Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Long Way Round
Long Way Round (Chasing shadows across the world) by Ewan McGregor & Charlie Boorman
This is a description of travelling from London to New York by motorbike. It's no literature but a chronological account of the journey and preparations, written alternately from McGregor's or Boorman's point of view. It's almost like listening to the two men talk - a very easy read.
The reason I picked up this book was purely because it was in English. I'm not a fan of the authors or of motorbikes but I found it enjoyable. I once did a 4 1/2 month bike trip myself and had some similar experiences with border crossings, camping, trying to make myself understood and meeting amazingly friendly and helpful people and reading this brought it all back to me.
McGregor and Boorman travelled in a totally different style to me though. They had funding for everything, a cameraman travelling with them and a support team never far away. In my opinion, this makes their claim of being adventurers and achieving something amazing seem rather thin.
Unfortunately, this book contains a lot more moaning about than enjoyment of the journey. Wonderful scenery is mentioned but barely described (and the photos are unimpressive). Maybe it comes over better when you've seen the TV series of the journey.
The two men also write a lot about missing their wives and families (both have very young children). I think it was incredibly selfish of them to go off on a bloke's holiday like this leaving their families alone for months on end. Did they really think about how their partners felt about it?
"The Long Way Round" is an easy read with entertaining anecdotes for people who like travel stories but nothing memorable.