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Old 12-31-2016, 12:51 AM   #1276
ninetynine99
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Re: On Changing your Life

Adsman,

I finished reading your book, which took a while for me to get to due to a lineup of others ahead of it in the queue, and similar to Goose I enjoyed it very much; however, not as much as your first one—which was definitely a tough follow-up since the subject matter is somewhat the same and the African locale and situations were so much more extreme.

I have to say that I did find the Italian version a bit repetitive in that your 'adventures' and 'experiences' seemed to focus on belittling your customers, getting drunk and high, not doing particularly well with the women, and then rinsing and repeating the same cycle over and over again. Your apparent desire to want to glamourize the rafting lifestyle over that of any other seems to exhibit insecurity to me, as does your anti-education philosophy that you have been going on with in your last few posts.

I guess I was expecting a furthering of a tale of you coming of age and moving forward, but instead it seemed like you were treading water in Italy or even taking steps backwards... or at the most, perhaps maybe taking baby-steps forward.

This impression I was left with was a bit disconcerting for me as my reading and perception of you has been one of a man that knows who he is, what he is about and where he is heading—which I believe is generated from a genuine sense of inner confidence and not from feelings of superiority over overweight, unattractive, and socially awkward people. Who knows, maybe that would have been the next chapter in the story of your life, if there was a third instalment in the rafting trilogy of life. I just felt that somethign was missing and that you hadn't quite made it to genuine manhood after book 2 and were instead still floundering about.

Meh, I have to admit that I am kind of curious how you will respond to this. Again, from what I have learned about you from your books and blog I have the impression that you are now someone other than who you were at the end of book 2, which I would imagine it should be a no-brainer that would be the case.

In any event, I definitely enjoyed the book and find your writing style and story-telling skills to be first-rate. I look forward to reading book 3 and seeing how you adapt your skills to the field of fiction.

Best of luck with your future endeavours.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:04 PM   #1277
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Re: On Changing your Life

99,

I always enjoy your insightful analysis and criticism. So let me see if I can answer your questions.

The book was based on a first draft that I wrote a few months after the events that occurred. I changed it substantially but the bare bones was still there. In other words, it is based on a version of me over 15 years ago. Based on your reaction I'd say that I captured it rather well.

I was 30 years old at the time and I don't think I really began to get my act together in the way that you envisage me until I was around 35. That rafting season that I describe in "Run Guts Pull Cones" was my last hurrah at being juvenile. I did in fact end up with the Italian girl and I lived with her for over three years. I never shared a house with rafting guides ever again.

So many people asked me about the rafting experience and what it was like that I decided to really sketch it out. That was how we behaved. That was what it was like, warts and all.

On fat people in a raft. A raft with a few fat people could break you psychologically. It was that difficult. Even thinking back to it now I shudder at the thought of having to do one trip with fatties. It's awful. There is no other way to describe it.

On education. I am a firm believer in education. My beef with universities in their present incarnation is that apart from STEM courses they are not offering an education. It is merely a form of indoctrination that young people are also forced to in-debt themselves with huge loans just as they are preparing to enter the workforce. I think this type of handicapping is a disgrace but it is because universities are no longer centers of higher learning. They are money-making institutions.

I am in a continual process of education. I am presently learning French so that will be my third language. The Dutch language will be my fourth and I am also making a go of Latin. I have a keen interest in history, (Holy Roman Empire is my present obsession), art, (but not modern art), fine cuisine, (I've mastered Italian cooking and am battling with French cuisine now), different cultures, philosophy, (Cicero and Aristotle at the moment), politics and modern thinking, (making a binge on Roger Scruton and Thomas Sowell), architecture, music, and economics, (Milton Friedman).

I could go on but I don't want to bore you. The point is that young people often abrogate their supposed education to one of these universities. The attitude is often one of, "I go to university so I must be both smart and educated." The reality is often nothing of the sort. As these universities are now businesses in every form but name, (they refer to students as customers or clients), then they will accept just about anyone and pass just about anyone. Australian professors are often not allowed to fail students, even international students who do not even speak English.

Education is primarily about challenging your beliefs. With the dubious current methodology of "safe spaces" and "trigger warnings" I doubt that students are receiving any sort of education at all. And anyway, you don't education truly bright people - you merely get out of their way while they go about it themselves.

I hope to continue to educate myself right up until the day that I exit this world stage. My 15 years of rafting around the world provided me with an education in life, cultures, language, and ultimately maturity. I'm happy with my second book but I don't know if I achieved everything with it that I wanted to. No matter - it's all a continuing education as they say.

And I'm happy to announce that an excellent publisher contacted me and after a few meetings we've come to an agreement for my third book. Which will be a complete departure.

I'm glad you enjoyed the book and I appreciate that you rate my writing style. I'm getting better at it which is satisfying. But it's still a crap-tonne of work to get a book out. The fun never ends.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:01 PM   #1278
ninetynine99
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Re: On Changing your Life

Thank you for your thoughtful, detailed and insightful reply.

What I find particularly interesting and intriguing about your response is the confident level of self you developed over the years from living, experiencing, reflecting and, yes I'm going to say it: On Changing Your Life.

I'm anticipating that you will likely look to deny or deflect when I say that I find your present sense of self and outlook (based upon my past reading of this thread, your books and blog) to be approaching what I would consider to be one of wisdom.

I'm thinking that perhaps this is why I found the conclusion of RGPC to be somewhat unsettling/unsatisfactory... it just didn't align with my preconception of who/what I thought the true character of the author was.

I'm thinking that for me—and perhaps other readers—that a more fitting conclusion for the book would have been if you had ended with an afterword; some closing thoughts along the line that although it seemed you had learned a lot about life and yourself over the summer, it would take years before you realized that you were only at the beginning of your journey of self discovery—followed by some of your present day thoughts and musings about life and about your career accomplishments.

I'm just thinking that such an approach would have been rewarding for readers to learn a bit about who and what Adam Piggott became later in life—after he discovered that there was more to life than just running guts and pulling cones—while acknowledging that such experiences are valuable in learning what it takes to be a man.

Meh... just some musings.

I'll be looking forward to reading any updates you provide in this thread and will be checking out your blog every now and then.

Thanks again for your considered response and congrats on your success with moving on to book three!
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:34 AM   #1279
adsman
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninetynine99 View Post



I'm thinking that for me—and perhaps other readers—that a more fitting conclusion for the book would have been if you had ended with an afterword; some closing thoughts along the line that although it seemed you had learned a lot about life and yourself over the summer, it would take years before you realized that you were only at the beginning of your journey of self discovery—followed by some of your present day thoughts and musings about life and about your career accomplishments.
99,

I think that what you're saying here is implicit in the book, you just have to read between the lines.

I don't consider myself wise at all. Maybe in a hundred years. I'll settle for mature.

On another note I saw this quote today and thought it fitting for this point in the thread. I hope you like it.

"Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love. Close enough on the surface but, to the non-sucker, not exactly the same thing."

Nicholas Taleb.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:18 AM   #1280
ninetynine99
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Re: On Changing your Life

Fair point about reading between the lines... and great quote.

Take care and good luck; i'll be sure to keep checking back here for updates on your next book.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:46 AM   #1281
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Re: On Changing your Life

I bought the first book the week it was released. Lost it the same week I received it - found it hidden on the weekend and just finished reading it. Fantastic - really enjoyed it. It certainly has Hunter S Thompson and John Birmingham (and a small dose of Shantaram) vibes which I love. Good stuff adsman.

The Cairns chapters especially made me very nostalgic - I left living in Cairns in December after being there for three years. Absolutely adore the city - and had many found memories bounce around in my mind hearing the good old woolshed mentioned and what sounds like rattle n hum described (or a similar venue from that era on the 'Nade). And bloody hell, who could POSSIBLY consider living out at Lake Placid??!! Madness haha! I also rafted the Tully River last year. Wish you had more stories about Cairns in the book for my sake!!
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