Long Way Round Book Review…

1 09 2011

Charlie and Obi Wan...

My hotel in Ontario had [I guess still has] craptacular internet so I grabbed a couple books to read including this one. In theory I should have loved it as I like Ewan McGregor, I love dual sport motorcycles and round the world [RTW] bike tour reports. Sadly this book is as crappy as the internet that forced me into a reading binge.

Some surprising things:

  • there is very little motorcycle content in this book’s 365 pages
  • there is very little travel content in this book
  • Getting 1.3 million dollars to fund your RTW bike tour is a bummer
  • Camping in a tent is scarey

So if this book isn’t about a RTW motorcycle tour what is it about? Well mostly it’s about how rich famous privileged buddies who are totally out of touch with the real world deal with their fame and wealth. In that respect it’s actually reasonably interesting. You get to hear how Ewan feels about attention from fans and what he does in various situations when he is recognized.  If you love Ewan and/or are fascinated with how stars interact with their public this book might be right up your alley.

OTOH if you like RTW motorcycle trip reports you are going to be disappointed by a lack of motorcycle and travel content – except in the simplest and most rudimentary sense. Beyond that the writing itself is mediocre and the level of expression is 1st year university level – very simple and basic.

I couldn’t sympathize much at the descriptions of how tough it was to cross borders with only three chase vehicles and 4 support staff including a doctor and a local facilitator. When they explain how harsh it was to set up a tent and sleep on the ground away from 5 star accommodation my eyes rolled back in my head.

We just got paid to ride motorcycles round the world!

I haven’t seen the DVD/TV episodes. I suspect they would be more entertaining since I could geek out on the dual sport motorcycle riding bits. I already have their second book Long Way Down about their ride across Africa. I hope it’s better and I’ll give it a shot, but I am not optimistic.

If you want to read some truly entertaining RTW reports for free just jump over to the ADV Rider.com site. Real people riding their bikes and dealing with what comes on their own with a budget of a few thousands of dollars and no support staff to take care of stuff.