Mad White Giant
A journey to the heart of the Amazon jungle
Both a thrilling account of a perilous journey between the mouth of the Orinoco and the Amazon, but also a veiled exploration of the threat posed to the Rain Forest by the "Mad White Giants," i.e. us. A light, pacey tale of gutsy survival.
BA's comment: "My first book, and written with a freshness and indeed naivety which I can never hope to recapture.
Those expecting a conventional travelogue may well be disappointed. As the satirical and whimsical sketches indicate, this book was aiming for something a little different. I was very idealistic and still in my early twenties when I wrote Mad White Giant, and, having emerged from the forest more dead than alive, decided that, rather than attempt to piece together a measured account of the main feat, the crossing of the un-surveyed NE Amazon, I would explore the themes that emerged along the way. These centred on my various encounters with people - in those days I called them 'Indians' - who were, in the end, always exploited by us outsiders - the real mad white giants of the title.
Almost unbelievably, two RSPCA inspectors came to visit our house after the journey, to enquire about the welfare of our family pets - in the Amazon I'd very sadly had to eat a dog companion, in order to survive. Fortunately, Holly and Thistle, our dearly loved bearded collies, behaved well."