Listen free for 30 days

  • Quondam

  • Travels in a Once World
  • By: John Devoy
  • Narrated by: John Devoy
  • Length: 15 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Quondam cover art

Quondam

By: John Devoy
Narrated by: John Devoy
Try for £0.00

£7.99 per month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for £22.89

Buy Now for £22.89

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Once in a while, a travel book comes along that pushes at the boundaries of the genre. Quondam: Travels in a Once World does exactly that, asking us to reimagine the relevance and potential of travel. In this case, an epic, true-grit expedition by bike through the heart of Africa without the umbilical cord of technology, when being on your own meant exactly that. 

A superb observer and storyteller, John Devoy recounts his adventure in an imaginative and captivating style that has won the admiration of Dervla Murphy and Ted Simon, two writers who have left their own indelible marks on the literature of travel.

©2018 John Devoy (P)2019 John Devoy

What listeners say about Quondam

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best.

I try not to keep Too many hard copy's of books, but among them is a 1965 copy of "Full Tilt" by Dervla Murphy, & a battered 1980 penguin, of "Jupiters travels" by Ted Simon. When I saw that John Devoys Quondam had a forward by both of these writers, I knew it had to be good, and I was certainly not disappointed.
An excellent, wonderful book, very well narrated by the author, such an insight into the world as he cycled through it, quondam.
I have received a signed copy from John Devoy inscribed to my Daughter on her birthday.
I look forward to Devoy's next book to continue the journey.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a journey

As a travel book, this is a real gem.
John Devoy brings us with him on his incredible 30,000km journey. He is a
natural writer and has captured the real essence of travel. Informative, practical,
sometimes poetic, sometimes philosophical and always very insightful. His brutal
honesty makes it compelling. Highly recommended for anyone interested
in travel. This will become essential reading for anyone travelling in Africa or undertaking
long cycles.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent - Read by the Author - Inspiring and thought-provoking book

'Quondam' is the sort of book that stays with you, long after you have read it.

'Travels in a once world' is written on the front cover and this excited me. I wanted to travel through Africa with the writer, I yearned to meet the people, taste the food, and take in the scenery. This I managed to do, quite enjoyably, but what I had not anticipated quite as much was the other journey author John Devoy was on, the journey of coming to know and live with himself.

I recently moved from Ireland to the UK and John's technique of describing the feeling of physically being somewhere, yet mentally still trying to catch up, was something I had been struggling to do. His words struck a chord with me, they stayed with me.

Devoy has a talent for saying so much, by what he leaves out. He gives the reader space to think, to come to their own conclusions, something I really enjoyed.

This is an honest book, jam packed with anecdotal failures and vulnerabilities, yet with lots of funny and entertaining stories along the way too, striking just the right balance.

I would highly recommend 'Quondam' - it works great for a book club too!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well worth waiting 30 years to write (and to read)

Africa isn't a place to simply travel through, but a place to live and experience. Travelling there isn't about getting from A to B, but about being open to every moment and every person crossing your path. Devoy, on two wheels and with an open and humble approach achieves this brilliantly. Being unencumbered with modern communications technologies and expectations certainly helps too. He weaves in all sort of history and thought inspired by his many adventures and mishaps into a great story. I will patiently await part 2 and certainly hope it won't take another thirty years!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great read

A great story of what can be achieved with grit and determination even when things seem to be going against you

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for chaoticangel38
  • chaoticangel38
  • 06-05-20

Awesome travel tale!

This was such a raw and descriptive story of travel, I felt as if I was right there with the author at times. He definitely did some roughing it on his journey, it was a good thing he had a great sense of humor & love of other cultures, he needed this to get through the rough spots & physical illnesses.
This book deserves 5 stars & the narrator (also the author) had a hard job tackling the different languages & dialects & handled it like a champ! I would recommend this book for anyone who loves to travel!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bethany Bruder
  • Bethany Bruder
  • 05-05-20

It's about so much more than travel

First, this man has the most relaxing voice on the planet. Second, this is not just a story about travel. It's about people. It's about navigating the world before the age of the internet and easy connection. Third, it is about a biking adventure through Africa.

I love travel memoirs voiced by the authors. I think it lends an authenticity to the story that you just cannot get with another narrator. John Devoy voicing his own book is magic. The cadence of the story is perfect. Like many places, the African continent has changed a lot in the last 30 years. You feel like you are right there on the bicycle with John as he navigates the landscape and people he meets along the way. It is wildly refreshing.

I received this book in return for my honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for lmauer2
  • lmauer2
  • 20-04-20

Wow!

I can’t believe I am the first to review this amazing book. What an incredible journey this was across Africa. It is a piece of work more about intimate human connection than anything else when human connection was necessary for a journey such as this. In the 80s when this took place, cell phones and gps were t available. An intimate connection to the land and people was necessary.
The narration is spot on, an excellent reading by the man who lived it, interspersed with Irish folk songs and his glorious Irish accent.
Overall this is a very calming book that I think could be enjoyed by anyone looking to travel through a once world. There are many highs in this book as well as sadness, sickness, and perseverance in the face of personal calamity. If there was any one book I would recommend to a friend or a stranger this year it would and will be this one. Thank you for writing this memoir John.