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Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle [Paperback]

Dervla Murphy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

1 Mar 2010
Shortly after her tenth birthday, Dervla Murphy decided to cycle to India. Almost 20 years later, she set out to achieve her ambition. Her epic journey began during the coldest winter in memory, taking her through Europe, Persia, Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan, and into India. This captivating account--Murphy's first--is an enchantment that holds the reader to the final page.

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Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle + Wheels within Wheels: The Makings of a Traveller + Tibetan Foothold
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Eland Publishing Ltd (1 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906011419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906011413
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Captivating ... an enchantment that holds the reader as engrossed as would an exciting thriller (Irish Independent)

A distinctive and highly entertaining account of the tribulations encountered and the beauty along the way (Times Educational Supplement)

Her seven-month journey is continuously entertaining, and her fortitude continuously astonishing (Sunday Telegraph)

By almost anyone else's standards she had a hell of a time, but she communicates a high enjoyment that will be shared by all her readers (Daily Telegraph)

Few people can have had a better chance of understanding Asian people than Dervla Murphy (Daily Telegraph)

This book has the charm of spontaneity and the ring of absolute truth (Irish Times)

Warmly described, and with a lack of self-regard that immediately endears her to the reader (Sunday Times)

Warmly entertaining book ... range of engaging traveller's tales (Western Daily Press)

Fascinating, gripping and completely satisfying (Liverpool Echo)

[Dervla Murphy is] always great value ... fascinating account of her trials and tribulations, and also the beauty of her journey (Eastern Daily Press)

For an insight into a unique region, and a unique woman, you couldn't do much better than this. (James Herron, Geographical Magazine)

Dervla Murphy proves herself a true traveller ... who engages sympathy from the start by her qualities of tact, charity and courage (The Spectator) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Shortly after her tenth birthday, inspired by an atlas she was given, Dervla Murphy decided to cycle to India. Almost twenty years later she set out to achieve her ambition, pedalling her trusty bicycle, Roz. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best travel diary I have read 6 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Full Tilt is the most engaging of all Dervla Murphy's travel books. Whilst her travels, in the most unlikely and inconvenient places, are always captivating, her sheer delight with Afghanistan and Pakistan and their people lifts this above the others. One wants to set off on one's own bicycle at once and head straight for all the places she so effortlessly brings to life. Definately not a book to miss, read it once and it will stay in your heart for ever.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest cycle travel book there is 18 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dervla travelled from Dunkirk to Delhi on a three-speed roadster. Across Afghanistan. In the 60s. Unable even to mend a puncture. With a large supply of cigarettes. And a gun. Bitten by a wolf in Yugoslavia. When the road was rough in Iran, she cycled in the river bed instead. An blow with an Afghan rifle butt broke her ribs...
In comparison to this, anyone other (even her own) cycle trip just pales into ordinariness. The material is sufficiently extraordinary that the plain diary style is an adequate vehicle. The observations and empathy for the peoples and places make this a great travel book, not just the greatest cycle travel book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enchanting 29 Mar 2010
By Juggler
Format:Paperback
This is a very fine piece of writing and a very interesting travelogue. Her bravery and single mindedness is inspirational. Her encounters are fascinating and compelling and recounted without hype or over dramatisation. I strongly disagree with one reviewer here that says she was naive in her observations of local customs and politics. Quite the opposite, she showed an empathy and understanding quite rare among travelers in foreign lands.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
So begins Dervla Murphy's first published book. Astonishingly, 21 years after making this decision, she did cycle from Ireland to India via Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and this book is the record of that journey.
The chapters about Afghanistan are the highlight -- she loves the country so much that she describes herself as "Afghanatical". This is in 1963, before the hippie trail, before the Mujaheddin, before the Taliban (at one stage she visits the Bamain Buddhas), and so can be seen as almost a historical document; but the sheer energy and excitement is timeless.
Some minor complaints: the journey through Europe and Iran felt hurried, and the end seems abrupt. If you want to find out what happened next, see Tibetan Foothold by the same author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars inspirational 22 April 2010
By Sam
Format:Paperback
i read this book expecting it to be rather dry, but found it to be an entertaining, very personal account. just as the blurb says, dervla is a true traveller and it seems does so always with good spirits and endless curiosity. not just for cycling fans.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Travel diary of a gutsy lady! 31 July 2008
By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I read this when it was first published and her bravado and guts filled me with admiration. The lands she travelled in seemed so exotic and far away - although they soon became part of the Hippy Trail of the late 60s and 70s.

On re-reading it my admiration for her courage is undiminished - but I was soon struck my just how much the world has changed. Some of the countries she travelled through (albeit with some difficulties) have since become impossible for any independent traveller. The cold war conflict between the USSR and USA were being played out in Afghanistan but who could have guessed the tragedy that lay ahead for the Afghans? I had forgotten the episode visiting the Buddhas at Bamian - a sight no-one will ever see again as these were destroyed by the Taliban a few years ago. She writes of both Afghanistan and Pakistan with great affection but is much less kind to Iran and India.....

She is well able to cope with the simplicity on offer. Her description of a Grade A hotel in Herat was wonderful: "It has an Eastern lavatory but with flush attached (when I pulled the string the whole apparatus collapsed and I was drenched in rusty water!) and there is also a holder for lavatory paper on the wall which makes one feel that if one stayed here long enough it might have paper too some day."

I do have problems with writers who make sweeping negative statements about a whole people. About the Kashmiris she said "The people are in general the most moronic I've met since Persia..." Also "The standard of intelligence of the average village school-teacher is incredibly low" - this was stated after 26 days in Pakistan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing descriptions of Afghanistan in the 60s 2 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is really one of the most interesting books I've ever read, and Dervla Murphy at her best (which is saying something of such a wonderful storyteller). The only thing I had reservations about was the apparent reflections that people living as subsistence farmers in the Himalayas were better off without education, but this was, also, obviously meant as a way of saying that we have a lot to learn from their way of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars its a must !!! 19 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
an excellent read from start to finish,Derva writes from the heart and with honesty....
am now on the ukimwi road , its a close second.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
A good read
Published 3 days ago by roseviolette
5.0 out of 5 stars ... first came out and re-reading it was still a great pleasure. What...
I read it when it first came out and re-reading it was still a great pleasure. What a woman! Read it..................it couldn't happen today and it is amazing.
Published 7 days ago by Lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating
The fact that Dervla Murphy conveyed the unexpected delight in the countries and the people she met, and every day was a new adventure. I enjoyed it very much
Published 12 days ago by Mr M BAINES
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey Through a Lost World
I first read this as a teenager many moons ago. Reading it now I got the same pleasure, but touched with the poignancy of the description of a world destroyed. Read more
Published 27 days ago by P. L. Meers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this is a joy to read,and an education too, all dervlas books are eye openers.
Published 1 month ago by lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 1 month ago by Debra Wall
3.0 out of 5 stars book
I bought this book for the club library, no ones picked it out yet, but I will get round to it one day
Published 5 months ago by Vanessa Allen-johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Dervla Murphy is a truly tough and fearless traveller who also happens to be a writer of unique passion and skill. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nico
4.0 out of 5 stars awe inspiring
An amazing insight into the author's adventure, and insight into the culture, atmosphere and sights of the out of the way countries she travelled though
Published 5 months ago by rache
3.0 out of 5 stars Book
It was not my type of book - was somewhat dated, but perhaps ahead of its time. Discovered my sister has read it and really enjoyed it!
Published 5 months ago by EW
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