Monday, March 26, 2007

Honeymoon With My Brother

Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir, by Franz Wisner
$10.36 at Amazon.com ISBN: 0312340842
A true story, a travel memoir, in fact. Here's the set-up: the author was left at the altar by his fiance Annie. Since the honeymoon was already paid for, a deluxe vacation in Costa Rica, he decided to go with his brother. Because of an age difference and separate interests during their youth, the two men actually hardly knew each other. Traveling together gave the opportunity to do some belated brotherly bonding, and the guys actually enjoyed traveling together so much that they decided to make it into a regular thing. When the opportune time and extra money present themselves, they take a long, slow trip around the world.
After the initial set-up, the trip to Costa Rica, and a lot of (in my opinion) unnecessary hand-wringing about the departed Annie which drags on longer than it should, the boys are off on the first of several trips that make up the rest of the book. First they travel through Eastern Europe, beginning in Croatia then driving in a criss-cross that takes them from as far north as Sweden to as far south as Syria. Franz has a lot of European connections, and has been in many of these places before. He'd been in Russia while it was the USSR and his return to Moscow was especially interesting.
The second trip, Southeast Asia, involved backpacking across Vietnam and a trip to Komodo to see the famous dragons. It concludes with my favorite, Africa, said to be a graduate degree for travel. Evenings spent sitting out on the savanna watching the lions feed, having a drink and chatting up your bro sounds like an awesome summer to me.
In spite of its slow start-up, this book is worth the effort. Skim over the first two chapters, once her gets the check for $70,000 it starts to get interesting. If you're close to a brother or other male relative, and have always wanted to see the world, why not read this book together?

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