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Joanna Bennett (Edinburgh)

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Take a Seat: One Man, One Tandem and Twenty Thousand Miles of Possibilities
Take a Seat: One Man, One Tandem and Twenty Thousand Miles of Possibilities
by Dominic Gill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painkillers please!!!, 11 May 2010
Well, move over Lance Armstrong, your mantle of 'Iron Man' of the cycling world has been well and truly stolen. Not many people would think of cycling long distance, few would choose to ride a tandem, and fewer would think about undetaking a journey even Marco Polo would probably shake his head at. Uber 'domestique' - Dominic Gill puts two years of his life aside to fulfill a dream and cycle the Americas, but also to reconnect with his fellow men - all 350+ of them! Yes, he shares a ride on his faithful two-seater with stranger after stranger, covering 20,000 miles from the top of Alaska, to the tip of Argentina. Along the way, he evolves from fresh-faced callow youth, to a road-rugged, 'Easy Rider' extra; who can change a flat tyre in seconds, and still have enough energy to chase what looks like a lot of girls!

Seriously, what Dominic achieved is to be saluted - and reading this very entertaining tale, one sees that the journey was one thing, but meeting his passengers left a far bigger mark on him, and obviously gave him the motivation to continue through broken bikes, money running out, mudslides, snowstorms, and South American bureaucracy! The Mallot Jeune is his to wear I think! Good man.

Read it and then go for a day's ride, and say to yourself at the end when you're relaxing in a warm bath, 'my bottom would feel like this every day for two years!'


Road of Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944 - The Epic Story of the Last Great Stand of Empire
Road of Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944 - The Epic Story of the Last Great Stand of Empire
by Fergal Keane
Edition: Hardcover

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read, 7 May 2010
One cannot find anything negative to say about this book. It's that good. Many readers will probably find themselves, as I did, simply shaking their heads at the terrible conditions both sides endured during this pivotal battle, which historians have pinpointed as crucial in the Allies victory over the Japanese in Burma. What strikes me most, however, is the touching moments of humanity amidst the slaughter, on both sides. As the Japanese juggernaut burst through the Indian frontier, we read of the young British infantry captains' valiant single-handed last stand against enormous Japanese numbers, but who was then laid to rest with full honors by those very same men who had killed him. At the siege itself the scene prior to yet another suicidal frontal charge by their company sees two Japanese officers catch one another saying farewell to photographs of their loved ones. Kean finds many uniquely emotive vignettes to decorate the epic, thus giving the reader the underlying humanity that was prevalent at this trench-warfare like battle.

It might not have the scale of numbers of men in arms of Beevor's 'Stalingrad', but in its recounting of what men on both sides suffered, and the heroism they displayed, then this book deserves just as many accolades.

A truly unique and important book, and one I am happy to recommend.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2012 8:55 PM BST


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