Books: Greenhorns into the Heart of Borneo

by Redmond O'Hanlon Random House; 193 pages; $16.95

Within this intrepid travelogue lies the soul of Monty Python. The setting is the third largest island in the world, a fetid, fiercely overgrown jungle seething with carnivorous fauna and suspicious tribes. The protagonists are two British greenhorns with minimal survival skills. Poet James Fenton, 35, likes to spend his spare time reading the poems of Swift in a canoe. Narrator Redmond O'Hanlon, 37, is a literary naturalist who admits before embarking on the 1983 expedition, "The nearest I had ever come to a tropical rain-forest, after all, was in the Bodleian Library." Actually, he edges a bit closer when he...

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