A great book review by Getaway Magazine’s Adel Groenewald: I was automatically drawn to the title and had a good giggle when I read the final line: ‘…the wandering, fragmented journey is an enthralling read for anyone not looking for self-help and inspiration’.
Reciting this rather lengthy name in a bookstore usually results in a referral to the yoga/self-help section. Yet this collection of travel tales is quite literally the opposite. Geoff Dyer is on an undirected, and rather unmotivated, search of his home. He’s certain that his real home is not it, one of his reasons being that the most memorable moments in his life happened away from this home. Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it is a memoir of personal experiences as Dyer explores the world in his laid back fashion, guided by his own curiosities and moods rather than guidebook activities.
Whether it be in New Orleans or Paris, Dyer is never a tourist. Rather, he goes to these places to do ordinary activities in them. While in Cambodia he writes: “Some men are fussy about always going to the same barber – or hairdresser, rather – but I like having my hair cut by cheap barbers all over the world.” He tends to deromanticise places, making them seem even more attractive than in standard, idyllic descriptions. Yet there are a few places that forced even him stop in his tracks and stare in amazement.
Dyer is an honest writer. While in Ubud with his girlfriend he admits to completely forgetting some of the scenery and casually confesses that these details are lost forever. When lonely in Detroit he makes no secret of his less than enthusiasm for being there, but knows that it’s better than being at home. His conversational style gives the reader the privilege of being his best friend on the road, there for the crazy times and there for the sad times.
Each chapter jumps to a different, and sometimes unexpected, country. But there’s a lot of fun to be had as Dyer takes the reader to a full moon party in Taiwan and chases after the ultimate Amsterdam experience. He stays true to his personality and tends to find himself in several hilarious situations. Whether he finally finds his true home is for you to find out. Either way, the wandering, fragmented journey is an enthralling read for anyone not looking for self-help and inspiration.
Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it (257 pages) is published by Vintage and costs about R120.