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The title of his latest e-book , Recalculating, suggested itself to Clarke when he read that in the UK “half the travellers who use geographical positioning systems (GPS) in their cars, end up in a field” and that it led one fellow to deliver a jumping castle to an old age home”.
But there are lots of detours. He tells how he summited Everest; how he deals with foreign languages and he recounts some of his true but misdirected adventures in the wilds of Africa.
In Recalculating Clarke looks at life aboard an Italian holiday cruiser where “there’s none of this ‘women and children first’ nonsense”. He also looks at the humorous side of air travel.
eBooks by James Clarke
This is the very funny story of six South Africans - mainly writers - who, on a whim, decided to explore "Darkest Europe and bring back to Africa stories about its strange natives".
On hired bikes (none had cycled since childhood) they began with a 1,000 kilometer ride down the Danube. Over the years many other regions were explored. The story is told by their not terribly good leader.
This hilarious autobiography is about a band of six Boy Scouts who, during World War 2, collected silver paper for recycling into the Spitfires and Hurricanes which swept the German Luftwaffe from British skies. Read about their hardships - as they went house to house seeking work on “Bob-a-Job Day” and villagers would fend them off by painting white crosses on their doors.
James Clarke takes the Mickey (if you’ll forgive the expression) out of magazines that dish out advice on sex. He claims their editors fail to realise how their sex articles badly shock many, like himself, who were brought up during last century.
He points out it is no good sexologists writing about how to find your partner’s G-spot when most people out there can’t even find a decent parking spot.
Our tree-dwelling ancestors had to leave Africa’s receding forests and live on the plains where they were forced to stand upright to see over the grass. Step one towards golf.
Their weapon was the club - step two.
One found a stick with a knob on the end and used it for hunting and hitting people he didn’t like. He also had fun hitting small stones…
This history of golf is amazing historians worldwide and far beyond.
This book reveals personal details about the author’s relationship with his secretary, Threnody Higginbottom (whom he addresses as “Miss Smith” around the office). Threnody files everything under M for miscellaneous.
There’s also some quite startling stuff within these covers (stuff you’ll hardly believe) on, for instance, James Bond in retirement and what to do with red wine. .
And if you know somebody in hospital buy this book for them. They will empathise with the author’s experiences and his views about hospitals; how, from the moment you find your theatre gown won’t close down the back, the hospital authorities are out to humiliate you.
And learn how the West has tried to deliver vowels to vowel-starved eastern European countries with towns named Sjlbvdnzv and Grzny - as well as to Wales with places like Ffwgr and Ffwrrm.
For the “terribly shy” there are instructions regarding… well, you know, um, well, s*x . The author provides some basic guidelines on how to hit it off with the opposite s*x.
Read about the admirable creativity of journalists when working on their claim sheets for expenses.
There’s a lot on sport and on hiking too, including some quite adventurous stuff, like the day the author assaulted Everest - and summited. (“Oh, the noise. And the people!”)
Save Me From the Lion's Mouth investigates the increasing conflict between people and wildlife in Africa and what needs to be done about it.
It describes the human suffering and perceptions of those who live outside the reserve fences among man-eaters and marauders yet are excluded from the economic benefits accruing from the wildlife around them. It provides evidence of a growing resentment among rural communities, especially near game reserves and warns how it is threatening the existence of Africa’s game reserves.
The book suggests that many in the Northern Hemisphere who support African wildlife conservation are blind to the seriousness of the situation. Some African states – notably Kenya and Tanzania – adopt wildlife policies to please donor countries from whom they receive millions of dollars. Thus government policies, many of them patently disastrous and certainly detrimental to rural Africans and to wildlife, are dictated from middle class homes across Europe and America.
Fortunately there is a growing international lobby that is seeking solutions.