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The Adventurist: My Life in Dangerous Places

Iram Khan

"Magazine writers like to give me silly names. I answer their questions for hours, let photographers pose me in silly places, and then they write one page, usually getting half the things I've said jumbled up. They lke to compare me with fictional characters, Indiana Jones, Rambo, and other ludicrous inventions. I remind them I am a real person and I find it somewhat insulting to be compared to a cartoon character. It is the realness, the stone-heavy truth, I want them to respect."

through The Adventurist: My Life in Dangerous Places Robert Young Pelton has shown to the world that he is a real person that performs unreal feats in travel. Throughout the entire book amazing stories of his personal life reveal the pivotal character building events he has experienced. These range from attending "the toughest boys' school in North America" to working his way up in the advertising and publishing industry. As well, we learn about his mother, father, wife and twin daughters... the pain and love that they give, and most of all, the protectiveness he shows towards all of them. These eloquent stories, weaved throughout the snippets of dangerous journeys, are what I remember the most. Robert Young Pelton, unbelievably, is a real man.

The Adventurist book cover The Adventurist is a wonderful achievement on Pelton's behalf. The writing style is superb, revealing details that make you scramble through the pages. It is amazing that the stories are all true. The style of writing that Pelton uses the kind that one hopes to find in fiction, and honestly, I didn't expect it from a "travel writer". He has written skillfully about many places where no "foreigners" have ever tread. He also unveils situations that many have never exprienced in the most mundane of places, which proves that you do not have to be in a foreign land to have your life threatened. It can sometime occur right in your own home.

The world needs people like Pelton. He gets dirty and risks his life, it seems, daily. It's what he thrives. We need to live vicariously through him and learn about how incredibly beautiful and violent our world really is in places such as Kashmir, California, Tajikstan, Indonesia, Myanmar, and even in northern Manitoba. When we travel, we need to be reminded that danger does indeed lurk everywhere, especially when you're not looking for it.

Pelton warns us of these situations, and for some acts as a guide.

published by doubleday
ISBN 0385495676

Iram Khan is a teacher, and co-edits canadian content.

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