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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
I loved the TV documentary / soap or whatever you call it so I was eager to buy this when it came out, and I'm glad I did. Long Way Down is the story of Charlie and Ewan travelling across Africa. It's a great accompaniment to the TV programme and successfully describes what they see, every bit as well as your eyes could if they watched it on TV.
The best thing about...
Published on 23 Oct 2007 by Harry Parsons

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Adventure? What adventure?
I do not want to compare LWR and LWD, although LWR was far more superior.

The first chapters, when they are in Europe, are not interesting at all. One should actually start reading the book from the chapter where they arrive in Tunisia. Still, the writing style throughout the book is not really compelling.

Then the so call 'adventure' is a farce. Two...
Published on 8 Jan 2008 by M. Billon


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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 23 Oct 2007
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
I loved the TV documentary / soap or whatever you call it so I was eager to buy this when it came out, and I'm glad I did. Long Way Down is the story of Charlie and Ewan travelling across Africa. It's a great accompaniment to the TV programme and successfully describes what they see, every bit as well as your eyes could if they watched it on TV.
The best thing about this for me is that I only took an interest initially because it was Ewan McGregor involved, so from that point of view I've had my horizons broadened. Worth a punt.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not half as bad as some say..., 18 Feb 2008
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
Perhaps this doesn't quite live up to the standard set by 'Long Way Round', but for a start that would be very difficult.
I find some criticism of the book unjustified and at times ridiculous. Despite the book occasionally seeming a little hurried and too uniform, on the whole it is yet another honest and interesting tale of a fascinating, emotional journey.
What the guys have done is really admirable and for that I believe they deserve much acclaim and respect.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like many sequels - disappointing, 25 Oct 2007
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
I was the biggest fan of Long Way Round. A great trip, show and book, so I was really looking forward to Long Way Down, so much that I bought it the first day it went on sale and read most of it on a day off work. What a disappointment! Its generally well written but the style gets irritating and some of the chirpiness doesn't sound right and there's something missing at the heart of it. Maybe its because its a sequel, but it seems to lack the purpose of Long Way Round, which to me felt gritty and authentic. Maybe its because Ewan and Charlie have done it before, so they've lost their 'travellers innocence' and now seem a bit cocky and arrogant. But ultimately its just a sequence of events and you wonder why they're doing it.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hideously inferior to Long Way Round., 17 Nov 2007
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This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
I, like many others I suspect, bought this book in the first week of its release. I loved Long Way Round and thought it was all about the things travel should be - adventure and discovery. Although Long Way Round lacked a mature literary style, the enthusiasm of the trip shone through in the accounts of what McGregor and Boorman experienced. Long Way Down has none of this. There are three main areas of discussion - how they feel they are not seeing or experiencing anything worthwhile due to the pressures of time, how there is a constant tension within the group, and finally common and cringeworthy reminiscences of Long Way Round. As another reviewer has mentioned, flat jokes and an awkward writing style permeate throughout; this hardly manages to somewhat counter the problem that they are in fact two pretty uninteresting travellers who offer minimally intelligent comments on what they see. If you enjoyed Long Way Round, the temptation is obvious to buy the sequel. Don't bother, and read the first journey through once more.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a disapointment, 6 Dec 2007
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
Do not buy this. Its nothing like the original. Where is the passion for riding? Get instead Roadshow: Landscape with Drums - A Concert Tour by Motorcycle neil peart (rush) which is a much better ride! Pearts book really takes you with him on his journey but long way down is just half hearted, simply put, a waste of time and money.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty good, 16 Oct 2007
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Niccolo65 (Aberdeenshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
I've just finished listening to the abridged version of this book on CD, and I quite enjoyed it. Whenever you go on a journey it is, to some extent at least, unplanned. It may end up being what you thought it was going to be beforehand, but then again, it may turn out to be something quite different. As readers, I think we ought to try and remember this. (It's part of travelling: a good thing!) Given that the boys were going through some dangerous countries (this was the received opinion prior to their departure at any rate) it would be very unwise to have tackled the trip in a more independent, freewheeling way. Of course the support vehicles needed to be within shouting distance of Charley, Ewan and Claudio. That being the case for much of this trip then, is not grounds for criticism, IMO. The boys try earnestly to bring the work of UNICEF and other charities to the attention of more people, and they are to be commended for that. Okay, the early part of the journey was done too quickly, and in retrospect I'm sure the guys would have given themselves another week in Italy and North Africa instead of racing to catch that damned ferry! But I'm sure that they'll have learned a lot from this trip, as any traveller should from any journey they undertake. (If you've got nothing to learn, then why bother going, right?) So I'd expect a third trip to reflect what the team have learned both from this journey, and from LRW. And I would like to see a third trip. Maybe something like ... Long Way North: The Falklands to Fairbanks. I'd buy that DVD, absolutely no question about it. Maybe though, the next adventure will be Charley tackling the Dakar again. I'd like to see him completing it, how cool would that be! I'm confident that the journey we all began with Ewan and Charley on Long Way Round is not over yet.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars in light of the TV show, 27 Nov 2007
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Paulus (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
If you haven't - or can't - watch this on tv, it's a good enough book. But if you can or have seen the show, don't waste your time reading this. The Long Way Round book offered quite a bit more insight into the journey than was offerred by the TV series, but the Long Way Down show is replicated - sometimes word for word - in the book, with little obvious extra insight. Disappointing, since the first was a great read. I feel like Charlie and Ewan didn't put much effort into the book, it was just a case of "ok Charlie, now lets churn out a book" "Great idea Ewan; post the DVD to the publisher and have them type a manuscript"
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems rushed, disjointed and lacking enthusiasm...., 13 Nov 2007
By 
Ciaooo (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Long Way Down (Paperback)
First and foremost, I am a fanatical motorcycle enthusiast, heck, I even own a BMW GS Adventure and am a major fan of these men! The first book, DVD and even music CD, have them all. But this book seemed a bit lackluster and considering the trip ended only some 2.5 - 3 months ago...a bit rushed. Understandably, it won't be the same as the first trip, the virgin excitement of the undertaking, the logistical nightmares...they've dealt with a lot of them before and now there was less apprehension. But the description of the experience itself throughout the book appeared to be killing the "sparkle" of it, as if it were written fast via a compilation of notes from cocktail napkins and random conversation recollections. There are many retrospective views of their trip, rather than the same type of story-telling from the first trip of describing as they went. There seems a lot of ...oh ya, and we forgot to mention what happened a few days ago, rather than tell you when we were writing about it... and straight gaps such as "three days passed." Apparently nothing exciting happened those days, so why even mention if this is not a dated travelog? And the constant mentioning of the personality conflicts and never really describing what those issues were, only that it annoyed them so it was opted to ignore it as much as possible. The book seemed almost as if it were written the day they returned in a tired and less positive and reflective manner. As if to say...yeah we rode to Africa and are beat, so here's the book and let us sleep....
Anyway, a rather disheartening sophomore effort as far as the book, but I am withholding complete judgement until I view the forthcoming DVD series. Perhaps this trip simply didn't translate as well into print, or perhaps creative TV editing will put some fire (fiction or not) into the adventure. Buy it if you truly love these guy's adventures as I do, if you are looking for a repeat of LWR, keep waiting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read but be prepared for low quality writing, 19 Mar 2008
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
It is obvious from the start of this book that Ewan and Charley are not authors and it shows in the quality of the writing, even more than in LWR. At times it feels rushed, probably because they needed to get the book out in time for Christmas. On top of this, the testosterone driven bickering in the camp takes up far more space in the book than it should. This leaves less room for the things we want to read about like the beautiful landscapes and the extraordinary people they meet along the way.

Despite this list of complaints, the story they tell is compelling. The charity visits they describe left me feeling emotional but with a sense of hope that help is being provided where it is most needed. At other times they are interacting with locals, often a slightly nervous manner. It's these moments that make the book worth reading.

In summary I would say that this is worth a read but be prepared for the clichéd, slightly rushed writing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but....., 1 Jan 2008
This review is from: Long Way Down (Hardcover)
I was truly disappointed when I started watching the Long Way Down on telly, after having watched Long Way Round about 6 times and having bought a R1200GS! They moaned so much and there seemed to be not much about the bikes. So I stopped watching. Then this Christmas, someone gave me the book and I read it to see if it was as bad as the TV. It wasn't but half way through I stopped reading because they seemed to be thoroughly depressed at the world and at odds with each other. I stopped caring. Then I finally got back to it and finished it. It was a great journey but not quite as amazing as the last trip. It could have been great but I think the Ewan and Charley mobile has run its course. They should leave it now for a long while.
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Long Way Down: The Illustrated Edition
Long Way Down: The Illustrated Edition by Charley Boorman (Hardcover - 4 Sep 2008)
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