In this travel memoir by novelist Geoff Dyer I read this book waiting to be immersed into the world of the travel. Although sadly I found the result rather disappointing to be honest. He is a great writer don’t get me wrong – I loved his novel Paris, Trance in the past. This was a fictional novel of loose collective of directionless youth all shagging and dropping e in Paris in the 90’s.
Although this memoir, Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It is a collection of vignettes of his travel journeys in Rome, New Orleans, Angkor Wat. It reads to me as pretty banal and boring. It has a sort of pointless ‘Waiting for Godot’ type of vibe to it, as Dyer traipses around the place looking at things.
Dyer has said though that this is the whole point. That travel is often not stimulating or enlightening. Instead it’s banal and filled with the tedium of going around in circles.
I found this notion depressing though, which probably says a lot more about me rather than Dyer. For me travel should be framed in this bigger existential idea of awe and universal discovery of new truths and new beginnings of the self.
Of course travel, just like life, can’t be everything all the time. As a (once upon a time) directionless youth moving aimlessly through Europe having meaningless and for the most part unsatisfying encounters, I have say that this kind of random dionysian existence was familiar territory for me, but still made for a depressing read. Because whatever one’s personal circumstances, if you turn travel into the banal and boring experience, then what hope do we have at all for excitement and adventure in our lives?
In all I would say pass on this one. Especially if you are wanting some genuinely juicy and satisfying armchair travel. Instead I got rather turned off the idea of travel after reading this.