I know this isn’t a new book. In fact, it was written eight years ago, so it’s probably not “news” to anyone, but it was a great adventure and I loved reading every minute.
Long Way Round
Chasing Shadows Across the World
by Ewan McGregor & Charlie Boorman
A travel adventure by two celebrities my be considered manufactured in this day of non-real reality shows, and at first glance that is what you might think in this case. It gets even more suspicious because this adventure was funded by creating a TV show out of the whole thing, but I totally believed the stars and authors as they described how after meeting on a film set these two guys from the U.K. found they were both motorcycle nuts and sometime later mused about going around the world on motorcycles.
So, two successful and busy actors find that they need to have a film and support crew along to keep the pace and ride from London to New York by traveling East. Seems like a pretty tough situation to have to endure, eh?
Having seen the TV show, I found that the book was much truer to an adventure travel story and even seems to tell some of the “secrets” about how the show’s producers tried to introduce a little drama to the situation at the start of the trip. Soon enough though, the adventure got tough enough that no artificial drama was needed.
The writing style is a back and forth telling between the two authors in very easy reading plain English. I felt the anxiety, frustration, emotion and care that Ewan and Charlie felt along the entire journey.
So was it cushy to have a budget and a crew? I’m sure it had it’s advantages over Ted Simons’ motorcycle trip around the world in the 1970’s which was part of the inspiration for the journey. I believe, however, that the hardships and troubles they endured were genuine and that is admirable challenge for anyone or any team.
So, for my first travel book, I recommend this if you are a motorcycle enthusiast, or dream of great adventure like I do. I hope to review more prose about travel as I get to those books on my “to read” list.
Do you have a travel book you like and want to share? Please leave your recommendation in the comments.
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