An adventure is an exciting or unusual experience. It can be risky, exhilarating, bold and exuberant. It can include; sky diving, travelling or extreme sports. But that was just a list of some outdoorsy activities. However, adventure can include indulging in a thrilling movie, writing an exciting story or simply, reading an adventure book. For me, that’s the greatest venture of all, where I can let my imagination run wild and let the book lead me into a world of hazards, endangerment and uncertainty. Therefore if you classify yourself as a bohemian, wanderer, risk-taking adventurer, I dare you to go ahead and read these top ten adventure books of all time.
1. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Moby-Dick, if you’re not a hermit or have been living under a rock your whole life you must have at least come across hearing about Moby-Dick. Well, if not, here’s a short summary; Moby-Dick is a novel written by the American author Herman Melville which was a turning point of his career as it turned out to be the master-piece of all time. The story is narrated by the sailor, Ishmael who is on board with the obsessive, slightly neurotic Captain Ahab on a quest to find the white whale, Moby-Dick, who has apparently ruined his whole life and now seeks revenge. The characters are brilliantly portrayed as well as the descriptions of the exotic locations with a tinge of dark humor. If you haven’t already read this book I would recommend you to pick up your copy right away.
2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The story revolves around the initially domesticated canine, Buck, before he gets kidnapped and moved around, and about his adventures. The reader is anxiously on edge at all times as the novel takes uncertain turns with hazards around every corner. The book describes the indestructible nature of this courageous dog and how he endures the unpleasant conditions and behavior without any fear.
3. Odyssey by Homer
The novel is set about three thousand years ago, although it would be wrong to call it a novel as it is rather an epic poem. Homer has great command over literature, poetry, metaphors and symbolism. It’s based on the ancient Greek sea god Poseidon and the challenges he faces on his return home after twenty years. The ancient Greek history is unraveled and myths and legends retold in this poem. Therefore if you enjoy poetry, literature compositions along with adventure this should be on your list of reads.
4. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
This is the first non-fiction documentation on the list. Fiction adventure books are an enjoyable read; however we cannot leave out non-fiction because these are the ones that take you as close as possible to the real adventure that you can experience. Thus I have included one of my favorite tragic tales, into the wild. This inspirational story is about a young man who leaves all his possessions behind to live life on his own terms and invents his own life after donating his valuables to charity. He hitchhikes his way to reach his final destination, Alaska to become a wanderer. However the world seems to be too harsh on him and he only gets to live his dream for a short span of four months after which he passes away. His body is found after these few months by a moose hunter.
5. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Had I been writing this blog post a few years ago this novel would’ve appeared on the top of my list and it is still the most ‘treasured’ book on my shelf but I seemed to have grown out of it (only a little). This book was the turning point of adventure novels during my childhood and I am sure many people would relate. As the title suggests, this adventure is about the venture of men seeking for treasure. Stereo-typically you would expect the one legged pirate, the talking bird and of course the treasure map, however this doesn’t seem cliché at all. I would classify it as a classic. Surely a delightful read for all ages.
6. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
‘The lord of the rings’ fans would already know of this novel. The Hobbit is the same set up of the whimsical world created by the author. The plot revolves around the young Bilbo Baggins and his adventure into a world that his fellow hobbits will perhaps never see. The story intersects with fantasy, mystery and adventure. I would highly recommend it to people who would enjoy mystery books as well as adventure.
7. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
Yet another outstanding read by Krakauer, an account of the 1996 disaster. It is an account of a great miscalculation of an upcoming devastating storm that was the cause of death of five mountain climbers. The mountaineers enthusiastically made their way up the mount when suddenly they were stricken by the terrible weather after which every life moment and limbs were in peril. There was no peace, rest or a moment of safety through this read.
8. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
The story of Phileas Fogg, also made into a great film with the main character portrayed by Steve Coogan. The uptight Phileas proves to the world his journey around the world in eighty days around the time when the world wasn’t such a global village. His exhilarating journey across the different countries and the different modes of transportation are excellently executed in the novel.
9. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
A universal read all over the continent and for all ages. This book casually mocks different aspects, religion, science and politics with the use of satire. The main character is taken through all sorts of strange journeys, mishaps, islands and philosophies that we have probably never read before.
10. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
An incredible quest of an undiscovered mine of King Solomon into unexplored parts of Africa. Three Englishmen, a lost man, an untold story and an undiscovered kingdom; need I say more? Get deluded into the world of imagination, legends history and adventure.