I’ve been reading Sam’s books for quite a few years now. First there was Into Africa – a journey through the heart of, you guessed it, Africa, by a man who had only just figured out what a motorbike was for (travel of course). Next up was Under Asian Skies which took us right across Asia with Sam and the people he met along the way. The next book out of the already quite impressive stable was Distant Suns which was based on the diaries of Sam’s partner and travel buddy Birgit Schuenemann. Finally we have his latest book – Tortillas to Totems– and what a corker it is.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I don’t often write book reviews. Not because I don’t devour every single adventure motorcycle book out there – but because for the most part… um… they’re not very good. I’ve made some exceptions to that rule – first with Lois Pryce and her book – Red Tape and White Knuckles and eventually I will for Paddy Tyson and his books – but the stand-out daddy of them all is Sam Manicom.
Tortillas to Totems is easily Sam’s best book so far. The writing style is engaging and steady – that horribly addictive style that leaves you realising you’ve been reading for 10 hours straight and just can’t put the book down. The stories he tells don’t just transport you there – they encourage you to get on your bike and ride. For me – that’s the best thing a travel book can do. If you only want to read one of Sam’s books – start with this one, then head back to Into Africa and read the rest – just be prepared to leave a few days clear before you start!