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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2013
It ought to be hard not to be inspired by a story about someone overcoming mental illness and bereavement by setting out on a long-distance, unaccompanied bicycle tour. That the author has managed to create such a tedious account of his travels is, therefore, an achievement eclipsing his two-wheeled exploits. I should have been able to empathise with this guy, but his crass humour, xenophobia and lads'-mag sexism stifled any feelings of affinity. The author leaves the reader in little doubt about how much of an ordeal he found most of the tour - I can only assume he wanted readers to share the pain, as a laboured, affected and ungrammatical writing style delivers an arduous read. The least inspiring travelogue I have ever read.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2011
Wish I had listened to the more critical reviews of this book, and not bothered buying it. And the reviewer who discribed it as 'cliched' is absolutely right.
Disappointing, and difficult to read. Sentences are overly long and lack variety. The writer tries to be clever with words, but delivers cliche after cliche.
He had a very narrow view of the countries he travelled through. Germany was dismissed as dirty, depressed and down-at-heel, for example - but he failed to understand he was only travelling through one small part of Germany. It's like comparing the Essex coast to the rest of Britain.
The writer was trying to be funny and amusing - but Bill Bryson, he aint!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2012
Read this torturous book on holidays. I dont like to give up on something (unlike the author who actually quits the trip less than mid way through) so I stuck it out. Wish I hadnt. The writer comes across as a smart-alec-y schoolboy with a terrible writing style, cliche after cliche and who thinks we should find his psychological problems endearing and fascinating.
Its boring, clumsy, vulgar, verging on racist (particularly against germany) and narrow minded. Time after time he tells us about his bowel movements and how he misses "cuddley-wuddley" with his girlfriend. Cringe. On the plus side Im inspired to write a travel book myself, I couldnt really do worse and Id probably finish it!

They say that there's a book in all of us. But for most, including the author, that's where it should stay.
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