Graham Field: In Search of Greener Grass

Cover

 

Title: In Search of Greener Grass
Tagline Riding from Reality towards Dreams and Finding Fulfillment
Author: Graham Field
Narrator: Graham Field
Website: https://grahamfield.co.uk/
Length: 15hrs 24mins
Feature: Unabridged
Review copy: Audible
Published: 23 February 2018
Language: English
Country/Region: 
Europe/Asia
Rating: moose solidmoose solidmoose solidmoose solidmoose solidmoose lightmoose lightmoose lightmoose lightmoose light

 

Graham is what you would call a minimalist rider.
He has a tooltube made out of a toilet brush holder on his KLR650 and despises technology to the point where minimalism borders on luddism.
But I think when you've done an epic trip like he's done your logic becomes a bit flawed in regards to how it could have been done.
I remember reading Touching the world where Bernard Smith sings the praise of their BMW and boldly states that there is no other machine that could have done their trip, completely disregarding the fact that it was broken down for one whole month out of the twelve they traveled.
Along the same lines Graham discards satnavs as some kind of utterly useless yuppie-paraphernalia early with no practical use whatsoever and states that using them makes you completely oblivious to where you are in the world.
Thanks to the fact that he to his credit doesn't hold back on any information in the book despite how it makes him look we learn that on his day by day account of his travels he makes navigational errors every day for at least the first month including riding around in circles for two hours and going in the complete opposite direction of what he intended.
If that is what its like having a sense of where you are in the world we'll just have to agree to disagree on the satnav issue.
The book starts out good enough with trip preparations and heading of to the Sweden Rock Festival and he seems very joyus traversing Europe.
That all changes when he gets to Kazakhstan though.
I think Graham really is a solo traveler at heart but he can't resist the comfort of  teaming up with others when the opportunity arises which leads to endless conflicts.
Halfway into the book there is so much criticism of other riders, route choices, stops, hotels. Pretty much everything you can think of.
Some of it is really petty like when he states when one of his "pet hates" is when someone takes the lead and don't know where they're going.
Following that debacle Graham himself takes the lead and immediately goes the wrong way himself.
By this point I'm really feeling that I'm listening to the overlanding version of "An idiot abroad" and it got so depressing that I actually switched over and listened to another book before taking this up again.
It does eventually get better just to get worse again as he reenters Russia as it's blatantly obvious that the Russian way is not to his liking at all.
One thing I do like about the book is that Field gives day by day commentary which really immerses you in the travel and makes it easy to follow along where he is in the world.
I also like the fact that he mentions absolutely everything going on with the bike, every tire change and every top up of oil.
I also love the fact that he after such a long trip still considers the bike to be just a machine, he doesn't name it and he doesn't consider it a close and personal friend.
It's simply a tool to get the job done and it's very refreshing that for once it isn't a Beemer.
Graham mentions in the afterword of the audiobook which he himself narrated 8 years after the trip that now that he's reading it all again he's not sure if he really likes the person he was when he wrote this.
I'm really glad he wrote that because I'm not sure I do either but that kind of self awareness means he's changed since then and peaked my interest in his next book, Eureka which I most likely would have skipped otherwise.