O'Shea, Mick 1975-
O'Shea, Mick 1975-
Office—Wildside Asia, 046/13 Sethithirath Rd. (opposite Wat Inpeng), Vientiane, Laos.
Writer and businessperson. Wildside Asia, Vientiane, Laos, cofounder. Also developer of the river-based tourism component of Nam Ha Eco-Tourism Project, Laos.
Zootopia Tree (children's book), Abstract Sounds Publishing, 2002.
The Early Days of the Sex Pistols: Only Anarchists Are Pretty, Helter Skelter Publishing (London, England), 2004.
Also contributor to periodicals, including Record Collector, the Zone, and Amped.
Mick O'Shea is a writer who cofounded an adventure tourism business in Laos. His early books include the children's volume Zootopia Tree, featuring a story based on the author's cats, and The Early Days of the Sex Pistols: Only Anarchists Are Pretty, a look at the seminal punk-rock band.
In 2006 O'Shea collaborated with Alan Parker to write And Now for Something Completely Digital: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Monty Python CDs and DVDs. The book contains a wide range of facts and trivia about the one-time English comedy group Monty Python and its members: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones. A contributor to the Wisconsin Bookwatch noted that the book "immediately captivates readers total attention through the zany wit and improbable wisdom" of the various group members. The authors also feature information on the group's half-hour television shows for the British Broadcasting Corporation from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, four feature films, albums, and books.
In addition to writing, O'Shea has a penchant for adventure. In 2004 he became the first person known to complete the descent of the Mekong River. He writes of his experience in his book In the Naga's Wake: The First Man to Navigate the Mekong, from Tibet to the South China Sea. O'Shea first became intrigued by the Mekong River when he was twenty years old and decided that someday he would explore it from beginning to end. Mekong means "Mother of Water," and the river provides a wild and turbulent ride, with enormous rapids and whirlpools and, at times, freezing temperatures. There are other dangers as well, such as land mines. In addition to recounting his trip down the river, the author also addresses the issue of what is going to happen to people living in the Mekong low lands of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam when the Chinese government completes its Mekong Cascade of Dams projects, eight dams designed to tame the river and redirect its uses for electric power. "Naga" in the book's title refers to the mythical dragon that protects fishermen and boaters.
In a review of In the Naga's Wake in School Library Journal, Robert Saunderson wrote that O'Shea "admirably accomplishes his … goals: to relate the harrowing story of his … trip and to direct attention to the … threats to this stunningly beautiful" area. A Kirkus Reviews contributor commented: "A black/white worldview at times oversimplifies problems, but O'Shea's flair for the dramatic and sensitivity to the cultures he encounters make this a journey worth taking."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2007, review of In the Naga's Wake: The First Man to Navigate the Mekong, from Tibet to the South China Sea.
School Library Journal, July, 2007, Robert Saunderson, review of In the Naga's Wake, p. 132.
Wisconsin Bookwatch, July 2006, review of And Now for Something Completely Digital: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Monty Python CDs and DVDs.
Wildside-Asia.com,http://www.wildside-asia.com/ (January 12, 2008), company profile of author.