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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
45
4.1 out of 5 stars
These Are the Days that Must Happen to You
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on 31 August 2010
Until ordering this book I had never heard of Dan Walsh, but I do own a bike and am contemplating doing a trip. Dan recounts his two trips, one from the UK to South Africa and the other from Canada to South America in the form of a journal, or maybe they are a compilation of the actual monthly articles he subscribed to his employers at Bike magazine? His descriptive prose are Manchester scally meets Raymond Chandler, with a grittier edge. And he certainly seems to have found the South American road trip equivalent world inhabited by Philip Marlowe.

Self effacing, honest and hedonistic, Dan's eye catches and projects exactly what it's like to travel by motorcycle between the countries he visits. He is no motorcycle geek and doesn't do preparation and is surprisingly disorganised, but that makes for a much better story, as the scrapes he gets into are invariably the most amusing parts of the book.

Such is the authors love of a cold beer and a ciggy, that at one time I thought I was reading a travelogue of his jouney visiting the Irish Pubs of South America, not that it was any less amusing for it. A good read but not for the prim and proper.
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on 27 October 2009
Excellent! DW is the Brando of motorcycle adventure - Every bit as motivational as Ted Simon...& knocks Ewan & Charly's efforts into a cocked hat..as real & seedy as it gets but pulls you to the open road like a Siren's song...Reading the other reviews it's not for everyone...Read a couple of pages from a library copy & you'll either ditch it or log on to Amazon for your own ... One to be read again & again. Best of luck with the next one, Dan ...hope you find what you're looking for ...& don't kill youself trying...
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on 9 December 2011
Teaches the world that a packing list for a long weekend in Malaga is sooo irrelevant when our intrepid hero sets off across the Sahara with '5 packets of Marlboro, three litres of coke (warm), three baguettes (stale), and a tub of Nutella'..

I've read this book 3 times.. everytime I love it.. and wish I could put Tesco's home delivery, a subscription to Bike.. and the detrius of 'Middle Class Dad' with scrummy wife and gorgeous kids behind me for an adventure like Dan's..

Highly Recommended
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on 18 May 2010
great read, well observed and colourfully portrayed
an inspiration to us all working hard to go nowhere
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on 5 October 2010
Over the past 20 years I have read dozens of bike adventure stories, and as a fellow motorcycle adventurer, Dan tells it like it really is, out there on the road, you can experience all of lifes emotions in seconds, nothing has been dressed up for the reader, if Dans in a black mood it comes across in the narative and so it should, as these are the moments you look back on in years to come, they are the memories the challenges that are overcome and what define an adventure. I loved the way he stripped away the facard of a country and could sum it up in a few sentences, His self depricating view seems to be very much the British way, and I think that`s what readers can identify with.
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on 3 January 2015
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before, but now and again a book really breaks the rules of a genre and just doesn’t care. To many, Dan Walsh is marmite, but there’s no denying that writing a motorcycle travelogue that doesn’t really give a monkeys about the bike, is refreshing. All the more so when it contains such compulsive page turning urgency and remains firmly anchored to a love of riding, yet on a machine whose maintenance he disdains.

‘These Are the Days…’ is more than one journey. The 375pp volume begins with early writings when an XT660 takes him through Africa and his remarkable fusion of cynical innocence demands involvement with every social order, but clearly thrives nearest the gutter.

But the bulk of the book experiences the Americas on a BMW, promulgated like you’ve never known. The linguistic onslaught is unrelenting; forcing you to go inside Dan’s world, enter rooms in the darker corners of his mind with the same addiction as his personality.

The social and political observation, wit, wisdom and jaundiced bitterness, delivered through an alcoholic haze, is bizarrely informative and refreshing. Cavalier romance or brutal reality? To Dan, a bike “is a Beretta, half a mill in cash and a forged passport hidden under the floorboards. It’s an escape route.” But from what?

Does the love, violence, accidents, sex, brutal abuse of body organs, the waking up to attempt emotional rebirth in Argentina and the reducing of a bike he didn’t own to worthless scrap, mean his trip went wrong? I don’t think so, but just like marmite, you really need to taste it for yourself at least once.
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on 11 November 2011
A lavishly printed travelogue comprising the edited blog highlights of Dan Walsh's Daily Mail sponsored epic journey around the globe, on his factory prepared 1200cc adventure motorcycle, whilst launching his range of male grooming products and technical travel clothing on every continent. Also covers his follow-on adventures as chat show uber-guest and tour leader. Not. Misfit misadventures of a mere mortal. You might not like it.
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on 20 January 2016
In classroom world of motorcycle travel writers Sam Manicom is the trusted teacher who delivers the goods. You work hard because you're going to get that grade and he will do all he can to get you there. Interesting, precise and fun.

Graham Field's lessons will pass in a blur. You won't remember half of what you did but it was inspirational. He brought the subject alive. He knows you well, rarely marks your work, no way will you let him down. He'll give plenty of warning that he's on the lookout for the smokers.

Dan Walsh is the crazy supply teacher who got sent home at lunchtime. In the chemistry lesson he pulled a lighted firework out of his pocket and gave it to the class bully, putting it out with his mouth just after the bully started screaming. You learned all there is to know about combustion in that lesson. You're going to study chemistry at uni. He cadged a cigarette off the smokers at break time.
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on 28 November 2009
...i read more than once. read this three times. brilliant. okay, so if it were a movie it'd be an '18', so maybe not one for the travel purist, but it's laugh out loud funny then deep and meaningful(ish): the essence of serious bike travel.

dan, if you're out there, get your finger out, write a novel!
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on 26 October 2012
For anyone who enjoys Dan Walsh's occassional travel articles in Bike magazine, this is essential. In truth, much of the book is simply an edited compilation of these pieces, the first half following his travels through Africa, the second his adventures in North and South America. Of course, most people don't read Bike magazine. In fact, most people don't ride motorcycles at all. They shouldn't be put off though, as Walsh focuses more on chance encounters with strangers and struggles with border guards and bureaucrats than he does on his mode of transport. Anybody with an interest in adventure travel will relate to this. On the other hand, armchair travel fans looking for gentle Michael Pailin-esque observations might be advised to avoid - this is On the Road with a motorbike, not the Baedecker's Guide.
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