Book Review – Signs Of Life, by Stephen Fabes

Signs Of Life tells the story of when Stephen Fabes quit his job as a medical doctor to cycle around the world. Like any good travel journal, Fabes doesn’t simply give a blow-by-blow account of the journey, which took him six years to complete. In fact, there are entire countries he cycled through that almost don’t get a mention. This book isn’t a route guide, nor a how-to-cycle-around-the-world guide. Instead, it’s a discovery of the wonders, and the people of our blue planet, and it’s a really, REALLY good read!

Fabes is a very talented writer, and avoids making the book all about him. In parts, he had me shaking with laughter, while in others I was touched by the kindness he was almost consistently shown throughout the world. When you read enough cycle touring books, one strong theme emerges, and that is simply this: all people around the world are more similar than we are different. Parents around the world want the best for their children. People around the world fall in, and out of love. People around the world all get hungry, and thirsty, feel happy and sad at different times, and to a large degree, share the same hopes and dreams. Fabes adds additional insight with this book, from the perspective of a doctor. That insight he also used upon himself, when he correctly diagnosed the ailment he was suffering from at some point as dengue fever, but it goes deeper than that: from a floating clinic, serving a floating village (and surrounding area) to a hospital caring for patients with leprosy, to a TB clinic in Georgia, plus many more.

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From having been woken by a man holding a gun to his face, in the early hours of the morning, in South America, to being watched by tribesman in a lawless part of Africa that’s known to be hostile to, and untrusting of outsiders, to being showered with fresh fruit and vegetables in Azerbaijan, Fabes had some amazing experiences. I simply couldn’t put this book down, and I highly recommend it. I genuinely expect you will enjoy reading it every bit as much as I have. This is truly one of the best cycle touring books I’ve ever read.

You should read this book! Get your copy here, and while you’re at it, follow him on Twitter.

After reading this book, if you’re looking for more great books to read, simply click here.

2 thoughts on “Book Review – Signs Of Life, by Stephen Fabes”

  1. I was about to inform my cycling pal Andrew Smith about you and your website, but it seems he got there before me! Looking forward to reading some of the books you recommend.


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