'How gratifying it is to welcome a young Scotsman as a major new travel writer…' Glasgow Herald
'The book is full of enthusiasm and delight as it is rich in humour.' Eastern Daily News
'A marvellously readable travel book.' British Book News
… notable for its dash and enthusiasm, coupled with the photographer's instinct for the exotic and eccentric.' Sunday Times
'…another compelling bit of reading.' The Oxford Times
''…a rattling good travel book.' Birmingham Post
'A book which insists that you do not put it down…Alastair Scott is a remarkably talented travel writer.' Western Mail
'He must be the most readable of the new generation of travel writers.' The Scots Magazine
[Reviews of the original travel books whose extracts comprise this anthology.]
Travelling 'not to go anywhere, but to go', Alastair Scott can claim to have seen the world - 194,000 miles of it in the course of five years.
'I wanted to go around the back of the world's Taj Mahal's,' Alastair Scott writes, 'and to run my finger through the dust that no one else saw…to find the offbeat places, to visit the more common ones but in the wrong season.' So he left his Scottish home at the approach of winter and headed north, beginning a journey that saw him use every means of transport conceivable (and inconceivable). First to the Arctic, including a coastal voyage round Greenland, then to Canada and North America which he crossed from Newfoundland to Alaska. Then south, spending a year visiting the countries of Central and South America, before heading to New Zealand and Australia. The last leg of this five-year pilgrimage took him from South East Asia home to Scotland. He mixed with Inuit narwhal hunters and Yukon gold miners, gambled in Las Vegas, was thrown in jail in Uraguay, was amongst the earliest backpackers to enter China the year after it opened to independent travellers, and sampled life as extreme as that found in the monasteries of Ladakh and the fleshpots of Bangkok.
He took a notebook, a will to understand and a bent towards small absurdities. An optimist, except at the Somme, he carried a universal bath plug where there are no universal drains. Here he presents an account, by turns comic and astonishing, of his remarkable journey. He writes with infectious brio, a photographer's eye enriching the writer's, seizing with delight upon the larger-than-life that turns out to be life.
His account of this journey was originally published in three volumes; Scot Free, A Scot Goes South and A Scot Returns. The 'best' extracts from these three books have now been brought together in one volume: the result is Wanderlust in which Alastair Scott brings the unusual and the eccentric vividly before our eyes He writes with deep insight and caustic humour; diverse, bizarre, beautiful and poignant impressions of our world and humanity in all its forms. This is a delight from start to finish.