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Mission Mongolia: Two Men, One Van, No Turning Back [Paperback]

David Treanor
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2010
It was an empty landscape now with huge horizons in every direction, a compressed, steam-rollered desert where man had no place. We lacked the skills to carry out even basic fixes. If the van stopped working we were really stuck. No one knew where we were and our last mobile phone signal had been 150 miles ago. Fifty-something and tired of arguing with John Humphrys over the day’s headlines, BBC journalists Geoff and David found themselves eagerly volunteering for redundancy. But rather than easing into retirement with the odd round of golf, they decided to buy a van and drive off to Mongolia. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time… In an epic journey through Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Siberia and across the Gobi Desert, they discover more about each other in a few weeks than they did sharing an office for years. Lying in wait are crooked cops, bent border guards and terrible roads, but also welcoming and curious locals, eager to help the pair on their mission.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale; 1st Edition edition (5 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849530599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849530590
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Treanor was a newspaper reporter before joining the BBC where he edited radio news bulletins for the Today programme and the six o'clock news. He now writes full time from his home in Oxfordshire. His travel book, Mission Mongolia - Two Men, One Van, No Turning Back - is a humorous account of an epic 8,000 mile road trip he made in an old van. His novel, The Past Lies Waiting, is a gripping ghostly murder mystery set in Tuscany. He is now working on a follow up. He is a Trustee of the British adventure charity, Go Help. More details and photos from his Mongolia trip can be found here...


Product Description


`Nicely humorous' --The Bookseller, 26th March 2010

Clear, unpretentious writing... a pacy and clear narrative that gives you a taste of the reality of epic drives.
Travelmag, 14th September 2010

Humorous, descriptive, thought provoking and above all, enjoyable. Mission Mongolia comes highly recommeded.
Adventurebimbling, 21st July 2010

The concept is enthralling. The fact that they battled corrupt border officials, dangerously eroded roads and the elements, is incredible.
St Christopher's Inns, September 2010

Treanor neatly weaves in history, geography and ecology without letting the pace drop.
Luxique Travel, 4th August 2010

About the Author

David Treanor was a BBC journalist for more than 25 years, editing news bulletins for the Today programme and Radio 4’s Six O’clock News. The journey was made in support of the charity Save the Children.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read 23 July 2010
I generally enjoy travel books, but I often stick to reading about places I've been or am planning on visiting at some point, as I find this more interesting. Needless to say, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are not high on my list of places to visit, so if I'd been browsing, I may never have chosen this book.
However, a friend recommended it to me, and I found it a delightful read. It's interesting, witty, and informative and the descriptions of the places they visit and people they meet are sympathetic and never condescending.
Of course, given their level of mechanical knowledge, Russian, and camping, you have to question the sanity level of David and Geoff for undertaking the trip in the first place, but I'm very glad they did, and that this book was the result - a must read for any fan of travel writing.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This book is brilliant, absolutely hillarious!

Forget Bear Grylls. Forget Ray Mears. This is the story of what would happen if you and your best friend decided to trek half way across the world with little more than a clapped-out Anglia Water van, a few maps that are akin to works of fiction and more toilet rolls than you know what to do with.

From start to finish, this book is both funny, intriguing and thoroughly exciting to read. From the snowy lanes of a wintry Britain to the baking desolation of the Gobi desert and beyond, what these two men managed to achieve through sheer force of will and cheery determination is fantastic.

Brilliantly written, this book manages to side-step the usual travel-guide dogma you'd expect when examining the histories of the towns and villages which our travellers pass through, instead focussing on the personal effect that the events had on the many and varied people whom they meet.

If nothing else, this book is worth reading for the sheer entertainment value of every time the author attempts to 'go native' and order dinner in the language of whichever restaurant he's in... Priceless!

I guarantee that by the time you've read this book, you'll be sticking a pin in a map and looking through the window at the Ford Fiesta on your drive, just wondering...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent travel book - and more 7 May 2013
This really is one of the best travel books I have ever read: very well written, amusing and informative. Although you know what happens in the end (they get there) at times it reads like a thriller as you want to know what happens next and where they're going to get their next beer from. The descriptions of the roads and hotels are both hilarious and frightening. From now on I intend to be slightly more tolerant of the pot-holes in the roads of west London.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and interesting travellers tale 8 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable read and insight into a lot of places (and the beer they sell) - Mongolia is on my list to visit
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 4 Oct 2011
By Dtaylor
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really good read, captivated from begining to end. Means I can cross Mongolia off my places to visit. Very funny episodes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 17 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book, what an adventure, a glimpse at a world hidden from the world; crazy russians and mind boggling events. An easy and entertaining read, beautifully written and will make you smile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 29 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Funny and delightful - the gentle story-telling contrasts with the harsh journey of the intrepid two. Tarmac has never seemed so important... Buy and enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great experience! 20 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was well written and you felt you were on the trip with them........a great travel story which kept me interested from start to finish.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading ride...
Two English middle-aged men decide to go Mongolia in a 4X4 Nissan. All in the name of charity. They are a decent and gentlemanly duo and although they are taxed beyond human... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ce Moore
4.0 out of 5 stars light-hearted witty adventure
This is not your near-death adventure; it's a light-hearted witty journey to a place I'd never actually want to visit. Read more
Published 10 months ago by D. Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Thoroughly enjoyed this journey to Mongolia. It was humorous and informative and it made a lovely bed-time read, well an anytime read really, but just extra nice to go to sleep... Read more
Published 10 months ago by J O'Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Having traveled through Siberia Mongolia and Kazakhstan I was anxious to see if the author could capture how you feel when traveling through these countries. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul G
5.0 out of 5 stars what a great read!
I enjoyed this book so much that I read it in one day,very entertaining and was impossible to set down. Highly recommended!!
Published on 19 May 2012 by Mr. J. Conlon
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
Easy to read, adveturus story. Some snap shots from the actual trip are included. It's about having fun, driving towards the unknown, drinking and eating local specialties and... Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2011 by macw
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Fascinating and Informative
From the moment I started to read this book, I found it difficult to put down. David Treanor writes in such a way that I could imagine him actually speaking the words, although I... Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by Christine
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