Friday, October 9, 2009

Digging for the Truth: One Mans Epic Journey by Josh Bernstein

I read this book for Heidenkinds Art History Challenge. When I entered this challenge, I had no idea there was a book written by one of my favorite explorers tv show, Digging For The Truth. I'm a major History Channel nerd and watched pretty much every episode of this show.

What I loved about the show was how Josh would actually attempt to build stuff the way it would have been built or he did something to show us how hard the people in the time period he was talking about had it to do whatever it was they were doing. In the book, Josh takes us behind the scenes of seasons 1 and 2. For instance, I had no idea that all the shows for one season were filmed out of sequence. They did everything by geographic location. For instance if shows 1, 6 and 12 were about Egypt they did everything for those shows at one time. He said that by the end of filming for season 1, this got kind of confusing and while it would have been nice to do film in an entire episode and then do the next one, logistically and money wise, it just wasn't possible to do
The more I read the book, the more I got the sense that the History Channel was pretty much making him write the book. He does state that they made him put some stuff in there that he didn't want to write about-like his previous job experiences which was basically working for BOSS: The Boulder Outdoor Survival School in Boulder, Utah. He went from being a participant to staff member to CEO & President. I almost forgot one little thing-he does have a degree in Anthropology from Cornell University.

I think the hardest time I had with the book was that the second half of the book was pretty much him whining about how tired he was during filming, how crap the weather was (he hates rainforests b/c it rained so much when he was in one) and how he got dysentery & a potentially harmful spider bite during season 2. I like to think of myself as a somewhat seasoned international traveller, and as some one who has lived overseas let me tell you: these things are normal! I mean, was it necessary to go on for two pages about getting bit by chiggers? (I grew up in the woods, and these are nasty little things that itch like the dickens, but hello, you're an adult-deal with it!)

By the end of the book I could totally see why the History Channel hired Hunter Ellis of Survivor Marquesas fame to be his replacement host. I'm sure they figured that anyone who could live 39 days with complete strangers (one of those strangers being the infamous Robfather of who later married Amber.) and no amenities would have no problem with a few chigger bites. :) I'm sorry Tasha, but I no longer find Josh Hawt after reading his book. ): (I do have admit though, that show totally failed without him as a host.)

Confessional: I actually skimmed this book, and I don't normally believe in skimming.

I totally forgot to mention the art part of the book: I guess this could be seen as the art of tv production and what goes into making a tv show. The show itself deals with a lot of art and the people behind the art, but the book did not.