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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R. Fulton circumnavigates the globe on a motorcycle in 1932.
"One Man Caravan" is a story very much like adventure travelogues I used to read as a kid.
In 1932, a young man of maybe limited resources, but unlimited resourcefulness and "chutzpah", saddles up his motorcycle and travels around the world in 18 months. En route, he encounters exotic locals and locales, battles bad roads, breakdowns,...
Published on 7 July 1999

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Indiana Jones on a bike
For me the book was over exaggerated and hardly proves he was the first to go around the world on a motorbike.

Not the most riveting bike book but something to read on a winters night.
Published on 29 Feb 2008 by Stephen Lindley


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R. Fulton circumnavigates the globe on a motorcycle in 1932., 7 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
"One Man Caravan" is a story very much like adventure travelogues I used to read as a kid.
In 1932, a young man of maybe limited resources, but unlimited resourcefulness and "chutzpah", saddles up his motorcycle and travels around the world in 18 months. En route, he encounters exotic locals and locales, battles bad roads, breakdowns, injuries, officials and wanders into hot zones of civil wars - such as the British fighting some rebels in fictitiously-sounding Baluchistan.
This would be quite typical travel adventure fare, except that it really happened. The author is Robert Fulton (later known to Cold War afficionados as the inventor of CIA/Navy Skyhook recovery system), grandson of steam-ship builder Fulton. In 1996 (re-publication time of the book) he was alive and riding his motorcycle at age of 87.
Well-written and spell-binding, particularly in light of its authenticity.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 18 Feb 2007
This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
It is perhaps the worst possible way to review a book by commencing with a strong recommendation. So I shall contain myself.

One Man Caravan is an account of an observant and highly intelligent young man as he travels around the globe on a Douglas motorcycle. And that globe was a very different planet in 1932. Few books were written of such exploits during that era and still less stood the test of time. The main reasons were that this pre dates the affluent era and mass education . But Robert Edison Fulton Jr was different. Not only was he "well born", he was restless, enquiring and cerebral.

Having studied at the universities of Harvard and Vienna his father suggested he might like to see a little of the world. As the grandson of the inventor of the Fulton Steam Boat and son of the President of Mack Trucks, he had the option of seeing the world in the common fashion of the idle rich of the 1930's, but turned his back on luxury for the taste of reality thereby measuring up to the saying :-

" one measure of a man is what he does with his time when he has nothing to do".

A glib remark at a London dinner party attended by someone who claimed to "have" the Douglas motor works brought forth the offer of a motorcycle in the terms "...how about letting me furnish it ? " . And so he did.

Thus with a sun helmet, pistol and 4000 ft of film he set out to take on the world.

The compulsive text moves at a pace as Europe is dealt with in a single chapter and then into Turkey. In the darkness of the desert night he sees the lights of camel trains across the dunes. Then his sleep is interrupted by the "...squeek of ungreased wooden axles. Somewhere in the dakness a caravan had risen...." When text reads like that you need nothing more. But Fulton is a distinguished photographer and artist. The book is lavishly illustrated with 132 photographs and 62 sketches.

Fulton doesn't try to write, he writes as he sees. At the start of the journey he reveres "....the mystery of Baghdad". And the engaging Fulton soon falls into conversation with an old man whose words have a chilling resonance for today :-

" When I was a boy, England, Europe, America, they were all an unbelievable distance away. But today it is all so different. Everything is so close together. Something happens in one corner of the earth and it affects all the others. So we must change, our traditions and customs must slowly go. And it will be accomplished....East must meet West".

Fulton had a lifetime of achievement and it is small wonder that "...all who knew him regard him as a kind, wise, generous and intensely interesting man".

This book has recently been republished for a new audience and is rapidly featuring high on the inevitable " top ten of all time" lists that appear everywhere. In Fulton's case it is richly deserved.

Fulton's step son set off around the world on a modern motorcycle to recreate the trip but was killed half way round. Fulton continued to ride into his 80's and still possessed the very same Douglas motorcycle. He died in 2004 aged 95.

Buy this book and send it to your Nation's leader.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Caravan Bikers Will Appreciate, 9 April 2006
By 
M. Waters (Suffolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
Some books really are fixed in their time, but despite being 70 years old this travel diary with its simple pen illustrations is fresh as yesterday. It has enough motorcycling in it to please bikers, but not too much to overwhelm anyone else looking for an excellent travelogue. Fulton went through several of today's trouble spots during his trip, and his observations bring home the roots of much of what is behind those troubles. Without getting at all metaphysical, the book brings out the feel of a bike trip, the connection with the land you pass through, and the disconnection a rider can feel at the end of a trip. Buy it......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts "Long Way Down/Round" in the Shade, 10 July 2008
By 
M. Hayes (York UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
I would disagree with FZ6 Rider. I do not think the book is exaggerated and it matters not whether he was the first to go round the world.

Quite simply it is a remarkable book, it stands (favourable) comparison to the Long Way books/DVDs, it is an interesting bike book but more than anything it is a historical account of a world that has disappeared.

The degree of difficulty associated with this journey is hard to imagine when compared to nowadays. This was done in an age before reliable communications, credit cards, immunisations etc etc.

Robert Fulton is an inspiration, and the grainy B&W images in his book only heighten the sense of distance from todays sanitised digital, sat/nav, sat phone, world.

The most poignant thing is that Iraq and Afghanistan are sadly likley to more dangerous for the traveler today than in the 1930s.

Buy it, Read it, you won't be sorry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scares the pants off me !, 12 Feb 2010
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This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
What a great read ! I really really want to do something like this, but you read the details and read between the lines and think "Am I really ready for that ?" Robert Fulton has a brilliant understated humour at times and some of the expressions he uses can only have come from that era. I've read the accounts of Ted Simon and one of Lois Pryce's books. They're all good ! This stands out because he set out in 1932, no internet, mobile phones, GPS, sometimes not much in the way of maps. Brilliant ! All I need to do is persuade the wife it's a good idea...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic adventure, 13 Feb 2008
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This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
One of the best rtw motorcycle books there is. Robert Edison Foulton jr's adventure in 1932 on a Douglas motorcycle really brings to life the world as it was then only a few years from world war 2 .With his trusty tropical pith helmet & smith & wesson revolver (wrapped in cloth & hidden oin the motorcycle bash-plate) he really does cut it as a classic adventure figure. Great book packed with loads of photo's , if you ever get the change to see the film he took , do its fantastic .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One man caravan, 8 Oct 2009
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This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
Well written book about a round the world trip on a motorcycle by a particularly interresting character. The book does seem to loose some of it's motorcycle connection half way through but regains it toward the end. A very interresting read and I'm sure Charley and Ewan wouldn't have completed their trip under these conditions. If you enjoy motorcycle travel books with a bit of history then I strongly recommend this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Man Caravan, 12 Feb 2010
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This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
Ted Simon rates this as his best motorcycle travel book. I can see why. Bike enthusiasts should bear in mind that the journey is the reason for the bike, not the other way round. It is startling how the books shows that parts of the world have stayed the same since the 30's and the roots of current troubles hit you in the face (Afghanistan). Others seem a million miles away. Amazing what a pre-war Douglas could do!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 25 Jun 2014
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This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this - content and execution. I have recently picked up another book on a similar adventure (the Clancy book) and can now see with hindsight how good "Caravan" actually was.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) (Paperback)
This is an excellent book which is well written and really captures the spirit of adventure - strongly recommend you also get the dvd twice upon a caravan which brings the whole thing to life even more - he narrates (in his later years) over his original film footage and tells a great story with plenty pearls of wisdom. highly recommend this over the many similar books out there...
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One Man Caravan (Incredible Journeys Books) by Robert Fulton (Paperback - 31 Dec 2003)
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