Troubador Against the Current

Released: 28/01/2016

eISBN: 9781785894046

Format: eBook

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Against the Current

Au revoir to corporate life and bonjour to a life afloat in France!


Against the Current is an oblique look at travelling through France on a boat by two people with no experience or qualifications, with imaginative asides and whimsies. Would you leave your job, sell your house, abandon your family and friends and move half way round the world to live on a boat? With no income, and no idea what the next day would bring? Probably not. But that’s what Mike and Liz did, choosing to cast off from corporate life to live on and travel the waterways of France. They’re boarded by armed police, nearly lose their boat, and pull a near-drowned body from the water. With a blade against his neck, Mike’s fate rests on a soccer game, and he and Liz accuse a Frenchman of not knowing how to soil a bat. This is their adventure, a book for anyone who’s ever thought they might like to just get away from it all, throw caution to the wind and see what tomorrow feels like. It will take you to the limits, bring you down to earth, but most of all it will make you laugh out loud. Join Mike and Liz, as they go sailing on a notion. Against the Current is an engaging travel memoir that will appeal particularly to boat lovers. This is a book for anyone who’s ever thought they might like to just get away from it all, throw caution to the wind and see what tomorrow feels like. It will take you to the limits, bring you down to earth, but most of all it will make you laugh out loud.

Against the Current is the laugh-out-loud (and nail-biting) story of the year Liz and I spent living and travelling on a boat in France. You can buy it from Matador as a paperback or an eBook. It is now also available as an audiobook (see below).

The book hjas been favourably reviewed by various UK media (particularly boating and travel publications). I've done one TV interview and a live interview on Cheshire Radio Station The Cat 107.9 FM, in which host Philippa Richford gave me some tremendous air time. Listen to it here:

The TV interview on Liverpool's Bay TV on 28 Janaury, is here:

The book's initial print-run sold out but I commissioned a second printing, so paperback copies are still available, as are eBooks.

The audiobook version of Against the Current is now available online through Audible, Scribl and iTunes as well as other audiobook outlets. If you'd like a FREE copy of the audiobook for review purposes just contact me!

You can follow more news about the book also on Facebook, here:

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I have just read this book and found it so absorbing that I read it through in three sessions. I found the content very interesting, informative, humorous and very well written. Well worth a read.

by S Inman

Mike I have just finished your book and laughed my way through, can't wait for the sequel... Sorry I missed you at the book launch/lunch I still have a horrible virus which, as it happens is the reason I have had un-interrupted reading on the couch time... Thanks again for the great read!

by Ally Todd

This was a joyful read for me as, being boaties on the French canals ourselves, it rekindled lovely memories as I recognised many of the places and situations Mike and Liz encounter. I'm sure others of our sailing ilk would enjoy it too. It would also be a good introduction for anyone considering taking up canal boating. Personal experience, factual detail, a travelogue through the France we know and love - it's all there, with the added bonus of a great deal of fun with language.

by Anne Ingram

Against The Current is the kind of book that you read with a smile on your face. The author has an engaging style to his writing that is so intimate, absorbing and entertaining that I had to keep turning the pages. A canal journey through the stunning French waterways that is sometimes reckless, often courageous but always amusing. The author's creative wit keeps the reader on an even keel! A good read.

by Brian Formby

Great read and good fun too. Mike's writing makes it easy to imagine that you're there in France and sailing the canals with him and Liz, enjoying the adventure and laughs along the way. Here's hoping it's not too long before they hit the water again and we see volume 2.

by Gary Bowering

Mike's book was a particularly good read for me as I am in the process of buying a boat. It provided useful insights about the boating scene in France. Many books on canal boating are tedious lists of places with copious notes on the numbers of bridges and the detail of every lock.

The book is well structured and well written it works on several levels. It is fun and informative whether you are a committed sailor or someone who never intends to set foot on a boat unless it is a cruise liner.

Boaters tend to be either 'techies' or 'feelies' this is a boat written by a feelie who writes from the heart. The romanticism of sailing through France is described, along with the reality which is served with a dollop of humour which is always necessary on a boat.

The book is also well produced with a nice feel to the paper. I would recommend I look forward to its sequel, which has to be a more in depth investigation of the wine regions of France from a canal boat.

by Paul Wallis

Mike and liz stayed with us in New Zealand a few years ago. They had revisited wellington, their home town for some years, and we were lucky to host them in our accommodation in Raglan as they prepared to exit N.Z. for a return to the U.K.
I purchase Mike's book as i have a great liking for books on travel, especially where humour is a major ingredient, as Bill Bryson blends in so well. Mike writes in similar vein, his humourous accounts of incidents that were encountered and experienced, either enjoyable or occasionally scary, make the book a great blend of sailing on the french canals and rivers, enjoying the wonderful scenery,meeting and mixing with other boaties. and emparting knowledge to readers who may be planning a similar experience. The writing sets the scene in your mind, and makes your virtual journey so real you just want it to continue for longer. The end came too soon, but the book is absolutely positively a great read and knowledge gainer. *****

by Tony Burns

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book being oldie boaters and the humour is second to none.Its the first time that I laughed out load since reading Bill Bryson's "A Walk In The Woods"and in my opinion just as good.More please Mike.

by B Clewlow

I love travel books and so I was very pleased to get two for Christmas. "Against the Current," and Bill Bryson's "The Road to Little Dibbling." I enjoyed both books tremendously and they provided welcome respite from from the boring English drizzle.

Now, I'm not saying that Mike is the new Bill Bryson, but they both have that wonderful conversational tone,the love of language,the ability to bring in relevant and interesting history, plus showing emotion when it all goes wonderfully right or wrong. It leaves the reader feeling that they are sitting at a table with Mike and Liz sharing the story over a nice bottle of wine (or two).

Totally recommended and inspirational. In fact I'm aiming to travel the canals in summer - but being cheap I aim to do it by bicycle.

by Richard Barnes

Loved the honesty of the story, the conversational tone, the readiness to laugh at themselves. Mike is a travel writer with a genuine love of language demonstrated in hilarious wordplay and the ability to convey atmosphere, tension, humor while giving a very true picture of life on the canals. Worth a read whether you plan to emulate his adventure or share it variously. Great to be able to go into the website and see the photos too! Liz French, New Zealand

by Liz French

An entertaining amble down France’s waterways, leisurely viewing the rich tapestry of sights, sounds and weird water folk, and finding danger in strange places.

by Mike Hodge

Mike Bodnar's Against the Current is a tour de force of waterways travel writing: absorbing, very funny, informative and immensely readable. The author takes us on an fascinating hands-on journey through the rivers and canals of France: the narrative is companionable and the wit is sharp and playful - sometimes explosively so -as we discover the quaysides, old villages and winter stop-overs of the boating communities of different regions. As well as providing a hands-on guide to stepping out of the rat race and following one's dreams, there is no is no better account of the experience of buying a boat, navigating these waters, seeing fascinating landmarks, savouring the local wines and relishing the adventure and the chance encounters all along the way.

by David Annwn Jones

Mike Bodnar

Born in Liverpool, I moved to New Zealand when I was 15 and lived there over the next forty-plus years.

During that time I was a teacher, worked in TV and radio, and was privileged to interview such notables as Rowan Atkinson, Spike Milligan, Barry Humphries, Douglas Adams, Dave Allen and others.

I formed my own PR agency, worked with everyone from prime ministers to pompous gits (sometimes the two were the same), and realised that writing was the DNA of almost everything I did.

In between my work as a communications consultant I even managed to achieve some success in stand-up comedy.

I am now back in England, with my wife Liz - back to where I once belonged.

The author, seeking fame and fortune on the horizon...

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