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on 16 May 2008
I found Uneasy Rider not only to be very funny but also compelling reading. A clockwise journey around Europe is undertaken on a BMW R1200GS covering 20,000 miles over six months.
Mike is a (another) journalist (see also Geoff Hill) on a journey, who having decided on the trip must first learns to ride a motorcycle. The new bike is duly purchased and we set off on an amusing voyage into the mental state of middle aged men - Mike seems far more concerned with his own pulling power than that of his motorcycle - but of course there could be no doubts about the adequacy of the big BMW.
Towards the end of the book things don't seem so funny any more and I was left feeling rather cheated of France, Spain and Portugal. They were ridden through (and are to be thoroughly recommended by motorcycle) but don't get a mention; one minute he was in Corsica and the next back in London.
A jolly good read with lots of laughs and plenty for those of a certain age to think about. I am pleased to reflect now that I have a better understanding of the disillusionment of mid life. The book is probably aimed at male readers, and indeed I bought it for my husband but was hooked after the first few paragraphs, and as a middle aged female motorcyclist found it most entertaining.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 12 April 2013
Uneasy Rider is the account of a motorbike journey undertaken by a newspaper sub editor who, divorced and approaching middle age, seeks to find himself and heal the wounds of separation and the end of his marriage. The story starts with an act of drunken bravado, without which the journey would never have started and is paid for, in part, by articles written for the Observer newspaper and a chunk of money the author receives by remortgaging his home. This is clearly, the journey of a lifetime and one that provides interest to the reader throughout as well as an insight into the personality of the author who changes, perceptively, as the story is told and a relatively solitary and inward person gradually begins to acknowledge his need for others and allows himself to open up to strangers he meets along the way, while laying the ghosts of his married life and the wife he loved. There is the fact of his being on a motorcycle and travelling around Northern and Eastern Europe from Scandinavia to Eastern Turkey and back through Southern Europe; those he meets and through whom the account evolves, are all bikers, so it is very much a motorbike story, but it is, above all, a story about people, loneliness and a few instances of fear and danger, but no real hardships, it isn't about that. It is a fantastic story and a book that you might be loathe to finish, because you don't really want it to end. Recommended.
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on 28 March 2017
Very good book. Well worth a read.
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on 17 June 2017
Haven't finished this book yet, but lived up to my expectations. Good old Biker tale.
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on 25 September 2014
Made me smile at times a.d wonder at others
Could I do it??? No

Isolation at times never good for long
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on 11 May 2017
A really good read.
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on 28 July 2015
Great read.
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on 14 February 2009
I picked up this book as I was browsing. Being a 39+ biker planning a tour it obviously appealed, and at first I found myself enjoying the stories within. I enjoyed his tales of Scandinavia, Eastern Europe etc, but I found as we travelled south the author's mood seemed to become more reflective, more self-revelatory, and as I got to know Carter better I found I liked him less and less, till towards the end I would happily have slapped him round the helmet with one of his free BMW spares.

Which brings me to my thoughts on finishing. Yes, it was interesting to read Carter's travels. No, I don't think we'd get on down the pub, and why? why? is this book sold as being one man's heroic tale, when as I've now learnt it was one man's fully paid up (by the Observer) tour of Europe on a free motorcycle.
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on 9 May 2008
I have read nearly every motorcycle travel book availible and i must say this is probably the most entertaining. As i approach my own 40th birthday i now understand my own 'mid life crisis' so clearly explained by the author. That aside, this book has been a true joy to read, funny, serious, happy, sad, bike travel, adventures etc etc etc. If you like travel books and/or are approaching middle age (crisis) and/or enjoy good reading you must buy this book. I truly hope to be able to follow Mike on his next trip, ride soon!
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on 9 March 2008
Uneasy Rider is one of those rare books which manages to straddle genres and defy categorisation, whilst at the same time remaining immensely readable and hugely entertaining. This is a book which will appeal to men and women alike, bikers and non-bikers, the adventurous and the armchair traveller. It's a book about dreams broken and pieced together again, about making sense of the past and uniting it with the present and of bonds forged and boundaries crossed. It is a book about people written with insight, humanity and humour.

Mike Carter has achieved a fine balance between travelogue and self-confessional, which makes his book so much more than the usual series of postcards from a journey. The descriptions are lusciously vivid and his landscape is peopled with remarkable, quirky and wonderful characters. The theme of a mid-life crisis, its manifestations and the possible reasons for it, is woven through a series of beautifully realised vignettes, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes heart-rendingly poignant, strung together by the narrative of the journey.

There is an honesty and frankness about Uneasy Rider which is as appealing as the self-deprecating humour and it is written with such confidence that the erudition (of which there is plenty) is neither laboured nor inaccessible. Personally, I would have been happy to learn more about the author's life (because I'm nosey like that!), but then it's also the mark of a good book when you are so engaged that you care what happens after you close the cover. I wanted to know more - what became of Margaret, did he ever go to see the Aussies on their home territory, what happened to Hanne....

Uneasy Rider made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes. I finished it thinking that I had found not so much a travelling companion as a really good friend.
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