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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of laughs and some enlightenment
I found Uneasy Rider not only to be very funny but also compelling reading. A clockwise journey around Europe is undertaken on a BMW R1200GS covering 20,000 miles over six months.
Mike is a (another) journalist (see also Geoff Hill) on a journey, who having decided on the trip must first learns to ride a motorcycle. The new bike is duly purchased and we set off on an...
Published on 16 May 2008 by S. SMITH

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Travels - good. Crisis - bad
I picked up this book as I was browsing. Being a 39+ biker planning a tour it obviously appealed, and at first I found myself enjoying the stories within. I enjoyed his tales of Scandinavia, Eastern Europe etc, but I found as we travelled south the author's mood seemed to become more reflective, more self-revelatory, and as I got to know Carter better I found I liked him...
Published on 14 Feb 2009 by Alex Richards


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of laughs and some enlightenment, 16 May 2008
By 
S. SMITH (Surrey, England.) - See all my reviews
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I found Uneasy Rider not only to be very funny but also compelling reading. A clockwise journey around Europe is undertaken on a BMW R1200GS covering 20,000 miles over six months.
Mike is a (another) journalist (see also Geoff Hill) on a journey, who having decided on the trip must first learns to ride a motorcycle. The new bike is duly purchased and we set off on an amusing voyage into the mental state of middle aged men - Mike seems far more concerned with his own pulling power than that of his motorcycle - but of course there could be no doubts about the adequacy of the big BMW.
Towards the end of the book things don't seem so funny any more and I was left feeling rather cheated of France, Spain and Portugal. They were ridden through (and are to be thoroughly recommended by motorcycle) but don't get a mention; one minute he was in Corsica and the next back in London.
A jolly good read with lots of laughs and plenty for those of a certain age to think about. I am pleased to reflect now that I have a better understanding of the disillusionment of mid life. The book is probably aimed at male readers, and indeed I bought it for my husband but was hooked after the first few paragraphs, and as a middle aged female motorcyclist found it most entertaining.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Travels - good. Crisis - bad, 14 Feb 2009
I picked up this book as I was browsing. Being a 39+ biker planning a tour it obviously appealed, and at first I found myself enjoying the stories within. I enjoyed his tales of Scandinavia, Eastern Europe etc, but I found as we travelled south the author's mood seemed to become more reflective, more self-revelatory, and as I got to know Carter better I found I liked him less and less, till towards the end I would happily have slapped him round the helmet with one of his free BMW spares.

Which brings me to my thoughts on finishing. Yes, it was interesting to read Carter's travels. No, I don't think we'd get on down the pub, and why? why? is this book sold as being one man's heroic tale, when as I've now learnt it was one man's fully paid up (by the Observer) tour of Europe on a free motorcycle.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uneasy Rider, 9 Mar 2008
Uneasy Rider is one of those rare books which manages to straddle genres and defy categorisation, whilst at the same time remaining immensely readable and hugely entertaining. This is a book which will appeal to men and women alike, bikers and non-bikers, the adventurous and the armchair traveller. It's a book about dreams broken and pieced together again, about making sense of the past and uniting it with the present and of bonds forged and boundaries crossed. It is a book about people written with insight, humanity and humour.

Mike Carter has achieved a fine balance between travelogue and self-confessional, which makes his book so much more than the usual series of postcards from a journey. The descriptions are lusciously vivid and his landscape is peopled with remarkable, quirky and wonderful characters. The theme of a mid-life crisis, its manifestations and the possible reasons for it, is woven through a series of beautifully realised vignettes, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes heart-rendingly poignant, strung together by the narrative of the journey.

There is an honesty and frankness about Uneasy Rider which is as appealing as the self-deprecating humour and it is written with such confidence that the erudition (of which there is plenty) is neither laboured nor inaccessible. Personally, I would have been happy to learn more about the author's life (because I'm nosey like that!), but then it's also the mark of a good book when you are so engaged that you care what happens after you close the cover. I wanted to know more - what became of Margaret, did he ever go to see the Aussies on their home territory, what happened to Hanne....

Uneasy Rider made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes. I finished it thinking that I had found not so much a travelling companion as a really good friend.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent entertainment and insight into the mid life crisis, 9 May 2008
By 
P. F. Yardley "Paul" (England) - See all my reviews
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I have read nearly every motorcycle travel book availible and i must say this is probably the most entertaining. As i approach my own 40th birthday i now understand my own 'mid life crisis' so clearly explained by the author. That aside, this book has been a true joy to read, funny, serious, happy, sad, bike travel, adventures etc etc etc. If you like travel books and/or are approaching middle age (crisis) and/or enjoy good reading you must buy this book. I truly hope to be able to follow Mike on his next trip, ride soon!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story, good read, 12 April 2013
By 
R de Bulat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Uneasy Rider: Travels Through a Mid-Life Crisis (Paperback)
Uneasy Rider is the account of a motorbike journey undertaken by a newspaper sub editor who, divorced and approaching middle age, seeks to find himself and heal the wounds of separation and the end of his marriage. The story starts with an act of drunken bravado, without which the journey would never have started and is paid for, in part, by articles written for the Observer newspaper and a chunk of money the author receives by remortgaging his home. This is clearly, the journey of a lifetime and one that provides interest to the reader throughout as well as an insight into the personality of the author who changes, perceptively, as the story is told and a relatively solitary and inward person gradually begins to acknowledge his need for others and allows himself to open up to strangers he meets along the way, while laying the ghosts of his married life and the wife he loved. There is the fact of his being on a motorcycle and travelling around Northern and Eastern Europe from Scandinavia to Eastern Turkey and back through Southern Europe; those he meets and through whom the account evolves, are all bikers, so it is very much a motorbike story, but it is, above all, a story about people, loneliness and a few instances of fear and danger, but no real hardships, it isn't about that. It is a fantastic story and a book that you might be loathe to finish, because you don't really want it to end. Recommended.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I'd hoped for..., 15 Aug 2008
By 
This was an easy read that flowed from page to page, although as a biker myself I found it wanting. It's been said before in these pages and is very true that the transition from Corsica to London was a great disappointment; was there really nothing interesting to write about on the journey back home from there Mike?!
Also Mike is obviously a very educated and learned man, so whilst I took his quotes from some of the great names in literature in good humour, I suspect others may have seen this as arrogant and conceited on his part.
If you are into bikes and biking in general, don't expect a great detailed narrative, but as a light heartened and alternative read on the subject of men & the mid-life crisis, this a good read; took me just three days on the commute to finish it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful ride and reading, 21 April 2008
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This book is a page turner, funny, witty and intelligent. I couldn't stop myself until I finished. It can be an enjoyable reading for both bikers and non bikers as it develops in the best tradition of humour and travel literature.

Highly recommended. And if you just turned 40 (as me) so much the better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 9 Sep 2010
This review is from: Uneasy Rider: Travels Through a Mid-Life Crisis (Paperback)
I was surprised to see such low rating on this book, I found it very funny and well written. Mike (the author) was not a motorcyclist / biker before this trip so that might be why some people have seen his trip as not very adventurous. I take my hat off to him.
Being just 40 myself meant I had some things in common with the author and I really enjoyed reading this book, I couldn't put it down and read it in 4 days which is very unusual for me. I highly recommend this book to any 40 some things (bikers or not) looking for a light hearted and very funny read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soulful journey of discovery, 15 Dec 2010
This review is from: Uneasy Rider: Travels Through a Mid-Life Crisis (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Uneasy Rider as I imagined myself accompanying Mike Carter on his journey with its very funny and bizarre encounters. As a travel book it is an interesting read but Mike also introduces the personal reasons why he felt the need to learn to ride a motorbike and take a break from his troubled life.

I gave it to my wife to read who also found it entertaining even though she has no interest in riding bikes or road trips. She enjoyed the writing, the stories of the people he met and the places visited. Personally, I was touched as he describes his frustrations and disappointments in life and how he bravely takes time out and uses the trip to heal and overcome his issues. I have found my mind wandering back to the book several months later, dreaming that one day I will be indulging in a soulful journey of discovery in some curious land.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Atlas Shrugged of travel books, 7 May 2010
By 
Colin MacDonald (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Uneasy Rider: Travels Through a Mid-Life Crisis (Paperback)
This may be the book that kills the motorcycle grand tour genre stone dead.

The main problem is the author is essentially a dull chap, with nothing to say, but who has to fill a lot of pages with his tedious opinions on whatever existential angst happens to be trudging through his head. I am also convinced that Carter - a journalist, remember - is at best a fantasist, or more likely just invented most of his alleged experiences from whole cloth in order to punctuate the monotony of "rode, ate, slept, sulked about my mid life crisis again". And even then, his adventures are strictly pedestrian, and presented in an infuriatingly morose, depressing way. The only emotion this book engendered in me was to want to smack Carter and tell him to cheer the hell up.

To give you a taster of Carter's priorities, he invests a full page and a half to expounding on his tedious reactions to reading a copy of Hello magazine, but dedicates just two paragraphs to the experience of dropping his brand new R1200GS bike. Having already moaned about an injured back and knee, and having just claimed to have further hurt his back in the fall, Carter than fails to even cover the one question that any biker would immediately ask: how on earth did he manage to pick up a quarter of a ton of bike from a wet pavement while nursing those alleged injuries? What state were the bike and he in afterwards? But no, not a hint, since that doesn't relate directly to Carter's mid life crisis, so we are left to guess, or to assume that the drop was simply a fiction.

Later, he expounds on the arm-and-leg waving habits of British bikers. How curious: having made such a point that he'd done minimal riding, how could he have any little idea what constitutes "habitual" for British bikers? After fifty pages, I simply stopped viewing him as a biker, negating much of the point of the book. I even began to wonder, quite seriously, if the entire trip existed only in his imagination, and if he simply took 6 months off work and occasionally emailed in an update from his sofa while watching daytime telly and waiting for his agent to score a book deal. Note the cover quote: 'A fantastic read' by one Mr Charley Boorman, a man so famously dyslexic that he can barely read a menu let alone an entire book.

So essentially this is the story of a grumpy, sulky self pitying prat who mopes and pouts his way around Europe, sticking strictly to the beaten track, enjoying nothing, experiencing nothing, learning nothing, and doing nothing of any interest. I couldn't shake the image of a grey rain cloud following him around, drizzling sullenly on him for the duration of his trip.

Avoid, unless your goal is to be put off motorcycling, travelling, or for that matter enjoying yourself in any way.
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Uneasy Rider: Travels Through a Mid-Life Crisis
Uneasy Rider: Travels Through a Mid-Life Crisis by Mike Carter (Paperback - 5 Mar 2009)
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