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Honorable Bandit: A Walk across Corsica    by Brian Bouldrey Amazon.com order for
Honorable Bandit
by Brian Bouldrey
Order:  USA  Can
University of Wisconsin, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Brian Bouldrey's Honorable Bandit recounts the author's walk across Corsica, revealing the beauty and grandeur he and his trekking partner Petra encountered. Because most of the walk necessitated either going up or down the numerous peaks and valleys, their hardships are also enumerated.

It's another travel book but with a great difference. Bouldrey's grousing about the pitfalls of the trip is filled with humorous lacings of the meanderings of his mind. And it's well worth reading. His essay on the rise of AIDS puts that whole time in sad and lonely and vilified perspective. His account of his partner's death is extremely poignant without being maudlin.

Bouldrey shares his take on the world today, his outlook on life, his prejudices, and the reasons for them each with insight and thoughtful reflection - as well as what he suspects are his reasons for hiking on islands. At first he is loath to admit to anyone they meet on the trail that he is an American - he initially claimed Canadian citizenship. He is not proud of America today, nor apparently of the U.S. leader (at least, I'm assuming he was referring to the president).

He tells us: 'What one wants from a returning traveler is a little bit of shame, for God's sake. Be sorry for what you did, and be discreet. A hero sees his tragic flaw, and that redeems him. This hubris, this inability to see that what you've done is wrong, wrong, wrong that will make you pathetic.' I'll leave it to you to discover what an Honorable Bandit actually is.

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