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Janapar: Love, on a Bike Paperback – 29 Jan 2013
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Sometimes the hardest part of a journey is knowing when it's over.
When twenty-three-year-old Tom Allen and his friends set off from their English village to cycle around the world, they were expecting physical hardship, extreme conditions and a serious case of culture shock. But the hours spent poring over maps could never have prepared them for the experience of life on the road: the petty squabbles, the extreme hospitality, the unexpected joys and dangers.
And then Tom meets Tenny, a feisty Iranian-Armenian girl with dreams of her own, and hits a crossroad. Should he give up his grand plan for the girl he loves, or cycle off and risk missing out on the greatest adventure of them all?
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Top Customer Reviews
I've followed Tom Allen's blog for the past year or two as he tried to turn 3 or 4 years of video footage and notes taken into a full length film and book. Despite the challenges of doing this independantly, he has managed to produce something wonderful. I love the film and still find it inspiring and funny after having seen it 3 or 4 times. But the book gives so much more. Even in the film, which is by definition limited to the footage that was taken, Tom manages to put across a very honest and personal account of his motivations. Of the joys and challenges of such a trip. Of loneliness and companionship. Of the humbling friendship of complete strangers. Of the difficulties in finding out that perhaps the plan you've been obsessing over isn't the only plan.
But in the book he is able to communicate this to a much greater degree. I've read books about cycle trips that are very much of the 'On day 97 we cycled from A to B covering 80 miles. I felt tired.' ilk. Janapar is not that book. It's about an adventure. It's about personal motivation and challenge. It's about seeking something more meaningful than the daily 9-5 that most people get sucked into. And it's about finding things you didn't expect in the places you least expected them.
Tom writes eloquently, honestly and with great self-awareness (after the event at least!). Janapar is a joy to read and will make you want to quit your job, pack a bag and cycle off on a voyage of discovery. That's what I'm going to do. Thanks Tom (I think!).
I found myself nodding along with so many of the situations the author describes so eloquently and it made me pine for the open road once again.
Travel books can have a tendency to fall into the, "and then we went here, and then we went here..." trap but the multiple story-arcs going on during this trip ensures that you're always engaged and wondering what will come next.
The author also came across as refreshingly honest - from the initial highs and 'arrogance of ignorance' from the preparation and early days to the inevitable team squabbles and other low points.
If you're vaguely interested in travel or adventure then check out this very English kind of story but be warned: it'll probably make you want to quit your job and hit the road on two wheels!
Great job Tom!
Finishing the last sentence in the book - I felt like I wanted to start it again. Filled with humour, life and inspiring observations this is a must read for anyone who wants to live their life.
I am thrilled to say not so for this book. I found it a fascinating and enlightening read, which covers varied topics and diverse landscapes and cultures. As a touring cyclist myself I found I could relate to Tom's world view and empathized with the journey he embarked on. I found the shift in world view he experienced along the way to be revealing and the structure of the book allowed a rare view on inner thoughts and feelings, despite his traveling alone for much of the trip.
I recommend (and do all the time in the real world!) this book to anyone interested in an honest, refreshing and page-turning window into the simple life of long-distance cycling. Non-cyclists will be converted and two-wheel aficionados will be reconfirmed.
Incidentally the book is also well designed (cover and inside typography) and well edited, much higher standard than the average self-published book. I saw that he ran a successful Kickstarter to raise money to pay for professional services in these areas, and I have to say it really shows (and I hope this isn't just special pleading as an ex-boook publisher!).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dealing with a crucial juncture in a young adventurer's life, Janapar deals brilliantly with the subjects of reflection, love, bravery and naivety. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Mr DJ Brown
Interesting read... not just a statistical record of distance covered.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
I've read the book, watched the film, and pored over the blog. Tom's adventures speak to everyone on a personal level and this is a great read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I watched the Janapar movie a long time ago and so didn't bother with the book until now. Don't make the same mistake. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Dorosz
Tom Allen's bike trip is more than an accounting of the sights and sounds around the world; Tom goes into all the inner travel as well. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Erin Snow
I've read a few adventure travelogues, & lets just say some authors are better to stick to travelling rather than writing.
This isn't one of them. Read more
I have really enjoyed reading it, (even though English is not my native tongue) and it appears to me that is told in a honest way as possible. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vit
Brilliant book! Devoured every chapter the moment it arrived on my notebook. (Tom made it available free on line in serialized version to subscribers). Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I feel like I have quite a connection to this book. Tom was writing it at the same time as I wrote one myself. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tim Moss