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4.8 out of 5 stars56
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 4 July 2013
It's taken me a little over 48 hours to read this new book - absolutely brilliant and could not put it down.

There is lots of cricket chat as you'd expect (i learnt a lot of incredibly intersting things as a non-cricketer) but what had me hooked was the experiences the writer went through, the amazing people he met along the way, the humility he shows throughout his journey and his un-rivalled perseverance.

Not just for cricket and travel lovers - everyone should read this book!!
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on 8 July 2013
I loved this book. Oli's journey on two wheels from London to Brisbane is clearly complete madness but he writes about it brilliantly. He has a great sense of humour about the bizarre places and situations he finds himself in and this is balanced with a very honest, open account of what it takes to complete such a journey. It makes you realise that it isn't simply about the amazing places you see or the struggle to get to them but about the kindness of the people you meet on the way. I loved the cricketing anecdotes and tales of the wonderful characters he met on the way - you will laugh and cry, Oli seems to do a lot of both! I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone who loves adventure, cricket or cycling - or all three!
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on 8 July 2013
A hell of an adventure this guy went on - I feel like jacking in the day job and doing the same, although I'm not sure I'd get beyond the cricket folk of Serbia. Vladimir and Slobodan sound like hilarious characters and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to tear myself away from them.

A cracking read Oli Broom has give us here. I thought it was going to be full of match reports and cricketing statistics but it wasn't at all and is all the better for it. The (often cricketing) characters Oli met on his way in places like Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Sudan, Indonesia and Australia give the narrative some spice and there were clearly times when the author (or rider as he was at the time) felt like giving up, but good on him, he didn't and we, the readers, are the ones who benefit.

The India chapter is a real highlight. He brings the country to life in a charming way and I'll definitely be looking out for his writing elsewhere. Recommend it highly.
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on 1 September 2013
If you like cycling, cricket, and travelling then I would heartily recommend this book by Oli Broom. However, if you only like one of the three then I would still warmly endorse this book. What I liked about the book is that the author is not rushing to and fro to complete his journey. It's not a race against the clock type of book. Not does the author make any claims to be a great cyclist. I would imagine however that after completing the journey from London to Brisbane he would certainly know a great deal about long haul pedalling. I particularly liked the way Oli Broom relates his encounters with people. The heart warms when complete strangers in country after country offer food, shelter and friendship. Cricket is played along the way in all weathers and in the most unlikely of locations. The significance of the book for me is that ordinary folk have a goodness which cannot be diminished by the forces applied to them by their circumstances whatever they may be. I will read this book again and again especially when I want to have my faith restored in humanity.
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I turned fifty a few years ago and I'm reasonably content with my lot but I that can't help musing that when I was young, free and single instead of being chained to an office desk I should have packed my bags and travelled the world. With the gift of hindsight it is all too easy to say what you should have done though, and if I were honest I dare say that if I could live my life again nothing much would change as I would have neither the guts or the self motivation to make such a giant leap into the unknown. In this book though, Oli Broom shows that he had guts, self-motivation and almost certainly a large amount of foolhardiness when he packed up a comfortable job to cycle halfway around the world to see England start their defence of the Ashes in Brisbane, Australia.

The scale of the challenge he set himself was breathtaking. The distance from London to Brisbane is over 16000 miles and he gave himself thirteen months to cycle it; difficult enough for an experienced cyclist but Broom was hardly that, he was a lapsed weekend cyclist at best. His journey would take him across the continents, through many countries and the weather conditions would vary from freezing cold to blistering heat. As he was riding a bike he was limited as to how much he could carry so he couldn't take much warm clothing or bottled water to slake his thirst. He largely rode alone, so there was illness and the loneliness of the long hours on the road to contend with. There were also more visible dangers; the wild dogs of Eastern Europe, enormous crocodiles and even more enormous road-trains in Australia and would all the hundreds of people he would encounter be friendly?

This is an epic book about an epic journey. It is not your average travel book in which the writer goes into detail about the places he travels through; if you read this book hoping to learn about these places you may be disappointed. Instead this book is about the journey itself and the effect it has on the writer. More than this though, this is a book that gives praise to human nature. As well as celebrating the spirit of Oli Broom in completing his task we learn that almost without exception he is met with nothing but kindness from everybody he meets, apart from the odd inconsiderate motorist. Wherever he was in the world people would usually feed him or give him shelter, reminding us that whatever our differences, religious, political or monetary, people are generally good, despite what the newspapers may say.

As this is quite a long book there are, quite understandably, sections that drag slightly but overall this is a very enjoyable book about an arduous journey.
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on 26 July 2013
Like some other reviews, once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. I finished it in little over 48 hours with tears in my eyes and a sense of awe about what the author achieved.

The word 'odyssey' in the title really sums it up for me. Whilst there are lots of enjoyable and funny anecdotes about cricket, the story is really all about the journey. Oli describes his various ups and downs in an incredibly entertaining and touching way. I particularly loved hearing about the small kindnesses shown by strangers which had such a huge impact on his morale and motivation. I also loved the massive diversity of scenarios he found himself in (whether by design or by chance) and loved his determination to make the most of each experience, regardless of whether or not it was a positive one.

I would recommend this book to anyone who lives beyond the 9-5, loves sport, adventure, or just a good story - it really is all these things. A great achievement for a first-time author.
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on 15 July 2013
Awsome book, great writing, great reading, can't wait for the next one. Cycling to the lions tour in NZ? Oli manages to capture the thrill of venturing into the unknown solo onto paper with breathtaking ease.
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on 2 October 2014
I usually like this sort of book, but didn't finish this one. Perhaps it is because the author starts the book by telling you he didn't make it to Brisbane on his bike, which means you are starting the book knowing how it will finish. The accounts of meeting people and dealing with problems en route are fairly standard stuff, but could do in some instances with clearer explanations; for example, when attacked by wild dogs, the account builds up and then peters out - just how close did he come to being mauled and did he have to fight them off or did they just run away when he waved an object at them? It isn't clear, and much of the narrative is like that. In the end the book just wasn't gripping me enough to make me want to go the whole journey (or as far as he got into the journey) with him. Perhaps if he had made it all the way, and I knew that at the beginning, it would have been worthwhile persevering further?
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on 4 February 2015
I don't normally read books like this but I was absolutely enthralled by this book concerning the author recounting his bike ride from London - Lords Cricket Ground to Australia to see England play the Aussies. The descriptive writing and the tales of his encounters on the way of playing cricket in some weird and wonderful places in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Thailand and Australia plus assorted places in between you really felt that you were on the road/desert/mountain pass etc with him. The numerous friends he acquired on route the assistance he received from complete strangers all without any knowledge of their language or dialect. I've read this book on kindle and purchased this copy for a cricketing buff who lives locally but originally from the Indian subcontinent. I hope he enjoys it as much as I did and then passes it on to his three sons who also have played cricket.
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on 27 July 2013
..................... but a lesson in trust, compassion and just throwing caution to the wind and enjoying the world around us. A wonderfully written book, with a lot of humour thrown in, that made me feel as though I was on the journey with him. Will really look forward to Oli's next book.
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