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4.2 out of 5 stars108
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 3 December 2004
As a biker I can safely say this book describes a bikers dream come true. To ride around the world with a very healthy budget and all the toys that come with money/sponsorship. The book really gets over the difficulties endured and how much both Charly & Ewan missed their family. Some of it will make you laugh out loud or bring a lump to your throat. They are both keen motorcyclists who are human beings, not just movie stars. Written in the first person the book brings you close to both of them, letting you know what they were thinking, a lot more so than the television program lets on. I read it cover to cover in 5 days.
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on 6 August 2007
A friend introduced "The Long Way Round" to me, saying they loved it and thought I would too. I hadn't heard of it at the time, but then uni often involves being lost in the student based world with little outside current world knowledge. I watched a trailer on YouTube to see what it was like and was instantly caught by the idea, ... two friends on an adventure around the world. Im not a fan of motorcycles, but visiting countries you only imagine you would talk about and never visit, meeting people from different cultures and seeing amazing sights, its something few people would say no to if they had the money and time, right?! I watched one episode and was hooked, and reading a review on here saying the book gave a better insight into the personal thoughts and more detail of the feelings of the two actors, I decided to buy it first (after all, in most cases the book is better!). So I bought it today and am already half way through. I was originally a bit disappointed with the focus on the bikes at the start, but then it is their true passion. However, as I read on, you really do start to feel what they went through, and it's gripping! It is not meerly a day-by-day recital of thier trip, but a window to the emotions and experiences felt by them both. And like people have said's not about the bikes, its about the adventure, experiencing the world with a true friend at your side!! I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the series!
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on 15 December 2006
What an awesome book, recording an awesome experience. As a biker myself, I was attracted to the book just to read about a trip that is beyond my means and abilities, but the book ended up meaning much more than that to me. It showed me, yet again, that wherever you go in the world (And I've travelled a fair bit of it myself in my work as a seafarer !) people everywhere are just people like you and I, when you get past the religious, political and economic differences that can so often divide us. It also highlights the fact that people who make a living in the film industry are not necessarily unapproachable, self centred and addicted to adulation. They can be warm, human and prone to the same joys, fears and desires as the rest of us. In short, they are human beings who just happen to have a good job. This is not just a good read about a motor bike trip of a lifetime, it is a book that rekindles hope that the world, and its varied people, is a beautiful place after all, and not half as dangerous as some would have us believe. Whether you're a biker, an armchair traveller or just someone looking for an exciting and inspiring read, then this book is for you. I can't praise it highly enough.
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on 1 November 2004
I have been following Ewan and Charley journey via MCN and since they completed their epic journey have been looking forward to the release of the book. I was not disappointed. The way the book is written is such a refreshing change from usual travel books. Ewan and Charley take turns to write about parts of the journey each with a candid view of how each stage affected them including the strain on their friendship and their relationship with the support crew. It's a warts and all view of an epic journey covering the highs and the very lows in personal terms. Having read the book not only do I feel like I travelled with them I have got to know them as well.
I am a biker myself and Its nice to read other bikers talking about how things really are and the short comings in their own skills and confidence. Ewan and Charley are more than just Celebrity Actors they are true Bikers great friends and very likeable people who care about this adventure and the people they meet. I enjoyed every page of this book and when I finished my wife who hates bikes has started reading it and she seems to find enough to keep her reading as well.
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on 16 May 2008
A spiritual uplifting read that you don't even have to be into bikes to be able to enjoy.
This book is about two friends doing what they love the most, whilst meeting people and places, which have so little, yet are able to share so much.
Everyone has dreams but not everyone is brave enough to live them. These two were brave enough and has have shown us all that impossible is nothing.
The book made me feel like wanting to give up everything and go and do what they did.
During each chapter Evan and Charley both take turns speaking about their journey and both have their own style, which helps to bring balance to the book.
I enjoyed reading Evan's parts the most as he really digs deeps into his emotional state.
In one chapter he says something along the lines of "We are all the same around the world, we all love family, we all want food and we all want somewhere to sleep at night, I couldn't agree more with him.
The part of the journey I enjoyed reading the most about was when they travelled between Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia. They meet so many different people in such barren places but despite all the troubles they come across they managed to overcome them because everyone they meet was so willing to give a hand.
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on 6 July 2007
I am not a biker, not a great traveller as am usually broke, and thought that this would be just another hollywood star, going on about how he and his mate travelled round the world a bit, complete with winnebago and team of personal assistants, but no way - this book has been one of the most motivational I have read in long time.

The kindness of people they meet along the way - who often have far less material possessions than we do - is inspirational and should be something that we jaded and mistrusting Westerners should take on board. Also, the fact that they travel through countries that do not get much press is interesting, although the sections on the work done by Unicef is heartbreakingly sad, and made me want to turn into a mini Angelia Jolie and adopt as many as I could.

There was no winnebago in this story, just a small support crew (who end up feeling like family) complete with the most laconic doctor who is certainly funnier than the ones I work with! Charley and Ewan are able to be very real, open and honest, both emotionally and on a practical level, and you can really feel like you are there with them at times - it is certainly not an `air-brushed' account of a holiday away.

I'm off to do my CBT and get another bike - after a good 20 years. A truly amazing book to match a truly amazing journey.
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on 29 April 2008
Oh, I enjoyed this book so much!!

I am a huge bike fanatic so when I got this book I was made up!
I decided I wouldn't watch the TV series - I didn't feel I needed to having read this.

Once I started reading it I found I was getting home from the pub early just so I could read some more.. & when I was at the pub I was telling people all about Ewan & Charley's adventure. It is so well written & makes you feel like you're actually there with them.

Though they had both discussed this years ago it was a completely new adventure to them, on their BMW GS's. I bet KTM are kicking themselves now, after all the success BMW have have enjoyed since this.

I will probably never have the money, or the time, to go on one of these adventures so to follow these guys - by reading this - was a real joy.
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on 16 December 2004
I have read this book in less than a week, finding it hard to put down. It has it all, the fun side of life, the sadness of missing families and friends, and the drama of an impossible dream. It may seem like a "Boys" dream to travel round the world on a motorbike, but the way the book is put together makes it a dream come true for all those of us who couldn't travel with Ewan and Charley, the way they each put across their thoughts makes the book hard to put down. The photos are a nice addition to the book, showing some of the highlights of the trip. I'm not a "biker" but that fact didn't matter, although alot of reference was made to the bikes used on the trip it was easy and informative reading. I'm hoping to get the DVD as soon as possible, as that will make the journey complete. The book also shows the kindhearted spirit from the various encounters with people that are met along the way, most wanting to help and show hospitality, which I feel is sadly lacking in todays modern world.. A MUST read book.. Well done Ewan and Charley...
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on 8 August 2006
i bought this to take on a camping holiday, i'm no bike nut and haven't really read travel books before and have only caught a couple of the episodes of this on the tv, i really enjoyed the book and found it to be a lot more personal than what i had seen on the tv, i found it to be well written in a way that it wasn't too technical for people like me who have no bike knowledge. it's a great read and i found it quite inspirational and showed that you can do anything you put your mind to but as stated in other reviews i suppose it helps if your an international movie star and have a healthy bank account - recommended
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on 23 August 2005
This is a very interesting diary of a remarkable journey. However, the disjointed style of presentation and the imbalance in the coverage of the countries visited limits it's appeal as a classic travel journal. The two travellers (McGregor & Boorman) take turns to write their experiences along the way. This leads to a constant switching of perspectives and breaks the continuety of the whole. The book heavily concentrates on countries of the former Soviet Union (where the riding was most difficult) leaving only 32 of the 357 pages to cover the whole of Alaska, Canada & the final leg to New York.
The book is a great reflection of the characters involved and their perceptions of their surroundings, others around them and the personal mood swings and crisis on the journey that effect these perceptions.
I felt that the hand of the ghost writer (I may be wrong) hangs heavy over this whole work. The use by McGregor of the the word 'Wee' for small and 'Cuds' for wilderness don't sit well in the text.
Overall, not bad, not great. Read Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon and you'll know what great really is.
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