A sense of adventure. What makes you read on? #1
The above picture is of the start of a demonstration in east Jerusalem in early 2012. As I photographed it I could feel the hairs on my head standing up.
Behind me there were crowds of people watching what was going on. Every eye on Sultan Suleiman street was following the action. There was yelling too. And a lot of young men. The main group was waving a Palestinian flag and chanting in Arabic. The mounted Israeli police were moving in. A demonstrator had died the day before not far away. He had been shot at an Israeli checkpoint. I had no idea what was going to happen next, but I felt it was important to be there, to understand what Jerusalem is like, because I was writing about the city.
I love adventure as much as the next person, but getting close to it has its downsides.
It’s a lot less threatening to experience such things through the eyes of others. I could never get to that bridge under the Misty Mountains as Tolkien’s orcs ran after me. I’d have been cut down. And I can’t get to the planet Trantor to see Asimov’s Haro Seldon give a speech, or to ancient Egypt during a crocodile hunt on the Nile as described by Wilbur Smith.
But I can go to all these places through the novels of these wonderful writers. And I can be sick in bed and as poor as Oliver Twist and still go there.
That’s what I like about reading. What I would like to know is, what adventure stories have you liked? They could be about the search for love, that’s a big part of The Istanbul Puzzle, or they could be about the edge of our galaxy or about the struggle to stay alive in a modern city. I would love to know about the adventure stories you’ve liked.
This is the first in a series of four posts in the run up to the launch of The Jerusalem Puzzle on ebook December 3rd and in paperback in many countries January 3rd. I truly look forward to you contribution.