Book Review – “Common Sense and Whiskey”

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Travel Blogger Bill Murray from Common Sense and Whiskey has been traveling for 20 years and has traveled to more than 100 countries and territories. Now Bill has put some of the stories from his travel into a new book of the same name:

It’s all here: Adventures in Africa, Azerbaijan and the Arctic. Headhunters and prayer flags, liars and thieves, evil spirits and atrocious food. From Tbilisi to Tibet to the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Common Sense and Whiskey is a crisp survey of what’s it’s like in the real world. Offbeat people and isolated places lie at this book’s heart. Common Sense and Whiskey pokes into the back corners of our planet. It takes us into the unknown and describes what the unknown looks like.

“You can handle just about anything out on the road with a believable grin, common sense and whiskey.” That’s been the author’s theory, anyway, for 25 years of international travel. So far, so good. And now, Common Sense and Whiskey distills (no pun there, certainly) the most memorable experiences of a lifetime of travel to some of the world’s least visited places.

Fifteen stories from Bhutan, Borneo, Burma, Greenland, Guangxi, Lake Baikal, Madagascar, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Chilean Patagonia, the Southern Caucasus, the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Sri Lanka and Tibet.

Bill sent a review copy to Josh Allen in the Amateur Traveler community who had this to say after reading the book:

-A blunt, dare I say: “Guide Book” into the reality of “Adventure Travel”.

If you love stories about tropical beaches, amusement parks or milky white sandy beaches; then this isn’t the book for you.
Bill Murray takes a collection of his fifteen most memorable trips and opens your eyes to the frequently good, bad, and of course, ugly parts. You’ll find stories which make you ask “Why the heck did he go there?” Only to find out he might have asked himself that once he was there as well. From a hacking woman in a broken down “guide vehicle” in Tibet to an arduous train ride through endless birch forests along the Trans-Siberian Railway, this book is a wonderful insight into the world of “Traveling off the Beaten Path, Road, Waterway, or Train Track”.

I would recommend this to anyone, especially if you’ve never been to these places. It will certainly spark your interest and for most, will add to the places on your list of “places to see”

Josh Allen

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

One Response to “Book Review – “Common Sense and Whiskey””

Bill Murray, author


Thanks for the review, Chris and Josh! Your readers might want to take a look at some of the photos in the book. The photos in the book are in black and white, but I’ve put all of them and lots more on the web at A Common Sense and Whiskey Companion. It’s here:

Hope you enjoy them!

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