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Full Tilt: From Dublin to Delhi with a Bicycle Paperback – 5 Jan 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; New edition edition (5 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719565146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719565144
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 936,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Captivating ... an enchantment that holds the reader as engrossed as would an exciting thriller (Irish Independent)

A distinctive and highly entertaining account of the tribulations encountered and the beauty along the way (Times Educational Supplement)

Her seven-month journey is continuously entertaining, and her fortitude continuously astonishing (Sunday Telegraph)

By almost anyone else's standards she had a hell of a time, but she communicates a high enjoyment that will be shared by all her readers (Daily Telegraph)

Few people can have had a better chance of understanding Asian people than Dervla Murphy (Daily Telegraph)

This book has the charm of spontaneity and the ring of absolute truth (Irish Times)

Warmly described, and with a lack of self-regard that immediately endears her to the reader (Sunday Times)

Warmly entertaining book ... range of engaging traveller's tales (Western Daily Press)

Fascinating, gripping and completely satisfying (Liverpool Echo)

[Dervla Murphy is] always great value ... fascinating account of her trials and tribulations, and also the beauty of her journey (Eastern Daily Press)

For an insight into a unique region, and a unique woman, you couldn't do much better than this. (James Herron, Geographical Magazine)

Dervla Murphy proves herself a true traveller ... who engages sympathy from the start by her qualities of tact, charity and courage (The Spectator)

Book Description

Shortly after her tenth birthday, inspired by an atlas she was given, Dervla Murphy decided to cycle to India. Almost twenty years later she set out to achieve her ambition, pedalling her trusty bicycle, Roz.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Full Tilt is the most engaging of all Dervla Murphy's travel books. Whilst her travels, in the most unlikely and inconvenient places, are always captivating, her sheer delight with Afghanistan and Pakistan and their people lifts this above the others. One wants to set off on one's own bicycle at once and head straight for all the places she so effortlessly brings to life. Definately not a book to miss, read it once and it will stay in your heart for ever.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very fine piece of writing and a very interesting travelogue. Her bravery and single mindedness is inspirational. Her encounters are fascinating and compelling and recounted without hype or over dramatisation. I strongly disagree with one reviewer here that says she was naive in her observations of local customs and politics. Quite the opposite, she showed an empathy and understanding quite rare among travelers in foreign lands.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dervla travelled from Dunkirk to Delhi on a three-speed roadster. Across Afghanistan. In the 60s. Unable even to mend a puncture. With a large supply of cigarettes. And a gun. Bitten by a wolf in Yugoslavia. When the road was rough in Iran, she cycled in the river bed instead. An blow with an Afghan rifle butt broke her ribs...
In comparison to this, anyone other (even her own) cycle trip just pales into ordinariness. The material is sufficiently extraordinary that the plain diary style is an adequate vehicle. The observations and empathy for the peoples and places make this a great travel book, not just the greatest cycle travel book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Political, religious, social students as well as cycle routers, enthusiasts and armchair travellers can get an insight from this book.
Written from the notes made enroute, mainly after entering Asia, this book gives a inside view to the people of the middle east and the difference between politics and religious beliefs in a simple yet expedient way.
Although the journey was made in 1963 much of what is contained in the travelogue is as relevant today as it was then and helps to understand what is happening in the middle east.
A first class read and a great book.
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By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 July 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this when it was first published and her bravado and guts filled me with admiration. The lands she travelled in seemed so exotic and far away - although they soon became part of the Hippy Trail of the late 60s and 70s.

On re-reading it my admiration for her courage is undiminished - but I was soon struck my just how much the world has changed. Some of the countries she travelled through (albeit with some difficulties) have since become impossible for any independent traveller. The cold war conflict between the USSR and USA were being played out in Afghanistan but who could have guessed the tragedy that lay ahead for the Afghans? I had forgotten the episode visiting the Buddhas at Bamian - a sight no-one will ever see again as these were destroyed by the Taliban a few years ago. She writes of both Afghanistan and Pakistan with great affection but is much less kind to Iran and India.....

She is well able to cope with the simplicity on offer. Her description of a Grade A hotel in Herat was wonderful: "It has an Eastern lavatory but with flush attached (when I pulled the string the whole apparatus collapsed and I was drenched in rusty water!) and there is also a holder for lavatory paper on the wall which makes one feel that if one stayed here long enough it might have paper too some day."

I do have problems with writers who make sweeping negative statements about a whole people. About the Kashmiris she said "The people are in general the most moronic I've met since Persia..." Also "The standard of intelligence of the average village school-teacher is incredibly low" - this was stated after 26 days in Pakistan!
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I have read three books by Dervla Murphy and having travelled to some of the regions in this globe that she has covered, find her books fascinating, humorous and entertaining, also at times astonishing. I loved every part of Full Tilt, from Ireland to Delhi and all the places in between. All respect and admiration to this formidable lady (and her daughter).
I have just read Eight Feet in the Andes, a heart-wrending account of the abject, unbelievable poverty and beauty of rural Peru, its incredible landscapes and its indiginous Indians, trapped in an apparent "moribund culture", very moving indeed.

I look forward to reading all her books. Thank you Dervla, for the experiences you share, and your compassionate and intelligent insight and your love of life, humanity. travels in wildernesses and especially remote, (rather high) mountains. I have visited the himalayas (Pokhara, Badrinath, Kashmir, parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan) and have so loved reading your descriptions of the high ranges and the way of life of so many different cultures.

We westerners can often be ignorant and blinkered, taking so much for granted in our quite privileged society.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is really one of the most interesting books I've ever read, and Dervla Murphy at her best (which is saying something of such a wonderful storyteller). The only thing I had reservations about was the apparent reflections that people living as subsistence farmers in the Himalayas were better off without education, but this was, also, obviously meant as a way of saying that we have a lot to learn from their way of life.
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