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By Balloon to the Sahara

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) #3
Alternate Title: Danger in the Desert (reissue)
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1 (Collection)
Translated Into: Al Sahara en globo (Spanish)
Amb globus pel Sàhara (Catalan)
Balonom do Sahare (Serbo-Croatian)
De balão ao deserto do Saara (Portuguese)
Dengan Balon ke Sahara (Indonesian)
En ballon à travers le Sahara (French)
En globo por el Sáhara (Spanish)
Ghubāre men Saharā kā safar (Urdu)
In pallone sul Sahara (Italian)
Met 'n ballon oor die Sahara (Afrikaans)
Met de ballon naar de Sahara (Dutch)
Sāhālā zhī Lǚ [撒哈拉之旅] (Chinese)
Sahara Sabaku kikyuu ryokou [サハラさばく気球旅行] (Japanese)
So balon do Sahara (Macedonian)
Author: Terman, D(ouglas).
Illustrators: Granger, Paul (pseudonym used by Hedin, Don) (original artwork)
Kukalis, Romas (reissue cover)
Release Date: July, 1979
ISBNs: 0553127918 / 9780553127911
0553140051 / 9780553140057
0553209493 / 9780553209495
0553231839 / 9780553231830
Length:117 pages
Number of Endings:40
User Summary: You travel from France to Africa in a balloon, accompanied by your friends Peter and Sarah and a dog named Harry.
barryattles's Thoughts: Ratings: 2

This adventure takes you somewhere in the middle of Africa. The theme alone is pretty dull, and too many endings (including one called "the beginning") definitely didn't help. No wonder the author gets blown to the Sahara and would never issue a CYOA entry again.

More reviews by barryattles

Demian's Thoughts: This is an average entry in the series with no terribly notable features apart from its use of companion characters. I have a feeling that the author's name is a pseudonym, but if it is, I have no idea what the author's real name is.

More reviews by Demian

Enigmatic Synergy's Thoughts: This is a pretty fun one. Terman manages to create a decent CYOA story that is satisfying to read. Almost reminiscent of Edward Packard, Douglas Terman's writing is exceptional; his style and quality of writing, I feel, are excellent and it is a shame that he did not write other CYOA books. Something I found interesting about this book, as well as the other CYOA books with up to 40 endings, is the pure number of choices. Practically every page that is not an ending contains a choice, making this a heavily branched book. However, Terman manages to cleverly loop some sections back into previous or other sections, making the current thread longer or shorter.

While I feel that some of the endings are a little Give Yourself Goosebumps-esque in terms of silliness and randomness, it does not take away from the ultimate value of this book. I prefer the randomness in this book over that in many of R. A. Montgomery's books, for his books tend to lean too much on the side of randomness. Ultimately, this is a fun read that has its fair share of imaginative and unique moments.

Also, I would just like to point out that I believe Douglas Terman is in fact a real author, and not a pseudonym for R. A. Montgomery. I did some research on him and I discovered that he is listed on amazon.com as writing several military-themed novels. It is also stated that he passed away in December of 1999. I find it hard to believe that Montgomery would "fake" the death of his pseudonym. But, perhaps the two are related somehow (in relation to the few hints and references in the book).

More reviews by Enigmatic Synergy

gergsnickle's Thoughts: This was always one of my favorite books in the series. The idea that it was written by an author other than Packard or Montgomery was intriguing to me as a child. It never occurred to me that D. Terman might be a pseudonym until I was an adult. I recently read an interview with Edward Packard in which he states that there was one book that he and R. A. Montgomery wrote jointly; I am wondering if this is that book (and if not, which one?). There are definitely parts which remind me of Montgomery's writing.

[editor's note -- the joint Packard/Montgomery adventure was Mutiny in Space, which is probably what the interview referred to.]

More reviews by gergsnickle

Good's Thoughts: Balloon Adventure Sounds Good

Great multi-plot-twit with a treasure, balloon floating, three doors, etc. If you read my reviews, you know I LOVE much choice, and ends. What grabs me most is the many adventures, and surprises.

It would help if there were no ends that go on, or stop. D. Terman writes the longest choices, and there's ends like THE (BLAT) END. His humour is average, and really gets you into the adventure. The fact that it could have few extra endings is dismissed by the fact that it's got many choices please, and ends!

Have you ever noticed that the balloon is used inside some other Choose Your Own Adventure® books?

More reviews by Good

laserpotato's Thoughts: One thing that really got on my nerves with this one was that they tried to make the deaths funny by implementing gags into "THE END." Gah. Also, the subplot involving the salt-eating aliens was totally uncalled for. Otherwise, tolerable.

More reviews by laserpotato

Madeye's Thoughts: I agree this must be R. A. Montgomery using a pseudonym. I would say it was someone imitating him, but since it's only the third book in the series that would be impossible. But all the alien plot and the strange cave where you can enter doors that take you into different places in an almost metaphysical way, that's very R. A. Montgomery. I don't remember reading this one as a kid, and I looked forward to reading it recently, but was disappointed. I like the exotic adventure tales best, but this one just gets so weird and unfocused.

More reviews by Madeye

stonemason's Thoughts: It's rather strange to me that D. Terman (whose name sounds suspiciously fake) wrote one of the original ten, yet did not go on to write any others.

This is rather typical for the early books in the series in that it has very little text between choices and has lots of random events. It also reminds me of the Give Yourself Goosebumps series in that it tries to make the deaths silly. It's only average, though...

This was actually the first book in the series to use a plot device where you meet up with yourself in a time warp, but the "other you" made a different choice. Book 47, Outlaws of Sherwood Forest, did the same thing later on.

I can't help but notice some strange similarities between this author and R. A. Montgomery. Although their writing styles are completely different, there are also some weird parallels. R. A. is known for inserting references to his relatives, Ramsey and Anson, in his books (they are featured as characters in The Lost Jewels of Nabooti, for instance). What's strange is that this book does the same thing! There is a reference to Anson and one to Ramsey. Also, the ending on page 116 reveals this story to be a prequel to the second book in the series, Journey Under the Sea, which was written by R. A.

Sounds as if D. Terman and Montgomery are either the same person, or they are related, or the former is just an obsequious fan of the latter (I hope not).

By the way, the inside cover states that the author's first name is actually Douglas Terman.

More reviews by stonemason

Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts: While the premise seems a bit unrealistic, it leaves room for some pretty interesting possibilities. Unfortunately, much potential creativity was not utilized. Several random plotlines, such as running into space aliens or your dog becoming a movie star, made me suspend my disbelief a bit too much. The problem, I believe, arises with the fact that there are too many plots, giving each one not nearly enough room for a satisfying adventure. There are a few other flaws, as well. During several choices, you don't have a clue what you're doing, making your outcome reliant on pure luck. Then there's the annoying attempts to make the death endings humorous by inserting gags at the end. It's not a bad book, but you're not missing anything life-threatening by skipping it, either.

More reviews by Waluigi Freak 99

Errata:Darth Sidious reports that the correct ending count is actually 38 or 39 (depending on how you count an ending that optionally directs to a second ending), contrary to the text on the cover.
Special Thanks:Thanks to Jim Maxwell for the first printing cover scans and to Ken G. for the balloon logo cover scans.
Users Who Own This Item: aline, Ardennes, auximenes, barryattles, bigcobra, bookwormjeff, Chanticrow, Crazyscotsman, Cyan, Darth Rabbitt, dave2002a, dblizzard72, Demian (first printing), drereichdude, duckhugger, Egghead Nurse, Enigmatic Synergy, exaquint (text spine 1.25, text spine 1.50, w/o balloon), Ffghtermedic, Filipino Paul (<i>used to </i>own original), firefoxpdm, fushek, Game Master, Garrick Muttley, Gartax, gergsnickle, Grifter, Gurvo, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, jcruelty, Jennifer, jeremydouglass, Johnny Jones, Jubal (Reissue), katzcollection (original), KenJenningsJeopardy74, kinderstef, kleme (original & reissue as 'Danger in the Desert'), knginatl (orig. w/balloon, orig. w/o balloon, "you're the Hero", UK HB, ’89 reissue w/sweepstakes, '89 reissue w/o sweepstakes, Spanish), MacbthPSW, Madeye, marcfonline, marnaudo, mattender, mlvoss, Mr ?, nelsondesign, NEMO (10th printing), Nomad, ntar (original and alternate title reissue), odo_ital, outspaced, Pessimeister (2nd printing), plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, qazplm (original), Radical347, resurgens, RetroReef, RonaldFrobnitz, Ryuran333, SeventhSon, SherlockHolmes, skeleton, stonemason, strawberry_brite, SuperAM2, ThaRid (3 copies), ThisIslandEarth, toadhjo, turquoise (Original and Reissue), twar (original and reissue copies), Yalius, YourSoundtrack, zat
Users Who Want This Item: benji2, exaquint (no ending text on front, w/balloon, reissue w/ & w/o sweepstakes), killagarilla, Lambchop, MasterChief, Mikeysbookz (First edition), NEMO (reissue), Nym90, slyfra, stevesterling, stock, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99, wonderfly
Users with Extra Copies: Cyan
dave2002a
exaquint - text spine 1.25
Jennifer
kinderstef - x 2
ntar - 6th printing, writing on inside covers, some wear, second copy of 6th printing
resurgens
Ryuran333
SherlockHolmes
strawberry_brite
ThisIslandEarth
Yalius

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