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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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VINE 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 1 April 2016
I originally read this a few years back. recently purchased again on Kindle and enjoying it as much as the first time.

Humorous and light-hearted.

Not intended as an in depth travelogue or bike book they just help position the anecdotes.

Can't get to bothered on the writers background or mercenary instincts all writers have them.

"Only motorbike riders know why dogs like putting their heads out of car windows"..
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on 8 July 2009
I really loved this book, especially at Amazon's bargain price. I can't recommend it highly enough. There's some travelogue stuff in there, some humour, some home truths and some heartfelt moments. Mike Carter is a human being, and a great writer. I can only aspire to this level when I start to write my own book!
The best bit is, although it's a biking adventure, it doesn't talk bikes too much. Even to bikers, (like me), constant talk about the machine and accessories can be tiresome, and especially, we don't want to be preached at by GS owning, BMW suited, GPS equipped MacGregor Wannabees. This book is a breath of fresh air, more akin to Dan Walsh's recent tome (things that must happen) than some other tedious motorcycle diaries.

It might not suit everyone however. I suspect it suits men of a certain age and background. There are a lot of references to Britain, and things that may have happened in the upbringing of English males aged 42 upwards. A German female biker friend of mine found it boring - that's because, despite her good command of English, she just would not have appreciated the references and Mike's self-depricating humour.

A great read - one in which the real Truth Of The Matter comes out - just like Dan's book. It's not the make of bike you ride, or how much it cost, the brand of suit you wear; but the people you meet along the way (and the ones you leave behind) that make or break your biking trip, and your entire life.

Read it. Mike - I'd love to buy you a beer.
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on 9 July 2013
Superb book which from the beginning is impossible to put down I read it relishing every page.

His writing style is excellent and very descriptive, you feel as though you are there with him.I completely related to the first sentence of the book- 'The nadir of a man's life is 42'! How true... at 42 I left my wife and family, sold all my possessions, went to India, rode a Royal Enfield wearing just a dhoti and a big grin. The motorcycle is freedom, with a capital F. If you don't feel like throwing it all up in the air and taking the mid-life crises road trip, which is of course also a deeply internal journey, read this book, it will take you there just the same.Bon voyage!
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on 19 May 2009
This is the way to do it. Take a course for a week in Wales on how to ride a motorbike and take your test at the end, go and buy the ubiquitous off road BMW, work for the Observer newspaper as a Sub Editor and persuade them to let you travel Europe for 6 months while getting paid for writing articles about your adventures. I for one am very glad he did.

The hook for the journey is getting over a recent divorce and suffering a mid-life crisis at the age of 42, which apart from being the answer to the world and everything, also appears to be a significant number in his life. The journey is not a hard core adventure as such, as its all hotels, alcohol and civilisation with a hint of danger, but it's something that you think you could emulate (no Visas are required) if you could only just find the time and money.

The writing is very entertaining, the anecdotes are first rate and the balance between the bike, mid life crisis and the journey is pretty much spot on. This book is an excellent read.
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on 5 August 2010
This book improves rapidly as the pages turn. I found the first few pages a bit disjointed as if he was trying to make too many points in one sentence . However, this soon passes and the book becomes an excellent read.It is entertaining , funny and informative . Mostly it is honest-a very honest account of the reality of a middle aged man travelling around Europe . It has a touch of the Peter Moore's about it which is no bad thing . After the last page I felt as though I was climbing off the back of his BMW having had a superb trip .
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on 27 August 2014
Mike's easy to follow style leads from one alcohol related blunder to the next, interspersed with riding a bike.

Mike travels light, but with lots of emotional baggage, which explains quite a bit. The adage about look where you want to go and you'll end up there is apt and a great lesson.

In short, a great read.
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on 18 August 2016
I bought this book for my father in law for Christmas and he loved it. He is a real motorbike enthusiast and he said this is one of the best biking books he has 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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