Every now and again a book comes out of the blue that you end up devouring in hours – Lois Pryce’s latest, Red Tape and White Knuckles, is one of those.
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Lois in London not long before I headed out to Australia, I already knew of her first book, Lois on the Loose, and it was amazing to tie the experiences I’d read about in the book to the real person, and for once, they where the same person. With the exception of Austin Vince and Ted Simon I’ve nearly always been disappointed when I’ve met the authors of books I’ve held dear.
This second book has demonstrated a maturity in her writing style that held the whole thing together with a constant narrative – a very difficult trick to pull off. So much so that it’s one of those rare breed of books that you simply can’t put down. I hadn’t noticed that Lois had a new book out until I happened across it in the Sydney Airport book store, I was about to board a 14 hour flight to San Francisco and was rather excited to see something I could devour and learn from, rather than endure the constant repeats of How I Met Your Mother I knew United would be serving.
From the first page, through to the photos and the last chapter it’s a journey of personal strength, determination and at times, heart pounding excitement and fear. I really felt I was with her, and that’s an exceptionally difficult thing to pull off as the mass of bad travel books demonstrate.
I was a little concerned that this would be a book about a small, timid (ha!) white girl working hard against all possible odds to get through Africa – but it’s not, it’s a book about a small, lion-hearted lady who overcame obstacles with good humor, humility and a depth of character I’d be proud to even have a tenth of.
If you’re planning your own journey on anything from a motocycle to a tuk tuk, this book will inspire you to go that little bit further, and perhaps push a little of your fear to one side and experience a journey for what it is, rather than a philosophical adventure or backed-up outing.
Thanks to Atlas Rider on Twitter here’s a video of Lois talking about her journey at an overland expo in the states.