Category: Travel & Holiday / Travel Writing
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 6 August 1998
Number of pages: 474
Living out of a briefcase has become a way of life for Peter Biddlecombe - and his regular dispatches from the front line of international expense account culture have offered desk-bound readers everywhere a unique insight into the strange, bizarre and often hilarious places where business and pleasure meet all over the world. Yet despite all his efforts in this, the lot of the English businessman abroad is still not a happy one. FASTER, THEY'RE GAINING is the sixth in the series of dispatches from all over the world, taking Peter Biddlecombe's total to 115 countries visited and described (and sometimes demolished). Minsk, Valletta, La Paz, Mandalay and Prague are among the 20 cities featured in this book, a heroic venture. After all, Dr Livingstone had only lions and journalists to worry about.
Author Peter Biddlecombe tells the reader in the second sentence of his new book that he has visited 117 countries. In most of us this would have resulted in travel overload, but his response has been to produce nine bestselling books, and this one shows every sign of being number ten. The title is derived from the author's self-confessed horror of tourists, a subject which he writes about humorously, from the viewpoint, of course, of a tourist. Biddlecombe's success formula is well summed up by Paul Theroux: 'Travel writing is a funny thing because the worst trips make the best reading.' Biddlecombe himself writes, 'if I like it I drink it; if not I hate it', and in 17 destinations ranging from Luxembourg to La Paz and Minsk to Muscat he finds much to hate. Luxembourg is boring, La Paz dangerous, Minsk is stuck in a Communist time warp, and Muscat is a Bedouin theme park. The whole concoction will delight devoted Biddlecombe fans, and no doubt win over many more. But do not expect development or structure. Just as the capital of Belarus is stuck in a time warp, the author clearly sees no need to progress beyond the style established in his first, and very successful, book French Lessons in Africa. Similarly, it can be started, and finished, at any point in its 18 chapters. This makes it ideal reading for tourists on long-haul flights. But be careful: that may be Peter Biddlecombe in the next seat, and he may be writing about you. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
'...a raconteur of genius' - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'breathtakingly comprehensive' - SUNDAY EXPRESS 'astonishing...the book is all highlights' - DAILY MAIL
Peter Biddlecombe is a travel-businessman and the author of five previous, gloriously funny accounts of global business trips. He lives in Waldron, Sussex, when he is not hanging around the airports of the world.
In Stock: 4 copies