Signs of Life
‘A thoughtful exploration of humanity … Fabes is great company and makes riding bicycles seem like the best way to see and understand the world’ – Guardian
They say that being a good doctor boils down to just four things: Shut up, listen, know something, care.
The same could be said for life on the road, too.
When Stephen Fabes left his job as a junior doctor and set out to cycle around the world, frontline medicine quickly faded from his mind. Of more pressing concern were the daily challenges of life as an unfit rider on an overloaded bike, helplessly in thrall to pastries. But leaving medicine behind is not as easy as it seems.
As he roves continents, he finds people whose health has suffered through exile, stigma or circumstance, and others, whose lives have been saved through kindness and community. After encountering a frozen body of a monk in the Himalayas, he is drawn ever more to healthcare at the margins of the world, to crumbling sanitoriums and refugee camps, to city dumps and war-torn hospital wards. And as he learns the value of listening to lives – not just solving diagnostic puzzles – Stephen challenges us to see care for the sick as a duty born of our humanity, and our compassion.
a thoughtful exploration of humanity ... Fabes is great company and makes riding bicycles seem like the best way to see and understand the world -- Guardian a poignant, funny memoir... Fabes is a winning storyteller * Star Tribune * The pages, and the turns, are a constant surprise and a wonder... Fabes writes beautifully, poetically, transportingly, about his journey * Life in the Fast Lane * an intrepid cyclist and doctor recounts an epic journey... A brisk, panoramic view of peoples and lands. * Kirkus Reviews * Witty and wild, intrepid and inspirational, the book chronicles two parallel journeys: Fabes' physical cycling tour of many countries and his look at health across the globe ... An entertaining and epic chronicle of a journey of extremes. * Booklist * Signs of Life is the kind of book we need right now. It is heart-warming. It is hopeful. It shows us that despite all the guns and guerrillas the world is also full of people who press presents and hospitality on travellers. It is also a very readable travelogue, a thoughtful one. * The BookBag * A dizzying, headlong, hilarious grand tour... deserves to become a classic. -- Gavin Francis An inspirational journey of humanity and humility. Fabes has redefined the medical memoir. -- Nathan Filer A clever and entertaining book, never veering too far from either the practicalities of bike-touring or Fabes's work as a medic and often using metaphors that connect the two * TLS * A charming, human story of resilience, adversity and compassion, all told with a good dose of dry British humour -- Lois Pryce author of * Revolutionary Ride * 'I absolutely loved this book - a six-year, wheel-spinning, page-turning pedal around the world. Full of rich, vivid descriptions of people and landscapes, interwoven with wisdom, compassion, humanity and a playful Panglossian humour... he allows us to see how everything is connected. If Stephen is half as talented a doctor as he is a writer, then lucky patients I say. A worthy addition to the cycle-touring canon -- Mike Carter
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