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1st February 2005


Long Way Round
by Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman

Some folk loved the exploits of two lively lads on their big BMWs. In book format, however, David B Bullivant was rather less than impressed...

Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman - From Amazon.co.uk This book was left with me by a recent visitor and it looked very interesting - these two famous, it seems, stars of the silver screen and TV, character rode from London to New York via Europe, Russia, Mongolia, Alaska, Canada and the US. Yes, another book on motorcycle travelling.

Anyone who has read the solo effort undertaken successfully by Dave Barr, riding from the Atlantic to the Pacific during the winter will find 'Long Way Round' something of a yawn.

Unlike Dave Barr, who did on a beaten up old Harley-Davidson, these two went on brand new BMW 11-and-something-cc boxer GS models, plus a third for their cameraman, and a two vehicle back up team!

These new BMW had every imaginable gizmo fitted - earth navigation and all the rest, they travelled with satellite phones so when they wanted a word with a wife she was only a call away and if anything happened to the bikes they simply phoned BMW GB for an explanation... is this travelling by motorcycle as RealClassic readers understand the term? No, I didn't think so.

They also had a variety of BMW-supplied riding suits and other gear. And unlike the motorcyclists known to us, the two heroes had a communication system fitted so they could shout at each other as they bobbed along, and when that system broke down due to vibration and wear and tear, they listened to musak on their iPods.

I rather expected descriptions of the scenery they were passing through - they certainly passed through a lot in the Ukraine, Kazaksta and Mongolia, but they seemed to be too busy talking rubbish to each other all the time - and when I say rubbish, I have to say nearly every utterance recorded in the book is well peppered with the F-word.


Long Way Round stuff on eBay.co.uk

There was little, if any soliloquising, philosophical thoughts... in one three line paragraph they manage the F-word four times! And the reader is given the impression that these young men have had an education and might know a few other adjectives to describe their situations. . .

The book is sub-titled 'Chasing Shadows Across The World' which doesn't work, either, as riding west to east, their shadows would have been behind them most of the time. . . If this is modern motorcycle literature, we are indeed fortunate to clap our eyes on RealClassic regularly and read about Real People in the Real World.

David B Bullivant

Read a more positive review of the DVD here...

******

Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman

  • Published by Timewarner, Hardback, pp312 illustrated, price UK 18.99
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