarkable book, Steve Backshall offers an unflinching account of his adventures into these uncharted territories around the globe, in search of world firsts. Each location brings its own epic challenges – whether it’s the first climb of an arctic ice fall in Greenland, the first recorded navigation of a South American river, or the first exploration of the world’s longest cave system in Mexico. But all of them represent new tests of the limits of human endeavour.
Accompanying a major 10-part series on BBC and Dave, Expedition is a breathtaking journey into the unknown, and a brilliantly written celebration of the pleasures of genuine discovery.
My Rating: ⭐⭐
I had high hopes for this thinking that hearing the book narrated by Steve himself would bring a sense of authenticity to the story and the experiences within it. However, his constant, breathless excitement and constant over exaggeration of even the smallest happenings soon wore out. The quality of the writing is pretty poor and the narration does nothing to help it. He must have set a personal target to use every over the top metaphor possible and exaggerate every description to the nth degree. Nothing was just large, it was gigantic and so on with over descriptive depictions of scenery and conditions on a continual loop. Rather than create excitement it became bland and uninteresting.
I made it through 8 of the 10 expeditions and barely remember anything of them. I do believe that they were true adventures but trying to explore undiscovered places on the modern Earth is surprisingly uninteresting when described in this book. The book was also a BBC TV series and it was probably better in film than print.
A constant irritation was his references to his family, how much he was missing them and how guilty he was that his son was missing him at the very beginning of his life. In one freak kayak accident he almost dies in a rapid. His lamentations about the possible effect of his death made me quite angry. Why the hell expose himself to these dangers and choose to leave home on these extended expeditions if he was worried about the effect on his family! Selfishness of the highest order and absolutely no right to then complain about it.
Header image source: fossbytes.com