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4.2 out of 5 stars
Cycling Home From Siberia
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2010
OK, I'm also a committed non-Christian but this book is great. The 'faith' aspects do not detract from what was clearly an epic adventure and in no way spoiled it for me. If anything, I knew about these before starting the book and was releived the author had not over-egged this aspect.

You'll have to look very hard indeed to find someone - believer or non-believer - this adventurous who can also write about it in such an engaging way and on that basis alone, it is an absolutely fantastic book. Buy it, i couldn;t put it down.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2009
Rob Lilwall's open and upbeat attitude shines through his writing and makes this an uplifting read. The passage through Siberian winter is truly an heroic feat- cycling through -40c conditions in one of the harshest landscapes on earth is a pretty wonderful thing to have achieved and the reading of it makes the reader aware of possibilities unthought of. Also the section with Rob battling through the jungles and along the beaches of New Guinea is outrageous and certainly his adventure lives up to his own English-explorer standards of 'ridiculousness' and 'epic-ness'. There are many funny moments and I whipped through this book in a couple of days it is such fun. Totally disagree with other comments about religion being annoying- I am not religious and am not at all bothered by Rob's expressions of his faith at various points. Indeed it ties the book together and provides the tale's spiritual core. A book that will make you want to get up and do something huge yourself. Buy it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2010
This lengthy book about Rob's epic 3 ½ year cycle ride home to London from Siberia -going the long way round via Eastern Asia, Australia & South east Asia - is a really fascinating read. Despite the size of the book, he skims through or misses out a lot of parts of his journey and only concentrates on the most exciting & dangerous parts -Siberia, Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Iran, so the book is never boring.
Rob does an excellent job of recreating the tension of the most scary moments of the trip, he really had me on the edge of my seat in parts. I also enjoyed reading about all the interesting people he met along his travels, and although he seemed more concerned in asking them about their religion than about their lives he did still manage to uncover some really interesting points.
Rob doesn't always come across as the most charismatic person, but he's quick to admit his faults, and I trusted him to tell the tales without any boasting or exaggeration. I have to admire his amazing bravery and determination in doing this trip and this book has certainly inspired me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2009
I was so excited to hear the book was ready after having read various email updates during the journey, and the finished product did not disappoint at all. It is a remarkable story of endurance and perseverance, which had me in fits or laughter one minute and tears the next. Rob's honest portrayal of life on the road, the people he encountered across the world, and his own character and spiritual journey was gripping and I could not put the book down. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone to has ever tried to go anywhere on a bike, who loves to travel, or who is simply wondering how long it does take to cycle home from Siberia. Read it - you won't be disappointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2010
"Rob Lilwall has written a book that really takes you with him. A great book and a classic example of how to keep going and never give up when you battle with your mind to keep going. It was refreshing to read about the people who have nothing but expect nothing in return. Perhaps some of our western leaders should read this book to gain a better understanding of the real people of this world and not the evil nations they and their media machines like to portray. Iran was one of the most welcoming countries he travelled through which speaks volumes.... Great book and next time you go on a bike ride can I come with you!!!"
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2009
Rob Lilwall's tale of his 35,000 mile adventure on a bike makes compulsive reading. His descriptions of both the extraordinary things that happened to him together with the fascinating and the so generous people that came to his aid come alive on every page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
absolutely awe-inspiring, phenomenal journey, spiritual main character and he gets the girl... he literally makes you feel that he has the whole world in his hands and freedom to go just about anywhere... I can only recommend this with highest praise. This book could change your life forever if you are still young at heart and brave of spirit
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2011
Why cycle home from Siberia? Why not Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney? Well, it's not the places that really matter, it's the journey, and one of his mates (who happens to be cycling the world) is due in Siberia soon, so Rob decides to join him for the journey home.
Rob is quite a personable chap although, as he himself admits, he can become quite annoying when he starts going on a Christian kick. Fortunately he, or his editor, have kept the "born again" verbiage to the minimum and we're allowed to enjoy the adventure for what it is. And it's one of those that you're kind of glad he did, while you sat at home reading about it in the comfort of your armchair. I did often wonder what exactly it was that he thought he was getting out of it as the journey continued almost without a serious destination in mind? Mind you, this was probably envy that he was doing something that a lot of us would love to do, just for the simple reason of broadening our limited horizons and seeing if we could.
The journey soon becomes a bit of an obsession as Rob changes and extends his planned route, while his mate branches out on a different road home (largely because the two of them find themselves soon getting on each other's wicks as they try and travel together.)
I had the feeling that some of the journey's chapters could have been books in themselves. Siberia itself could have been padded out with a history of the Road of Bones, Japan is always fascinating, Papua New Guinea an adventure on its own. Four months in Australia, however, probably warranted the four pages it is given. Still, that's a lot more than the thousand mile trek through Thailand and Malaysia gets, which is covered in a paragraph with passing mentions of palm trees and rice fields. Cambodia - there's another book, but the writing is as restless as Rob is on the bike. If he's not pushing on, he's nowhere.
As expected, Rob detours off into Afghanistan against everybody's advice against doing it. This is a challenge he feels, for some reason, he has to take and he spends most of this leg in a state of subdued fear. Once he's across, however, the book speeds towards home, and countries flash past in sentences. Only Iran gets anywhere near a special mention, but at least he takes some time to ruminate on the obnoxious French in the final pages.
In the last chapter, Rob becomes introspective as he wonders what it was all about? Why did he do it? What did he learn? You'll have to read the book to find out, but it's worth doing it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2010
this is a great book on many levels - gripping story, inspirational effect it can have on you, love interest intertwined in the text, humorous anecdotes and insights into different culture. suitable for both men and women of all ages and activity levels! Thats why i bought 3 copies after reading it to give as presents to friends and family.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
As a cyclist of long standing and a great fan of books by Anne Mustoe and Jose Dew; I was keen to read this book.

I found it inspiring and really wanted to be there riding with him. Though would prefer slightly warmer climate the views must have been wonderful.

His reference to Christianity made the book seem more personal and did not detract from his journey in any way. If there is anyone out there who could go through what he has and not think about their God; well, I have yet to meet them.

I am sure this book will be a well thumbed copy. It is so good I am getting one as a Christmas present for my cousin.

His relationship with his friend,his honesty about his abilities, and his discription of events help the reader be in the situation with him. I am looking forward to his next book............. When did you say that was coming out January?

It would be a good idea if your next book can be put in audio as well as kindle. Sometimes I am too tired at the end of a ride to read so just listen to an audio book.
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