Long Way Round: The Illustrated Edition

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9780316731706: Long Way Round: The Illustrated Edition

It started as a daydream. Poring over a map of the world at home one quiet Saturday afternoon, Ewan McGregor - actor and self-confessed bike nut - noticed that it was possible to ride all the way round the world, with just one short hop across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. So he picked up the phone and called Charley Boorman, his best friend, fellow actor and bike enthusiast. 'Charley,' he said. 'I think you ought to come over for dinner.'

Riding 20,000 miles across increasingly tough terrain, Ewan and Charley chased their shadows through Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska, then down through Canada and America. As they travelled they documented their trip, taking photographs, and writing diaries by the campfire. Long Way Round is the result of their adventures - a fascinating, frank and highly entertaining travel book about two friends riding round the world together and, against all the odds, realising their dream.

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Review:

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

Review:

Both McGregor and Boorman prove themselves to be engaging, articulate and entertaining narrators ... a highly readable and spiritually uplifting book about a dream come true (WANDERLUST)

Touching and memorable ... one for armchair travellers and bike freaks (DAILY MAIL)

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 arduou)

Barry Forshaw, AMAZON.CO.UK ('It's like Michael Palin but with added sex appeal.')

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