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Not All Sunshine & Sand: The Tales of a UK–Middle East Truck Driver [Kindle Edition]

Paul Rowlands , Brian Wales
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.95
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Book Description

The adventures of a truck driver who hauled from the UK to the Middle East in the 1970s

Product Description

About the Author

Paul Rowlands was born in The Rhondda, South Wales and spent his early years in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Germany, Holland and Singapore, where his RAF father was posted. His first job was with the Civil Service, but his love for travel led to him working as a long distance truck driver to the Middle East. He lives in Ipswich, Suffolk with his wife, Frances, and three cats and is presently employed as a truck driver/roadie on tour with 'Walking with Dinosaurs'.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6952 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Old Pond Publishing (15 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,385 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true story about the Middle East route. 6 Jan. 2012
I read this book cover to cover almost non-stop,it was hard to put down.

It is Paul Rowlands true life account of driving for the legendary Trans UK Continental Ltd.,that brings home the hard living,hard working life on the road from the UK to the Middle East during the 70's oil boom.
This book tells of the hardships suffered by the driver's and the trucks,the appaling road conditions (where there were roads),of the scorching desert's and the terrible winter's in eastern Turkey,as well as the fun times spent in various watering-holes along the route.

Paul's accounts are not from vague memory or heresay,but from the detailed diaries he kept,it makes for compelling reading.

Buy it! You won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book and Coffee to Go mainly to bring back memories of my own time as an international driver. If you read my review of the latter book, you'll see I wasn't impressed. Not all Sunshine and Sand was the cheese to the other's chalk. Well written and, above all, honest. NO experienced international truck driver believes that you can run "legal" all the time and Paul Rowlands certainly didn't. "Mickey Mouse" permits, fiddled Tankscheine papers, bribery and corruption, waiting at Aachen on a Sunday night for the border to open at midnight and all the other things that just don't happen on today's organised and sanitised international journeys. I was on the same Middle East runs and his accounts brought back all the good feeling and many of the bad ones about this truly epic run.
I found myself grinning and grimacing at some of the chapters. Putting on snow chains in snow blizzards, for instance, is no joke. But the good parts more than made up for the bad.
If you want a warts and all account of the Glory Days of international trucking, then read this book. Marvel at the resilience and endeavour of these guys. Paul Rowlands puts you in the drivers seat and his book does exactly what a book should do: it entertains.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Places you right there in the driver's seat 11 Sept. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book puts you right there, from Paul's formative days driving a coal truck through the long haul Middle Eastern days his stories put you right there - in the driver's seat. Paul is a genuinely nice, understated guy. I just wish I knew these stories when we were touring together in 2009 and 2010! Great job Paul!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than just nostalgia 12 Feb. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful memoir of "the Middle East Run" in the 1970's! The book is light hearted and easy to read but at the same time it gives an excellent idea of the work involved and the problems and pressures one encountered. There are a couple of tales that would cause my maiden aunt to wrinkle her nose but, then again, she'd be unlikely to read about lorry driving anyhow - and they are all part of the story.

Whilst I enjoyed the drawings, it would have been nice to see some photographs as well. For such photographs I would recommend TRANSORIENT, by Markus Schär and others.

If I have any criticism of the text itself, it is the implication that this all started in the early 1970's. It certainly grew enormously in the 1970's, but the Middle East Run was already well established in the 1960's, with the Bulgarians, Romanians and Hungarians particularly in evidence, at least in Turkey. But that is a minor detail and does not detract from the five star rating. If you want to know what those heady, hectic days were like or want a bit of nostalgia, look no further.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not all sunshine and sand 2 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am still reading the book but finding the stories rather repetitive .I am not riveted and wouldn't really recommend it .
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4.0 out of 5 stars RecyMech 20 Sept. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An enjoyable read that was written by a trucker who did several trips to the middle east, rather than a journalist who went along for one ride to Doha and wrote a book full of nonsense. I would recommend this book to truckers and truck enthusiasts, as well as armchair travellers, who want to get a feel of the freedom and sense of adventure, as well as the frustrations, of these epic journeys during the early pioneering days of TIR driving. One thing that lets this book down, and had me shouting out loud when I opened the book for the first time, was the distinct lack of a bloody map of the truck routes to the middles east. You shouldn't have to look at maps on the internet to trace the route. A few photographs, instead of the childish drawings, would not have gone amiss. Still, the book was not expensive and the tales are generally good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A JOURNEY IN A TRUCK,YOU WILL NOT FORGET. 6 Feb. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a true account of the early life of a middle east truck driver this is the read for you.
the journeys undertaken,the hardships ,the COLD, the good and not so good middle eastern boarder crossings,every aspect of daily life at the wheel on the most horrendous roads ,some with tragic endings.
what these drivers took on, to help the export trade of this country,was and still is above the norm and it is all here in the one package.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 2 Mar. 2011
Really enjoyed this book It gave a great insight into Middle East trucking .It is very well written would have no hesitation in recommending it.Simply could not put it down .
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