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Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle…

Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle (edition 2010)

by Dervla Murphy

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253445,013 (3.95)6
Title:Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
Authors:Dervla Murphy
Info:Eland Publishing Ltd (2010), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Non Fiction, Travel, Autobiography

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Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy



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Inspiration and fun, as always. ( )
  Tifi | Apr 22, 2013 |
The highlights of this travelogue are undoubtedly Afghanistan and Pakistan. Readers who aren't acquainted (through her many later books) with Dervla Murphy's hard drinking, hard riding lifestyle might find this story a bit of a muddle. Take into account that this is essentially a first work by someone who travels in order to travel, rather than to write a comfortable book about travelling, and you might find her occasionally awkward or dry style less jarring. Unlike many who do something extraordinary and then write a passable book about it, Dervla Murphy then spends the rest of her life in (seemingly) constant motion, cycling and drinking her way across continents with as much aplomb as you or I'd go down to the shops. And yes, her writing style became smoother, and her insights into local cultures and issues very sharp indeed. What shines through in this early narrative though, and which is common to all of her work, is her fearless attitude and tremendous empathy for the people and cultures she travels through, and in many cases becomes a guest to. It is true that Dervla's insights may be at times naive, and certainly not informed by a university degree in political science or anthropology. But for just those same reasons, her commentary on tribal and village life in Afghanistan and Pakistan have considerable charm and value as an 'authentic' record.

Few writers wrote so well about travelling in this area in 1963, the only comparable journeying - to my knowledge - was by the Australian Peter Pinney who recorded 15 years of travel through Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas in a series of books published in the 1950's and 1960's. Almost any of Dervla's books are recommended, but this is one of the best to start with. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in 'rough' travel, or seeking insights into the people of Afghanistan or Pakistan. ( )
  nandadevi | Apr 8, 2013 |
An interesting account of Murphy's travels through countries such as Peria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on her way from Dublin to Delhi. The journey itself sounds commendable enough; however, it is the choice of countries in the light of past events that makes this book so compelling.
(January 2008)
  Tselja | Jun 16, 2010 |
Despite the title, this travelogue pretty much ignores the journey across Western Europe, and sums up the Balkan nations and Turkey in a quick introductory chapter. There's also little about the final destination of India. So the book focus exclusively on cycling across Iran (or Persia as the author calls it), Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The book is adapted with little modification directly from the author's journals (a bad idea according to my writing teacher Giles), which she did not keep earlier in the trip. Due to the journalistic nature of the writing it can be a bit dry, although the amazement I have for an Irish woman cycling solo across continents in 1963 and the incredible things that happen to her keep it interesting despite her writing style. Also, there's a certain dramatic irony each time she enters a village that today is mentioned on the nightly news, or she discusses the resentments of the local populations against the interfering Russians and Americans. I am a bit put off by her arrogance, and despite her professed admiration for the Asian cultures she meets, and her disapproval of Western ways in relation to him, she still often sounds condescending and ethnocentric. Even if a lot of the journey is missing, she probably got the best parts, and I'm glad it kept the book short since I probably would not want to read more in the same vein (and still enjoy it).

"The house reveals what some might describe as the poverty of Afghanistan but what I prefer to call its simplicity, since poverty denotes a lack of necessities and simplicity a lack of needs." - p. 69 ( )
1 vote Othemts | Jun 25, 2008 |
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(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:48 -0400)

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Shortly after her tenth birthday, inspired by an atlas she was given, Dervla Murphy decided that she would one day cycle to India. Almost twenty years later she set out to achieve her ambition on her bicycle, Roz. Here she describes her journey and experiences. Originally published: London: John Murray, 1965.… (more)

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