Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt - authors

Non-fiction books by Richard Starks
and Miriam Murcutt

Lost in Tibet is a true story of high adventure, cultural conflict and political intrigue - set against the mystical background of pre-Chinese Tibet.
“An amazing story, and an entertaining and well-written book.” – National Geographic Adventure
“A superb recounting of a truly unique high adventure – could not put it down. Outstanding!” – RebeccasReads, giving the book its ‘best in history’ award.


Along the River that Flows Uphill – from the Orinoco to the Amazon is a travel book that weaves the story of the authors’ journey with math, science and reason to explore the risks that are inherent in all adventure travel.
“Five out of five stars. An unforgettably vivid travelogue.” – Midwest Book Review.
“It is creative non-fiction. It is literature, history, geography, adventure. And it is cracking good fun.” - January magazine, awarding the book its ‘best of 2009 non-fiction’.
A Room with a Pew gives an account of a journey the authors took through Spain, staying only in ancient monasteries.
"The authors' use of immersion journalism provides a unique insight into the inner sanctum of the monasteries..." - Kirkus Reviews.
"If you have any inclination to try an offbeat way of seeing Spain, this book will give you options." - Book Pleasures.
"A book that is great fun to read - unreligious, but not sacrilegious... an entertaining book that sheds a lot of light on an important element of Spain, and gives very practical information about the way you might go about sleeping with nuns." - A Traveler's Library.


Greenland for $1.99 is a short ebook - illustrated by more than twenty photographs - that gives an account of the authors' journey inside the Arctic Circle.
"I recommend this book to any armchair traveler, and I'll be reading the authors' other books too!” - Shannon, Goodreads reviewer.
"The authors’ sense of adventure and straight-forward writing style left me with a desire to pack my bags and make the trek to Greenland.” - Megan Barker Bowen, Amazon reviewer

Fiction - by Richard Starks
A fast-paced crime thriller about money and the two emotions - fear and greed - that so often surround it.
"This is a fast paced thriller with an ingenious plot." - Michael, Amazon reviewer.

Books


Lost in Tibet is a non-fiction, action-adventure set in pre-Chinese Tibet. It tells the true story of five American airmen who, in 1943, were flying a dangerous supply route between India and China. When a violent storm blew them off course, they were forced to bail out – only to find themselves stranded deep in Tibet. Against their will, the men were taken to Lhasa – two years before Heinrich Harrer, the renowned author of Seven Years in Tibet arrived in the capital – and there they were drawn into the political turmoil that even then was swirling around Tibet's right to independence. To avert an international incident, and to secure their own safety, the men were forced to leave Lhasa and set out on a perilous journey across the Tibetan plateau – a journey that soon became a desperate race against time.

Kirkus Reviews calls Lost in Tibet “a well-rendered story with plenty of twists – for fans of The Burma Road and Into Thin Air.”

Climbing magazine says “the story is marvelous, a page-turner for readers enamored of true-life adventure tales.”

Asian Affairs journal writes: "Starks and Murcutt have skillfully placed this remarkable story in its political context, and they provide valuable footnotes that make this book a work of scholarship as well as an excellent read."

Joint Forces Journal says Lost in Tibet gives "a gripping, detailed account of a time and place that most Americans have never glimpsed."




Along the River that Flows Uphill – from the Orinoco to the Amazon is an account of a journey the authors took along a strange river in Venezuela called the Casiquiare. This river is the only one of its kind on the planet, since it joins two other rivers – the Orinoco and the Amazon – that should be entirely separate; and it does this by apparently flowing up and over the watershed that divides them. This should not be possible.

The authors embark on their journey with little thought of the dangers they face; but when a Yanomami Indian threatens to shoot them with a bow and arrow, and a marauding band of FARC guerrillas tries to kidnap and hold them for ransom, they are forced to assess the risks they are taking - risks that are inherent in any adventurous travel.

RebeccasReads says Along the River that Flows Uphill is “wonderfully entertaining – an extremely intelligent book that’s very well written with a few surprises along the way.”

Sandy Dhuyvetter, Executive Producer and Host of TravelTalkMEDIA says “I love this book; it’s really dramatic, an armchair traveler book that's very adventurous. It’s awesome.”

A Traveler's Library writes, "while Along the River that Flows Uphill is not the kind of guidebook that explains how to rent that boat to go down the (Casiquiare) river, it does explain what you must take as gifts for the Yanomami and other useful information. ....An excellent book to add to your traveler's library, on the shelf belonging to the lesser-known areas of the world." To read the whole review click here.


A Room with a Pew tells of a journey the authors took through Spain – staying exclusively in ancient monasteries. As they quickly discovered, Spain’s ancient monasteries are intriguing places in which to stay. They are ripe with history, art and culture (living museums); rarely visited (so few tourists); always welcoming (in line with St.Benedict's Rule); peopled by a dying breed of monks and nuns (last chance to see); and open to anyone who cares to stop by (you don’t have to be religious, although it doesn’t hurt if you are). The book shows what it is like to stay in Spanish monasteries, and as such will appeal not only to first-time visitors to Spain but also to returning travelers who are looking for a different experience. A Room with a Pew is not a guide book, but it does contain enough information for readers to plan similar journeys of their own.

Kirkus Reviews says of A Room with a Pew, “The authors’ use of immersion journalism provides unique insight into the inner sanctum of the monasteries.”

Book Pleasures writes, “If you have any inclination to try an offbeat way of seeing Spain, this book would give you some options. The authors do a good job of giving step-by-step advice about how to approach such a trip.”

A Traveler's Library says that the authors "have created a book that is great fun to read - unreligious, but not sacreligious... an entertaining book that sheds a lot of light on an important element of Spain, and gives very practical information about the way you might go about sleeping with nuns." To read the whole review, click here.

ForeWord writes that, "... respected travel writers Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt plunged off the beaten path through Spain, spending their nights exclusively in several of the country's ancient monasteries... Starks and Murcutt offer readers a captivating tour of these edifices of spirituality, piety and community - places embodying values so different from the rest of the world. The writers so enjoyed their own experience that they offer advice on choosing a monastery, making a reservation, and getting along with the hosts."

CityBookReview says, "Travel books can get repetitive or dull. Not this one. Brimming over with witty asides and accounts of occasional disappointments, even the ‘how to’ pages are as enticing as they are informative."



When authors Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt visited Greenland, they had no intention of writing a book. Instead, they were seeking a different travel experience in a place that has not yet been 'discovered'. However, they were so fascinated by their experiences that they resolved to capture some of what the country has to offer, and so wrote this short, illustrated ebook, Greenland for $1.99.

Greenland for $1.99 is not a guide book; but nor does it focus entirely on the authors and their journey. Instead, the book is intended to be a brief introduction to Greenland, primarily written for people who might be interested in going there.

As the authors soon discovered, Greenland is an easy country to explore on your own. There’s no need to join a group. In fact, you’re better off without one, because only then can you experience the haunting isolation of Greenland’s painted towns and its empty tundra, fjords, icebergs and crenelated glaciers.

For now, Greenland for $1.99 is available only as a Kindle ebook. You can, of course, read it on a Kindle, but you can also download from Amazon a free Kindle app for your Ipad or other similar device.

The book is illustrated by more than twenty photographs, and as you might expect from the title, it costs just $1.99.






Money Doesn't Talk, It Kills is a fast-paced crime thriller about money and the twin emotions, fear and greed, that most often surround it.

Mark Slater is a university professor turned stock-market analyst - 46 years old, happily married, with two kids in college.

From a fellow analyst, he learns of an upcoming takeover that would allow him to make a lot of money - fast. But to cash in he would need to break the law; and that is something Mark is sure he'd never do.

Events, however, conspire against him, and when Mark meets a college friend he hasn't seen in twenty years, he gives in to temptation and commits the crime of insider trading.

Too late, he realizes he has made a terrible mistake. He has put at risk everything he holds dear - his job, his family, his freedom, and his self-respect.

Mark just wants his old life back. But his college friend has other ideas - which lead Mark into a violent and criminal world from which there seems no escape.


"This is a fast paced thriller with an ingenious plot. Not a Whodunnit but an account of an honest man's dishonesty... The crime - the first one, anyway - is financial and the machinations of the money-laundering world of crooked investors, lawyers and gangsters are well explained. You don't need to work on Wall Street to enjoy it." - Amazon.com reviewer.







"Lost in Tibet is a well rendered story, with plenty of twists. For fans of The Burma Road, Into Thin Air, and other tales in the man-vs.-the-elements vein." - Kirkus Reviews.


"Authors Starks and Murcutt absorbingly recount the political conquest of Tibet through the story of these five young men's unwitting embroilment in an international incident, and their extraordinary journey home." - Publishers Weekly.










"Along the River that Flows Uphill is so much beyond the travelogue one might expect. It is creative non-fiction. It is literature. It is history. It is geography. It is adventure. And it is cracking good fun." - January magazine, awarding the book its 'best of 2009 non-fiction'.



"What a read! As experienced authors of several books and articles, these writers know their subject and their craft.They write with humor and skill in a way that keeps you turning the pages.This is a really good read and an amazing adventure." - Bonnie Neely, Editor, Real Travel Adventures International magazine.







If you have any inclination to try an offbeat way of seeing Spain, this book would give you some options. The authors do a good job of giving step-by-step advice about how to approach such a trip, and, given their degree of travel experience, I would say it would be most helpful advice. - Bookpleasures.com


"Starks and Murcutt offer readers a captivating tour of these edifices of spirituality, piety and community - places embodying values so different from the rest of the world. The writers so enjoyed their own experience that they offer advice on choosing a monastery, making a reservation, and getting along with the hosts." -
ForeWord magazine