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Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the…

Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World (2004)

by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman

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1,0231812,377 (3.72)19

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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I am fine with the fact that I will never ride a motorcycle around the world. Therefore, I'm grateful for this book since I was able to ride along through their adventures. And it certainly was a fun ride. ( )
  CherieKephart | Aug 3, 2017 |
This is a one where you need to really enjoy the two stars of the title. I don't like how Charley Boorman comes across (no offence Mr Boorman) but I do like Ewan McGregor. However it took too long to set the scene and I became increasingly bored and even skipping to Ewan McGregor's excerpts just wasn't enough. ( )
  SmithSJ01 | Aug 29, 2012 |
Great read, which is inspiring and fascinating. ( )
  marieharbon | Sep 7, 2011 |
Long Way Round is a fairly well-known TV series documenting the journey undertaken by actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in 2004, riding motorcycles all the way around the world from London to New York, across very remote and wild terrain in Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Siberia. McGregor was already quite a famous actor, appearing in Star Wars, Trainspotting and Big Fish; Boorman was considerably less well-known, in the shadow of both Ewan and his more famous father John Boorman (the director of Deliverance). Long Way Round turned out to be the largest success story of both their careers.

I'd already greatly enjoyed the TV series, and since I have motorbikes on the brain at the moment, I recently rewatched it and then picked up the book, which is ostensibly written by both of them but is actually obviously ghostwritten. The style is a bit strange, actually - it regularly cuts between Charley and Ewan, prefacing their segments with their names, but there is no difference whatsoever in their writing style (because, of course, they didn't really write it) and the only way I could ever remember who was talking was to see whether it was "Charley and I" or "Ewan and I" doing something. I'm really not sure why they chose that style.

The book is related in a fairly conversational tone, as though the two adventurers are telling you stories at the pub, and the chronology jumps around quite a bit in the early stages, with flashbacks to the planning sections while they're already riding through Europe. It's a very easy and quick read, and one which I found very enjoyable, but I wouldn't recommend it to somebody who hadn't already watched the TV series.

For somebody who has watched the TV series, however, it's a fascinating in-depth look at the journey. There were a lot of things which happened to them that weren't featured in the series simply because they didn't catch them on film and therefore couldn't work them into the narrative; my favourite would have to be Charley pulling two people out of a car crash on the Road of Bones. There's a deeper insight into their relationship with their two producers, Russ and David, including a crucial confrontation in Prague; there's also a deeper insight into the two men themselves. Both Ewan and Charley are extremely honest about what they think about themselves and each other: their flaws, their strengths, the things they do that really piss each other off... and the fact that, at the end of the day, their positives outweigh their negatives and they're still best friends. There's also appendices detailing the exact mileage and destinations they covered on every day off the trip, and a full inventory of all the equipment they carried on the bikes and in the support vehicles.

Overall, Long Way Round is an excellent supplement to its televised brother, but probably wouldn't work as a stand-alone book. ( )
  edgeworth | Jul 17, 2010 |
Unexpectedly wonderful. This book surprised me with its spiritual nature. This is not your typical celebrity-goes-abroad book; it is touchingly human. Boorman and McGregor take it in turns to tell the story of their remarkable journey. Frequently moving, insightful and compelling, this is a fantastic read. ( )
  Tselja | Feb 25, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McGregor, Ewanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boorman, Charleymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For my sister Telsche, whose presence I felt throughout my journey, and whose memory still lives on. - Charley Boorman
This is for my Eve and our children Clara and Esther. - Ewan McGregor
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EWAN: On the last day, I walked down to the harbour. Having slept late, I had breakfast on my own and went for a wander. I wanted to get to the ocean; I needed to see the Pacific. Not knowing the right way, I stumbled down the hill, through rows and rows of tenements, nodding, smiling and waving at the people I passed, eventually arriving at the waterfront. I turned around, lifted my camera to my eye and took a photograph. There it was: Magadan, Siberia.
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This is the book, please do not combine with the videorecording.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743499344, Paperback)

It started as a daydream. Poring over a map of the world at home one quiet Saturday afternoon, Ewan McGregor -- acclaimed actor and self-confessed bike nut -- noticed that it was possible to ride all the way round the world, with just one short hop across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. It was a revelation he couldn't get out of his head. So he picked up the phone and called his fellow actor-slash-biker friend Charley Boorman and told him it was time to hit the road....

Long Way Round

Beginning in London, Ewan and Charley chased their shadows through Europe, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia; across the Pacific to Alaska; then down through Canada all the way to New York. Long Way Round is the result of their four-month, 20,000-mile joyride. Featuring original diary entries, travel maps, mileage charts, and dozens of photographs, this is a freewheeling, fully charged, and uproariously entertaining book about two world-famous individuals who chose the road not taken...and made the journey worthwhile.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:19 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Fellow film actors and bike enthusiasts travel 20,000 miles around the world by motorbike encountering many challenges ranging from extreme weather to impenetrable terrain, caviar fishing in the Caspian, wrestling with the Mongolian Olympic team and riding with the Canadian Mounties.… (more)

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