Long Way Round
Paperback, 400 pages
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Amazon.co.uk Long Way Round is the tale of a remarkable journey taken (on motorbike) by two men. The fact that those men are figures with notable film connections (Ewan McGregor is one of Britain's most successful actors, Charley Boorman is the son of the celebrated director John Boorman) may be the reason the book got written - and the accompanying television series got made - but so what? This epic trip is conveyed with real élan by its two authors, and there are arguments for preferring the written word over the image: while the latter may convey the exhilaration of the journey more directly, the book is infinitely more subtle in presenting the mindset of its two (often-beleaguered) travellers. Their co-writer Robert Uhlig has cannily conveyed the similar (but at the same time, very different) personalities of the two men, and it's one of the pleasures of the book.
McGregor, for whom motorbikes are as important as his acting career, was gazing at a map of the world when it occurred to him that it was possible to ride by bike all the way round the world (with just a smidgen of cheating around the Bering Strait), and he suggested over a meal with best friend and fellow thesp Charley Boorman, that the pair might chase their shadows from London to New York, across the Pacific to Alaska and other far-flung parts.
Needless to say, catastrophe matches the adventure at every turn, and encounters with gun-toting Ukrainians, Mongolian Nomads and (most dangerous of all) ruthless paparazzi add to the stress levels. But the 20,000 miles covered by the pair, however arduous for them, makes for a highly diverting experience for the reader. Now how do they follow this? Motorbikes are not built for lunar excursions --Barry Forshaw
(Rated 1 out of 5)
Oh dear. I'd put off reading this book for some time as I have to admit to not being a huge fan of Ewan McGregor, but still I thought I'd give it a go hopefully with an open mind. Oh dear. The whole venture seemed like a good idea, taking off on a couple of bikes, just you and a mate, for a few months of enjoyable riding through some fascinating places. Well that's what I thought they were doing...turned out there were three on three bikes (the third being a cameraman), two support vehicles with a couple of producers, various fixers and even at one point a doctor! And then to have the gall to whinge and whine about the media attention, how the essential spirit of the trip was compromised by the numbers of people involved, I mean really! Surely Mr McGregor has the funds to buy a couple of bikes and slope off quietly with a mate for a while, but of course then there wouldn't be any media attention to soothe the ego - so they chose to make money out of the venture and therefore complicate it, and then whinge about it to boot. Get over yourselves!! I see they've repeated the formula with another trip across Africa, plainly they needed to make some more cash. I don't think I'll bother reading that one and looking at the reviews here it hasn't gone down too well generally. By the way I do know what I'm talking about as I rode from London to Cape Town, just me and a mate on two bikes with little cash, had a fantastic time and didn't burst into tears once...
(Rated 4 out of 5)
Good book, more details than in the DVD about disagreements etc, so worth a read.
Read 'One Man Caravan'...the first m'bike trip round the world in the 1930's...alone, unsupported, on an adapted road bike,. True adventure and well written.
and try 'First Overland'...in landrovers to Singapore via the Burma Road.
(Rated 5 out of 5)
I love it... simply put! The way they both tell honest accounts of all the goings on.
The differences between the two are what brings them together.
A truely genuine book. Fantastic!
(Rated 1 out of 5)
This is my first ever review but I just HAD to comment on this book as it is by far the worst thing I've read all year ... in fact probably in the last 5 years ... and I read a lot! Could they take themselves any more seriously? It's not an attempt to break a record. They're not raising money for charity. They're not doing anything that hasn't been done before. They're two friends with enough cash to have an extended holiday roughing it on bikes. I have no problem with that and thought it would be an entertaining read but please guys try to take yourselves a LITTLE less seriously, try to ENJOY the trip a little more (after all that's why you went isn't it - there's no higher purpose here) and lighten up on the angst and introspection!
(Rated 5 out of 5)
A friend introduced "The Long Way Round" to me, saying they loved it and thought I would too. I hadn't heard of it at the time, but then uni often involves being lost in the student based world with little outside current world knowledge. I watched a trailer on YouTube to see what it was like and was instantly caught by the idea, ... two friends on an adventure around the world. Im not a fan of motorcycles, but visiting countries you only imagine you would talk about and never visit, meeting people from different cultures and seeing amazing sights, its something few people would say no to if they had the money and time, right?! I watched one episode and was hooked, and reading a review on here saying the book gave a better insight into the personal thoughts and more detail of the feelings of the two actors, I decided to buy it first (after all, in most cases the book is better!). So I bought it today and am already half way through. I was originally a bit disappointed with the focus on the bikes at the start, but then it is their true passion. However, as I read on, you really do start to feel what they went through, and it's gripping! It is not meerly a day-by-day recital of thier trip, but a window to the emotions and experiences felt by them both. And like people have said before...it's not about the bikes, its about the adventure, experiencing the world with a true friend at your side!! I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the series!