ONE'S COMPANY by Peter Fleming


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Peter Fleming is my favorite explorer. In Brazilian Adventure he set the standard for all books of exploration for me, and since then most of them have fallen flat, comparatively speaking. Now in his story of a trip to the Far East, he once again establishes claim to his place in the sun. Not because he more aptly describes what he sees and why and how, but because he shares with his readers the fun he had doing the things he ""ought not to have done and leaving undone the things that he ought to have done"". By which, let me hasten to explain, I simply mean that his travel adventures are never conventional accounts of visits to museums and temples and famous buildings, but that he succeeds in making you see the people and the roadside and the out-of-the-way corners through his eyes, he recaptures for you the sense of atmosphere, and he gives you plenty of chance to laugh with him and to chuckle at him. This time there's a glimpse of Soviet Russia, not through rose-colored spectacles, there's a trans-Siberian railroad trip and a wreck at the psychological moment, there's Wanchuke and the solemn pretence of autonomy, there's an abortive bandit drive, there's a cross country trip from Shanghai to Canton, preceded by investigations on the Communist front of Central China and excitements in Jehol, and finally there's a bird's eye view of the journey home, via Seattle, Montreal and New York. But it isn't what he sees or where he goes. It's the personality that radiates through every page of amazingly good reading. Possibly not quite so exhilirating as Brazilian Adventure, but none the less a book not to be missed. Sure of a good press and advertising backing.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1934
Publisher: Scribner