Fred’s Diary is just that, a diary. This book is a compilation of the daily writings of Robert Fear describing his travels through Asia, his personal experiences, thoughts, and growth.
It will take you a while to get into the cadence of the work. It is a daily diary, some days extremely monotonous, others documenting fascinating events. Just like life. Some entries are explicit in description of interesting places, others are a simple indication of having gone somewhere, visited a city, or taken a ferry. Personally, I’d have appreciated more description of these excursions. For example, the author mentions a visit to the Taj Mahal … a place that would merit a poetic description. But, this isn’t the intent of Fred’s Diary, it is not a novel … but simply a non-fiction journal of events. A most interesting part, for me at least, describes Fear’s experiences following arrest and imprisonment for a drug bust in Thailand. The uncertainty, bribery temptation, surprising availability of drugs while in this prison, fairly liberal visitation permissions, etc., … are all educational. The story will bring forth some dèja vu regarding late 70s and early 80s technology, a fun walk down memory lane. For example, the Sony Walkman was a big thing, and there is no cell phone, and people still wrote letters – not emails.
No need to suspend any beliefs, this is a true story. Enjoyed.