After reading Sarah Macdonald’s Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure back in April 2006 it was time to follow up with Jonathan Harley’s Lost in Transmission
Title: Lost in Transmission
Author: Jonathan Harley
Category: Biography, Travel
Publisher: Bantam Australia
Date Published: 2004
Format: Trade Paperback
Number of pages: 335 pages
If Khurram is right and the soul can only travel at a camel’s speed, then mine has a lot of catching up to do…
- Jonathan Harley
‘I grew up with lessons of Australian men as hardy, practical types, strong and stoic. They went off to war for years in jungles and deserts, and never had the need or time to talk about it when they came home. I haven’t even fought a war; merely skirted its edges. But if Khurram is right and the soul can only travel at camel’s speed, then mine has a lot of catching up to do.’
When Jonathan Harley is finally offered his dream job as a foreign correspondent, he is suddenly no longer so sure he wants it. He’s just fallen in love, hard. But he can’t pass up the chance of becoming the ABC’s man in South Asia – and the adventure of a lifetime. “Lost in Transmission” is his funny, moving and thoroughly entertaining account of what it’s really like not only to be a foreign correspondent but to be literally a stranger in an even stranger land, struggling to make sense of life in a region that never makes sense.
As he finds – and often fumbles – his way around his new beat, from his base in New Delhi, across the wilds of India to Pakistan, Nepal to Afghanistan and beyond to Iraq, Harley shares the misadventures, both hilarious and terrifying. From covering India’s endearingly over the top reaction to the demise of our beloved Don to being the only Australian journlaist in Afghanistan on September 11, he throws us in the deep end with him as he lurches from one hair-raising adventure to the next.
Whether he is laughing at himself or exposing the ugly face of war Harley shifts effortlessly between the serious, the sublime and the ridiculous, but his take is never less than searingly honest.
Part adventure, part extreme travel, “Lost in Transmission” is also a disarmingly intimate account of a young man growing up way faster than a camel can walk and confronting his humanity and sanity along the way. It is also a story of long distance love, and the true meaning of being lost and found.