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My Friend Jack

Some Place Else ...Finished!

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I got to the last page just as my train was arriving at Victoria.

All in all, I found it an interesting read. The Epilogue was moving and well-written, and put the whole thing into context. Thank you, Alan, for telling your story - which I have to say I found a lot more absorbing that the only other travel book I've ever read - a certain "On The Road." Hope all is well with you and B.

Best wishes,


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Thanks for your comments MFJ. (All is very well!!!) And thanks for trying out a travelogue when it isn't your normal reading matter. I struggle to be that brave myself, especially when time is always at a premium. I guess that is one of the great things about a forum like this though, it makes you try something different.

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I must say that MFJ has hit the nail on the head (especially about that 'other' travel book). And may I add, Alan, that you and B were brave to do that kind of a trip together. Such travelling has been known to destroy friendships and relationships! Glad to know that that wasn't the case with the two of you. :)

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I was very into it from the beginning because you two seemed to be such 'star-crossed' lovers. You are not the first to settle for the wrong person, while yearning, in your soul, for the right one. :) It took me a long time, and an ocean crossing, to find the true ONE. So, I wish you the joy - you have discovered it at a younger age! Enjoy and be happy!

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I must say Alan that I enjoyed this too. I quite like travel books but they are not something I would usually buy. (Recent exception Long Way Round).


I found the start a little confusing as one or two others have mentioned but that didn't bother me too much. A couple of typos jumped out at me but again i was able to by pass them. I love the adventures in 'Tonite' and found your physical stamina astounding. All that exercise!! It was a different look at a couple of countries and I was glad of the opportunity to read it. Hope all continues to go well with you and B.

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Well done Alan. I finished S.P.E last night and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. You certainly packed a lot into your trip. I was also very impressed with your stamina. Sounds like you both exorcised some demons during your trip.


Reading about the different countries was fascinating, but it has whetted my appetite to definitely read more about China.


I also found the introduction a little bit confusing, but you have explained the reasons for that, and it didn't stop me from enjoying the book.

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The part about China was very short and not too complentary I thought. :confused:

I've been to several different parts of China and while it's true hygiene is some parts is not good, in others it's fine :)


I enjoyed your book though Alan, thankyou for sharing your travel experinces with us :)

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ChrisG, Donnae, Elfstar, Granny Weatherwax (great name!), thank you all for taking the time to read SPE and for providing your feedback.


Being new to this, I have to say that getting published is a really strange experience and I am trying to think of a suitable analogy??? (The gestation period of an elephant springs to mind). After six months travelling and then a year writing the book and then another couple of years struggling to land a publishing contract and then month after month desperately pushing all of the time to get the book 'out there', the end result is a little strange. All then goes suddenly and dramatically silent and you have very little idea as to whether anyone is actually buying it, reading it, liking it, disliking it etc...So, I really appreciate your comments.


The reactions have been really interesting. Either people made a connection and really enjoyed it or they didn't make the connection and have come back with very specific observations like, "I didn't like the joke about the English lollipop ladies"!!!


GW - I guess that the section on China is short because we were there for such a short time and we barely had the chance to scratch the surface. You are no doubt correct though that many parts of China are perfectly hygienic and I meant no offence, it is just that our budget and itinerary meant that we didn't have the good fortune to see many of them!


By the way, for those who did enjoy SPE, please feel free to recommend it to your friends and family etc. It is hard work raising the profile of any book, especially one by an unknown author.

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Hi Alan,


I finished the book a couple of weeks ago and haven't got round to commenting yet.


I've not really read travel books before and I did find it took some getting used to at first - I think just because of adjusting to the genre. I kept feeling as if I was waiting for "something to happen" or for more information to be revealed about you and B and the situation you were taking time out from. I found myself getting quite frustrated with the book.....


But by the time I was about a third of the way in, I realised that I was approaching it all wrong and I slowed down and began just to enjoy sharing the journey with you both - and I found myself enjoying it much, much more.


It's opened my eyes to a whole style of books I never would have picked up before, and whetted my appetite to try another travel book - so thank you for that :)



Oddly, the bits I found I enjoyed the most were the tiny snippets and quotes that started each chapter - there were some very intriguing and memorable lines there!


Is it something you would consider attempting again? Do you have another similar project in mind or was once plenty!?

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Claire - apologies for the lengthy delay...and thank you for your feedback. I would like to see how SPE does before considering whether to have another go. I am pleased that you have found something of interest in another genre. You are far more adventurous than most of the rest of us! Perhaps that is one of the many benefits of a forum such as this one. Incidentally, the opening 'snippets' to which you refer were in fact quotes from e-mail traffic passing between B and myself prior to us setting off on our literal and metaphorical journey to some place else.

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