By Robert Twigger
Best-selling author of Angry White Pyjamas travels across the Rocky Mountains by canoeFifteen years before Lewis and Clark, Scotsman Alexander Mackenzie, looking to open up a trade route, set out from Lake Athabasca in central Northern Canada in search of the Pacific Ocean. Mackenzie travelled by bark canoe and had a cache of rum and a crew of Canadian voyageurs, hard-living backwoodsmen, for company. Two centuries later, Robert Twigger decides to follow in Mackenzie's wake. He too travels the traditional way, having painstakingly built a canoe from birchbark sewn together with pine roots, and assembled a crew made up of fellow travelers, ex-tree-planters and a former sailor from the US Navy. Several had tried before them but they were the first people to successfully complete Mackenzie's diabolical route over the Rockies in a birchbark canoe since 1793. Their journey takes them to the remotest parts of the wilderness, through Native American reservations, over mountains, through rapids and across lakes, meeting descendants of Mackenzie and unhinged Canadian trappers, running out of food, getting lost and miraculously found again, disfigured for life (the ex-sailor loses his thumb), bears brown and black, docile and grizzly.
The Va Dinci Cod
By Adam Roberts
Something fishy is going on in the world of artistic scholarship. How can there possibly be a link between the hidden cod of Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings and the over fishing of the North Atlantic fish stocks? Could it be that Leonardo Da Vinci, the greatest genius of his age and inventor of the photocopier and mouse mat, had a chilling insight into European Union Fishing policies.Only one man can find out. Robert Hangdog, international scholar, master spy and action hero. Oh and Bezu Fish.