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Goodreads Synopsis:

After being laid off from his job at a prestigious consulting firm, Dean decides to embark on a journey across East Africa with his younger brother. Unknowingly, they travel into bandit territory where a medical emergency forces them to choose between their safety and their health.

Inspired by true events, The Watermelon King follows the journey of two brothers as they backpack across one of East Africa’s most inhospitable regions. As they endure endless days of difficult travel, a series of short stories written by their father begins to uncover their inherent desire for adventure and their connection to the past. Along the way they begin to understand the beauty and frustration of life in Africa.

 

Many thanks to Daniel Royse for a copy of The Watermelon King in exchange for an honest review.

Why this novel appealed to me.

My father worked abroad auditing in many off the world’s off the beaten track destinations. He travelled extensively to the Far East, The Middle East, Pacific Region, Africa, Papua New Guinea, etc,…… and this story reminded me of his adventurous spirit in many ways.

The Title:

First off before I even start to review I’d like to comment on the title. It’s awesome, isn’t it? Just love how  – The Watermelon King –  sets the tone for this delicious novel!

My review:

The Watermelon King is humorous, thirst quenching,  and full of little pips, (trials and tribulations.) The hard shell that holds it together is undoubtedly the subsidiary story about the brothers’ father that sits in between the backpacking tale – what a salesman, and when he got ill, what a fighter!

I’d highly recommend The Watermelon King to those who love to travel. This novel will particularly appeal to backpackers who enjoy exploring off the beaten track destinations, and for those with a sense of adventure which matches their ability to find humour in all sorts of circumstances !!   This isn’t for the package holiday makers….. who like plush comforts, and five-star hotels. Or for those who prefer to sit on the beach, oil themselves, and turn over. This is about the ‘real Africa,’ that most travellers never get to see. The ‘real Africa,’ may not be comfortable, the food may be dire, the buses non-existent but nevertheless there is a charm that transcends all that, making the experience an unforgettable smile which is etched on the heart of those who experience it.

I loved The Watermelon King.  I thought I would! It did not disappoint. I read it on the way to work, (whilst travelling on the bus!) and it really made me smile.

 

My recommendation:

Highly recommended. 4.5 stars.

I’d love to hear your views on The Watermelon King. Don’t forget to share your travel and/or backpacking adventures in the comments below.

Bye for now, let me climb on my hammock in the sun, ( I wish,)  and read for a while…

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