Traveling Europe by train with my friends is one of my fondest travel memories. Inter Railing through Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Rep led me on many an adventure and a year or two later a train trip through Poland also provided me with an … erm … experience.
So when I received an email out of the blue asking me if I’d like to review a new book by one Alessandro Gallenzi entitled ‘Inter Rail’, it was a simple decision.
Francesco is a young man who doesnt not have the best of relationships with his father and who has lost faith in his native Italy. In leaving home for the first time he sets off with just the bare essential and an inter rail pass in search of a European adventure. It all sounds simple enough, but a chance encounter on his very first train journey leads Francesco into all sorts of trouble and mischief. Its not all bad though, he does get to stay in some rather swanky accommodation throughout his trip, but who’s paying exactly? With a tight budget, a lack of direction and caught in the middle of a plot he’d rather not be involved in, Francesco then goes and complicates things further by having one too many to drink and getting not one, but two women involved in his life … he’s a brave man!
This book wont be breaking into my top 10 any time soon, but I did enjoy reading it for the most part. Easy enough to pick up when you have a moment to turn a few pages, but also not a book that will have you turn those same pages till 1am.
Whilst I liked the story, I think the title of this book is a little misleading. Francesco’s Inter Rail ticket is just a minor detail and little detail is given about the cities Francesco stops in. You wonder just how interested Francesco is in these places, and even why he actually bothered going inter railing when the author has him moving to a new city every other day. He cant have seen very much! Even within the book it is referenced that Fransesco’s ‘grand Inter Rail adventure’ lasted little over two weeks before he was back in Italy. The book is more about the story than the destinations if that makes sense. What happens to Francesco is exciting, very exciting, a once in a lifetime, but the locations seem redundant.
I started this book in the hope that it would make me smile and remember funny stories from my own Inter Rail trip, but unfortunately it failed in that respect. Where the book did succeed was in fully entertaining me with a ‘chance encounter’ storyline. It was a bit of a Hollywood storyline whereby an average joe bumps into a maverick who shows him a life he could only dream of. An exciting book, just not an exciting TRAVEL book.
Book supplied by Alma Books. As always the opinions contain within this review are my own.