NO PICNIC ON MOUNT KENYA

Felice Benuzzi

With additional material translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis

When the clouds covering Mount Kenya part one morning to reveal its towering peaks for the first time, prisoner of war Felice Benuzzi is transfixed. The tedium of camp life is broken by the beginnings of a sudden idea - an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea.

There are not many people who would break out of a P.O.W. camp, trek for days across perilous terrain before climbing the north face of Mount Kenya with improvised equipment, meagre rations, and with a picture of the mountain on a tin of beef among their more accurate guides. There are probably fewer still who would break back in to the camp on their return.

But this is the remarkable story of three such men. No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a powerful testament to the human spirit of revolt and adventure in even the darkest of places.

Paperback - B-format - 320pp - £9.99 - 06/10/2016 - 9780857053770

"Felice Benuzzi's tale is a real joy. An extraordinary adventure written with a light, deft, humorous touch that makes it irresistibly readable. And it certainly shows that the British don't have a monopoly of eccentricity" MICHAEL PALIN

"The book crackles with the same dry humour as its title. It contains the prison-yard bartering and candlelight stitching that mark a classic jailbreak yarn; the encounters with wild beasts in Mount Kenya's forest belt are as gripping, and the descriptions of sparkling glaciers as awe-inspiring, as any passage in the great exploration diaries of the early 20th century" The Economist

"Deeply moving, this beautifully written book almost reads like a novel and provides a unique perspective on the effects of war and the power of imagination" ANDY CAVE, Guardian

"This classic adventure story is a gloriously readable celebration of courage, humour and the human longing for freedom" JANE SHILLING, Daily Mail

"Mr. Benuzzi's paradoxical mixture of pride and self-mocking humility is attractive: his courage is amazing; his story, dramatic" New York Times

"A most extraordinary prisoner-of-war and escape story" New Yorker

"More electrifying than anything a person with a nose for real adventure could hope to read" PIERO MELATI, Repubblica

"A mad venture and a gallant tribute to man's deep yearning for freedom" Kirkus Reviews

"The history of mountaineering can hardly present a parallel to this mad but thrilling escapade" Saturday Review

"A hymn to mountaineering and adventure" MARCO VALLE, Il Secolo

"A first-rate humanistic account that should quite simply be considered a classic of Italian literature" PIETRO SPIRITO, Il Piccolo

 

 

 

Elise Williams