cover image Equator: A Journey

Equator: A Journey

Thurston Clarke. William Morrow & Company, $20.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06901-8

From a three-year trip around the world, crisscrossing the equator over three continents, from South America east to Africa, Asia and back to South America via Pacific equatorial islands, Clarke, author of Dirty Money , etc., returned with tales and impressions to delight even the most jaded armchair traveler. In wonderfully evocative prose, he relives his adventures in steaming jungles and in overcrowded, polluted Pacific atolls, some of them WW II battle sites. He traversed primitive villages and teeming cities with slums masked by modern facades and relics of colonial grandeur, and after a narrow escape from being buried alive in an earthquake, he climbed an Andean volcano in a snowstorm. He traveled by river pirogue to visit Albert Schweitzer's hospital and grave at Lambarene, in rattletrap buses and ancient bush taxis driven by speed demons over track-like roads, as well as on unpredictable railroads, and resorted to planes only to cross otherwise impassable terrain or to reach remote islands. Clarke's astute observations on the politics and society of each country visitedsome newly independent or, like Uganda, ruled by a terrorist regimeserve as background for sharply drawn, empathetic portraits of human beings who admittedly interest him more than do fauna and flora. Literary Guild featured alternate. (October)