A Sense of the World

How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler

By Jason Roberts
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780007161263, 432pp.)

Publication Date: June 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

He was known simply as the Blind Traveler. A solitary, sightless adventurer, James Holman (1786-1857) fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon, helped chart the Australian outback—and, astonishingly, circumnavigated the globe, becoming one of the greatest wonders of the world he so sagaciously explored. A Sense of the World is a spellbinding and moving rediscovery of one of history's most epic lives—a story to awaken our own senses of awe and wonder.




About the Author

Jason Roberts is the inaugural winner of the Van Zorn Prize for emerging writers (sponsored by Michael Chabon) and a contributor to the Village Voice, McSweeney's, The Believer, and other publications. He lives in Northern California.




Praise For A Sense of the World

“Enthralling...inspiring A moving, mesmerizing biography.”
-Time magazine

“An admirable work, testament to the determination, resourcefulness, and skill of not only its subject, but also its author.”
-Boston Globe

“Gives us a man who embraced wanderlust at a time when the continents and oceans were much, much bigger.”
-New York Times

“Vibrant prose.”
-Washington Post

“Through meticulous research…with intrigue and humor, Roberts brings Holman fully to life.”
-Daily News

“Roberts has achieved much. His research is meticulous and…a person lost to history is now rediscovered.”
-Denver Rocky Mountain News

“Vibrant...evok(es) with grace and wit the tale of this man once lionized as “The Blind Traveler.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Enthralling. A masterpiece of biography, travel writing and medical journalism.”
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Extraordinary…beautifully produced…Roberts made his hero one for the history books.”
-Buffalo News

“Holman’s remarkable life story, coupled with Roberts’ extraordinary gifts as a storyteller, make this a fascinating read.”
-Contra Costa Times

“A well-written popular history that will appeal to an audience interested in stories of individuals triumphing over physical difficulties.”
-Library Journal

“A remarkable job of resurrecting Holman from obscurity, painting a portrait of a complex and compelling persona.”
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Roberts’s book is an excellent read.… An author with an enviable ability to tell the tale.
-The Spectator

“(A) meticulous recreation of Holman’s world.”
-Miami Herald

“Roberts is a beautifully assured writer.”
-Seattle Times

“An imaginative journey (told with) enviable tact and skill.”
-Daily Telegraph (London)

“(a) talented and committed writer.”
-Raleigh News & Observer

“This warm-hearted and sensitive account should give Holman his due: a place in the pantheon of great travelers.”
-The Guardian

“A tribute to an inspiring figure who, despite his blindness, was a far-sighted traveller.”
-Bath Chronicle (UK)

“Paints a convincing and well-researched picture of Holman’s early life…Holman’s first trip, to Russia, is particularly well-drawn.”
-The Economist

“Jason Roberts should be proud of his achievement in this sensitive and imaginative book.”
-Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Roberts wisely tells this extraordinary story without embellishment. The tale will fill you with wonder. In a word: remarkable.”
-Melbourne Herald Sun

“Holman’s life as told in this biography reads like a dare to get out of the house and live!”
-NPR's Holiday Book Roundup

“Fascinating...rich...I don’t expect to read a better [book] soon.”
-Weekend Australian

“Painstakingly researched. Worth reading.”
-Irish Times

“This excellent biography owes much to the wonderful balance the author achieves between detail and evocative description.”
-ABC Magazine (UK)

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