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4.7 out of 5 stars206
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2013
There are not many books that keep me up till the early hours of the morning but this is one. A truly inspiring story that takes you on an incredible journey around the world in a camper van. There is a a real need to see what sort of adventure would face the family next as they traversed the globe on nothing but wit and charm. Full of great stories of the people they meet on the way as well as many scary encounters. If you want a book to read that will inspire you to do something that you wouldnt have thought about doing, no matter how big or small, then this is the book for you! Read it! You will not be disappointed!!
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on 6 August 2012
The only problem I had reading this book was making sure that I took it with me wherever I went. It is very hard to put down.

Simeon's writing style is free-flowing, honest and very funny.

I had to explain to my family what I had just read after laughing out loud on several occasions.

I thoroughly recommend you follow the fab six ( the vw camper van included) on their journey across the globe. You will not regret it.

The only way I can think of thanking the author is to make a personal donation to the work of UNICEF - that inspired their trip.
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on 9 September 2012
What a great read! This was the fascinating, `couldn't put it down' story of a family of five travelling around the world together in the close quarters of a VW camper van and the adventures they had on the way. I have read everything ever written by Bill Bryson and love travel stories, and this was easily in the same class as a humorous and educational tale, but also managed to be extremely moving and thought-provoking at the same time. I took this book into every room in the house with me in case I had the chance to read a few more pages and was very sad when I came to the end. I am hoping there will be more books by this author.
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on 22 February 2013
If I still wore a hat, I would take it off to this family who were adventurous enough to grab life and emerge at the end even closer than they may have been at the start.
As someone who can look back on holidays abroad with two youngsters in a VW motor caravan I know what demands can be placed on relationships in a combined space.
A great read and I am sure that the children will look back on their experience with many happy memories. Interesting, too, to learn of the support received from the teaching staff at the children's school and that the children's education had not suffered as a result of the time away from formal schooling.
Liked the contribution in the form of the video at the end of the read acknowledging the assistance provided by those who had supported the family in various ways.
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on 27 January 2013
A must read book if you enjoy travel books like I do.. God knows Ive read alot of them lately.. just to get away from our awful weather..I loved the fact that the family set off in a beaten up VW campervan. not one of your brand new all singing all dancing ones.. no this one was dropping to bits before they d left on their epic journey. Some may say it was foolish or brave to undertake such a trip with a young family in tow but I really enjoyed reading about their travels. The book is educational as well. I learnt quite a bit about places Ive not been to ... yet. There are a few mis haps along the way and a few lighter moments.All in all a good read and one I will enjoy again.
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on 22 January 2013
This a wonderful, witty, well written book about an adventurous young family and their trip around the world in a VW camper van. I loved every minute of it and felt I was on the road with the Courtie family - although I doubt there would have been any room for me in the crowded VW! It's a positve affirmation of life, full of optimism and a feeling of we can get through anything if we stick together. Buy a copy now - you won't regret it for a minute. Oh and don't be put off by the title - there's very little whining on the their long road as they circumnavigate the world!
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on 30 June 2013
I think you have to be a certain type of family to endure a trip such as this one. I can't imagine spending more than twenty minutes in a tin container with my one teenage daughter and husband without wanting to murder the pair of them. So this sabbatical ('it's NOT a holiday') was very, very brave indeed and I admire the family's gumption. They drove through Syria in a yellow VW, for goodness' sake.
I've read hundreds of travel books but there is a warmth at the heart of this one which is irresistible without being at all schmaltzy. You desperately want the family to have a good time and curse the gods when Penny splutters or the weather intervenes. You're really there with them - envious of their amazing Goan beach experience one minute, thanking the Lord that you aren't in Alessandria, Italy with them the next. That there are incredible, generous people the world over - and not just in the Western or English-speaking world - is evident, as are the planet's seemingly unfixable problems.
It's an endlessly engaging book, with a good message at its heart and I still can't believe those girls endured so much and stayed so upbeat and pleasant. Maybe I should take mine to India for a couple of months - no straighteners, no mobile and no One Direction. It's a plan.
Read this book if you want to catch the travel bug - it will give you a proper itch.
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on 27 January 2013
Really enjoyed this book. It is very upbeat, although there must have been more problems than we are led to believe, due to the very nature of having growing girls experiencing life in the raw but all power to the parents. Wow, what a start to life for the girls. The book is well written and, at times amusing, I don't think you will be disappointed. I was tempted to give it 5 stars but the previous reviewer mentioned Bill
Bryson and I didn't think it was quite in his league, sorry but, hey, what a tale.
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on 12 October 2012
Why is "The Long and Whining Road" so good? The simple answer: the author, Simeon Courtie is a great story-teller. He's seriously funny, intelligent, witty, and engaging. This is no ordinary travel book.

It was an absurd and improbable idea that took the Courtie family on the most amazing journey around the world. With this book you'll experience the highs and lows of their global travels and get to know the amazing characters and beautiful people they met along the way.

It's a story full of surprises and adventure - all with a reoccurring theme of human kindness.

Sim, as a broadcaster and comedy writer, has the mastery of language, a fascination with history and statistics, and impeccable comic timing. You'll be laughing out loud at the one-liners from Edie, Beth and Ella, and his long suffering partner in crime Jill.

From appearing in a Bollywood Film to awkward nakedness in a Turkish Spa (all to the soundtrack of the Beatles) you'll laugh, and at times be genuinely moved by the stories you'll read.

So buy this book and live the highs and lows of the worldwide adventure alongside this incredible family as the honorary 6th passenger.

Fasten your seatbelt.
Enjoy the journey.
I didn't want it to end.
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on 27 August 2013
This book was recently entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:

Cover - All 16 of the readers thought your cover was excellent and very eye-catching. They loved the quote from Oxfordshire Education Authority!

Layout - Excellent; no problems and the readers loved the font and the wonderful pictures.

STYLE/PLOT - The readers described your book in the following way:

"Very enjoyable read; educational too."
"He(the author) has a lot of energy in his writing."
"The best bit is how funny it is, particularly p48. I couldn't stop laughing."
"This is a simple. almost comforting style to his writing intermingled with strong humour and an eye for detail. Very enjoyable."


Of the 16 readers,

15 thoroughly enjoyed your book.
1 enjoyed it with a few reservations.
16 thought the cover was excellent.
10 felt there was a nice, easy flow to the book.
14 thought your ability to put across humour was your strongest point
Everybody thought Penny was the best character!

"A very enjoyable read, packed full of charming insights and humour. Highly recommended." The Wishing Shelf Awards
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