Tales from the Torrid Zone follows what has become the standard formula for travel books - interesting facts, mixed with humorous anecdotes and a smattering of autobiography. Frater makes for a genial companion, and the book is a reflection of the zone it describes. It is a book that languishes, gently and seemingly aimlessly, in awe of each place as it wanders from one tropical destination to another; sometimes fascinating, sometimes unexpected, sometimes rather slow. As Frater himself says, "Sometimes, I imagine a mildly narcotic vapor drifts across the Torrid Zone...it causes a kind of stupefaction in its victims". The reader can imagine the book being written in a warm, humid climate with the heat sapping the writer's energy so that nothing moves too quickly and both writer and reader can ...
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