"The Hungry Cyclist" is a smorgasbord of a page turner that works on many levels. Having followed Tom Kevill-Davie's two plus year adventure around the Americas on his Hungry Cyclist blog, I half-feared the book might be a rehashed chronology of his amusing reports from the road. Instead, it's a fresh, breezy tale of the highlights and low lights of the adventure of a lifetime. Each chapter covers a key segment of the journey and finishes with recipes of the delights described along the way. His vivid accounts of eating everyday food in Mexico even persuaded me to recently try a tripe and pig's cheek starter (surprisingly tasty).
As an amateur cyclist, I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the travails and adventures faced -- headwinds, hills, flats, loneliness and exhilaration. Think of a humorous version of Tim Krabbe's "The Rider." As a travel book, Tom Kevill-Davies captures the sense of the open road and the chance encounter in a way reminiscent of a "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat-Moon. And as food book, the continuing quest for the perfect meal and the vivid descriptions of the preparation and company surrounding the enjoyment of memorable meals will appeal to gourmands and gluttons alike.
I recommend the Hungry Cyclist's account to anyone who has ever ridden a bike long distance, traveled with no fixed itinerary or dined on fresh tacos from a roadside stall. And I especially recommend it for those who daydream that they may one day have the courage to do any of those things.
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When I first started reading this book I thought it was the usual man seeks adventure on road trip - I've read a few and they are entertaining which is why I keep reading them! And this one was that and more - really well written,very descriptive of the sights, sounds, smells, the freedom of being on a bike, how close you can get to the real world and the fact you have to go at a certain pace, Tom described really well how the journey can sometimes be labourious, sometimes exhilarating - get the most from it. The recipes are I think pretty much tongue in cheek, as a lot of the aren't readily available in the UK. Thanks Tom - I really enjoyed your book.
There is one paragraph in the introduction to this book (about France) which I read to everyone because the wording is so exquisite. I was disappointed that the rest wasn't quite as well written, but it was still well written and I did very much enjoy this book. I have also had to lend it out to many friends who've also enjoyed. This book is not so much about cycling (though it is obviously the mode of transport, and a much appreciated one) as about the journey through America, and the people and food sampled en route. I very much enjoyed the recipes included, though I am not convinced I will be using them all! (You'll understand when you read it) Enjoy
A thoroughly engaging read. Tom had me cracking up throughout the book, and his laid back character shone through. Fantastic book, especially if you enjoy cycling, food of any kind, travelling, the Americas, or a combination of them all (as I do.)
This wonderful book is one of my favourite books I've read. Enagaging and well-written, I was thoroughly absorbed in Tom's travels and gastronomic adventures, to the extent that I never wanted it to end. For lovers of food and cycle touring, this has to be one of the best adventures, and Tom's sensitive account of his experiences along the way make it a real page turner.
I found this book very entertaining and great fun to read. Some of the recipes are really not appetising at all but I am sure this was the intention of the author. Great humour and a crazy adventure. Will probably read this again in a couple of years.