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Round the BendRound the Bend

Alistair McGuinness

  • Travel
  • Biography/Autobiography
  • The Real World

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Why I wrote this book

When redundancy strikes, we all act differently and Alistair chose the factory closure as the catalyst to change his life and decided to capture the events in an adventure travel book.

The story depicts the turbulence of redundancy, the excitement of overland travel, the anguish of leaving home and the challenges of starting a new life in Australia. Readers are taken on a journey from the Amazon to the Andes, across the Indian Ocean to the summit of Kilimanjaro and then through the heart of Africa to Cape Town.

Described by the book bag as “inspirational” the story is much more that a travelogue. It captures the raw emotions of leaving behind family to follow your dreams, no matter where they take you.


Three things happened simultaneously: 

The lioness charged, Alistair fled across the parched savannah and his wife screamed for him to run faster. Stuffed deep inside his tattered rucksack was a guidebook containing advice on what to do in wildlife emergencies, which he planned to read if he survived the next thirty seconds. 

Future plans to climb Kilimanjaro, teach English in the Amazon and live in Australia were temporarily forgotten as he turned to face the pouncing lioness, thinking back to the words of advice from his mother-in-law. “Don’t do anything silly, and look after Francine.” 

From deep underground in a remote Bolivian mine to the scorched Australian outback, Round the Bend is an adventure travel story. It explores the turbulence of redundancy, the excitement of travel, the anguish of leaving home and the challenges of starting a new life in Australia.


THE BOOKBAG: "An inspiring, enlightening and thoroughly readable story of the journey of a lifetime. Definitely recommended, particularly if you're planning such a trip or thinking of emigrating."

AMAZON: "If you are looking for inspiration on the direction of your life journey or are dreaming of wild travels in remote foreign lands, Round the Bend, by Alistair McGuinness, is the read for you! Packed with quirky anecdotes and tales of jungle trekking, mountain scaling and safari survival, this action packed adventure is woven around real life following redundancy and some difficult decisions to leave family / friends and finally emigrate to Australia. I really enjoyed the read and must admit that I am just a little jealous of some of the places Alistair and his wife Fran experienced on their remarkable extended expedition!"

GOODREADS: "Find a shady tree, grab your favourite lounging chair and become engrossed in the authors story. This witty yet thought provoking account of Alistair's travels through different continents, the characters he meets on his travels and some of the mishaps makes you smile and envious of 'living the dream'. An enjoyable read from page to page. Well worth the read!"

About the Author

Alistair McGuinness
Alistair grew up in a town called Luton, 30 miles north of London. Family holidays were spent in Donegal, Ireland, staying with his Grandmother in their large family home where she had once raised fifteen children.
It was these trips that made Alistair realise his Great Uncles were Seanachaís (Irish story tellers). After a few pints of Guinness in the family bar, brothers Barney and Francis would entertain the patrons and overseas visitors with their creative recitations of life in rural Ireland. 
44 countries and four decades later, Alistair now calls Australia home and in the tradition of Great Uncles Barney and Francis, loves to recite stories. He lives between the beach and the forest with his wife, two young boys and a fun puppy called Peppi.
A fun family day for Alistair would be fishing from the local jetty with his boys, taking the puppy for a walk along the beach at sunset and cooking a scrumptious curry in the evening with his wife. An ideal adventurous day for Alistair would be a days walking and scrambling in the Lake District with friends, followed by a visit to a village pub nestled deep in the English countryside.
Twitter: @amcguinness1 

Book info

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256 pages


Alistair McGuinness


Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing

Publication date

16th January 2014

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