Canongate has signed a new book by explorer Benedict Allen which it says "already feels like a classic of the genre".
The title charts the adventures that led Allen to ever more testing environments, from the Gobi to the Bering Strait – and to Papua New Guinea, the trip which caused a media frenzy when it was thought he was "lost" only to be "saved" when the Daily Mail paid for a helicopter to rescue him. It turned out he had encountered tribal wars, electrical storms and had contracted malaria. The book combines the personal story behind his compulsion to explore with a wider consideration of what drives adventurers into unknown environments.
"Searingly honest, sensitive and packed with insight, Allen considers the lessons we might learn, both from explorers but also the communities they encounter", said the publisher.
Editorial director Simon Thorogood acquired world rights from Victoria Hobbs at A M Heath.
Thorogood said: "Benedict Allen has had a remarkable career as an explorer, and in his new book he draws on those experiences (as well as ongoing adventures – he’s solo in the Amazon rainforest as I write this), to answer a seemingly simple question: why does he, and other adventurers/explorers, do what they do? What is it that drives people to leave behind safety and comfort and venture into the unknown? Why risk your life exploring when the whole world is available to us at a click of a mouse? The book is the culmination of years of experience and thinking, of exploration and writing. It already feels like a classic of the genre."