Have you ever imagined giving up your day job and heading for the hills in search of gold? Journalist Steve Boggan decided to do just that when the price of the precious metal scaled dizzying heights in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Clueless, and with neither equipment nor experience, Boggan flew to California and followed in the footsteps of the '49ers', miners who fuelled the original Gold Rush of 1849. Along the way, terrified of bears, bubonic plague and rattlesnakes, he met a cast of colourful characters, including a former Navy Seal who risked his life every day and a man who once went on the run for five years in the mistaken belief that he was wanted by the law.
In charming and witty prose, gold-fevered Boggan recaptures the excitement, the hopes and disappointments of the hunt, going beyond the story of modern prospectors to give a moving insight into the birth of modern America.
Steve Boggan has been a journalist for more than thirty years. A former Chief Reporter with The Independent, he has also written extensively for The Times, The Guardian, The London Evening Standard and the Daily Mail. His first book was Follow the Money: A Month in the Life of a Ten-Dollar Bill. He lives in London.
'Entertaining, informative and interesting.Carefully researched, funny and inspiring'.
'Among his fellow miners [Boggan] found acceptance, comradeship and a wealth of personal stories, many tragic but most concealing a golden glimmer of hope beneath the sadness'.
'A really fascinating, and funny, cautionary tale of the unexpected allure of lives spent in search of "the colour"'.
'The expectation of the prospecting, the excitement of the panning, the thrill of the find. conveys powerfully the extent to which gold transformed America. moving'
'A lively narrative history. Boggan is a hugely likeable companion. this book is a romp'
'[Boggan] has a wonderful time, respectful of men prepared to give up everything in return for very little, but roguish enough to drop the wink on their ornery, old-fashioned optimism'
'A perfect mixture of travelogue, history and down and dirty experience, leavened by rich veins of humour and pathos. A gem, or should I say a nugget.'
'Terrific. Pack your bag, grab your pick, and set out with master storyteller, Steve Boggan, for a trip in this highly original travelogue.'
'Gold Fever is a wonderful mix of history, journalism and good old-fashioned adventure. It is this last aspect that really lends the book a unique appeal; Boggan is not afraid to get his hands dirty, and he shares his experiences and findings with great depth, humour and charisma.'
'A well-crafted story with heady fast-forward momentum. A dogged investigator's obsessive quest for Californian gold, and the backstory of the gold fields.'
'Boggan does a good job relating this story'
"Steve Boggan takes the reader on an exciting adventure and proves that prospecting is as much about digging for humor and hope as it is finding gold."