book: Simon Varwell “Up the Creek Without a Mullet”

I have taken a break from my usual mix of Thrillers and Prattchet’s to read this first publication from Simon Varwell.  Well I had to really, I’ve known Simon for a while and been looking forward to this book for some time!

In a nutshell “Up the creek without a mullet” is a simple story of a man on a mission!

The fact that the mission is “to visit every place in the world with the word ‘mullet’ in its name” tells you something about the character of the book.  However, there is more to it than just the search for Mullets.  Firstly, why Mullets?  How does this obsession with Mullets start?  Where does it take him?

It turns out to be the story of a man who has a vision, a reason to travel not just for experience but to go places – specific places with a specific word in their name.  The story has highs and lows, success and setbacks, moments of self-doubt and many, many evenings in various bars across the globe.

The obvious question is Why? Well you will need to read the book for that, but once Simon makes this decision to go mullet-bagging it takes him on a journey to unusual and interesting places.  Not being a very widely travelled person myself and in particular having no attraction to the idea of solo-travelling I found it interesting to hear about the joys and frustrations of the journeys, as well as the insights into the places visited and characters met along the way, especially when these were compared to the ‘real world’ i.e. Scotland!

I also love the humour in the book but don’t want to quote anything and give away jokes – suffice to say that the line that has brought me most pleasure and I aim to use at every opportunity from now on involves something that is hard to find at a Ceilidh!

Simon is the kind of person who seems to generate conversations (he doesn’t even have to be in the same town as I discovered only last night).  He seems to be able to strike up conversations in pubs, travelling or online that turn into real friendships, and the people he meets in the course of mullet-bagging across the world add a real depth and character to this excellent little book.  And I’m not just saying all this because I know he reads my blog.

I’m really pleased to say I would recommend this to anyone, you should like this book if

  • you like travelling
  • you like Scotland
  • you want to know more about Albania, Ireland, Australia
  • you want to know how to become a major media sensation
  • you want to know about solo travelling in general
  • you want to discover the sport of mullet hunting
  • you want to know anything about any place with the word mullet in its name
  • or you simply want a good read

Simon will be appearing in person on the 17th March at 6.30pm for a reading and book signing at Biblocafe on Woodlands Road, Glasgow.  For details of Edinburgh (2nd), Aberdeen (6th) and Stirling (11th March) see Up The Creek Without A Mullet 2010 Tour page.

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