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By Any Means: His Brand New Adventure from Wicklow to Wollongong

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Charley Boorman has arranged himself a new challenge: he must travel from his home town in England all the way to Sydney, Australia, and he must use any means available to reach his destination, including steam train, horse, boat, kayak, motorcycle, and tuk-tuk. Whether crossing the Black Sea, trekking through Tibet, riding an elephant in India, or hiking through the fores Charley Boorman has arranged himself a new challenge: he must travel from his home town in England all the way to Sydney, Australia, and he must use any means available to reach his destination, including steam train, horse, boat, kayak, motorcycle, and tuk-tuk. Whether crossing the Black Sea, trekking through Tibet, riding an elephant in India, or hiking through the forests of Papua New Guinea, this thrilling travelogue follows Charley’s travels through extraordinary places via unusual transports. With trademark enthusiasm, dedication, and good humor, Charley tackles his most challenging voyage to date with astounding results.


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Charley Boorman has arranged himself a new challenge: he must travel from his home town in England all the way to Sydney, Australia, and he must use any means available to reach his destination, including steam train, horse, boat, kayak, motorcycle, and tuk-tuk. Whether crossing the Black Sea, trekking through Tibet, riding an elephant in India, or hiking through the fores Charley Boorman has arranged himself a new challenge: he must travel from his home town in England all the way to Sydney, Australia, and he must use any means available to reach his destination, including steam train, horse, boat, kayak, motorcycle, and tuk-tuk. Whether crossing the Black Sea, trekking through Tibet, riding an elephant in India, or hiking through the forests of Papua New Guinea, this thrilling travelogue follows Charley’s travels through extraordinary places via unusual transports. With trademark enthusiasm, dedication, and good humor, Charley tackles his most challenging voyage to date with astounding results.

30 review for By Any Means: His Brand New Adventure from Wicklow to Wollongong

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    Oh, Charley. You say at the beginning of your second solo adventure, By Any Means, that "It struck me that this was what the trip was all about; a chance to step into other people's lives for a little while," and that was exactly what I wanted to hear. It is why I have enjoyed all your previous adventures: both your big bike trips with Ewan and your own Race to Dakar. They have always been about you making contact with people, and that is compelling stuff. In the Long Way Round your camaraderie wi Oh, Charley. You say at the beginning of your second solo adventure, By Any Means, that "It struck me that this was what the trip was all about; a chance to step into other people's lives for a little while," and that was exactly what I wanted to hear. It is why I have enjoyed all your previous adventures: both your big bike trips with Ewan and your own Race to Dakar. They have always been about you making contact with people, and that is compelling stuff. In the Long Way Round your camaraderie with Ewan McGregor was so genuine and relaxed that I couldn't help being swept along for the ride, and when you wound up hanging out with a Kalashnikov wielding Russian "electronics store owner" or eating testicles in a Mongolian "Ger," it was your contact with other people, the way you allowed yourself to accept their invitations into their lives, that made reading about your adventure fun. The same held true in the Long Way Down. Despite the fact that you and Ewan didn't get along as smoothly as your first trip, you still connected with the members of your team, and you met people from all over Africa, really getting to know some of them. The story you told us was about those people, and you expressed a real sense of wonder that made me wish I was there. Even the Race to Dakar was filled with people. Sure it wasn't about how the people of Africa are affected by the Dakar rally, or even about any African people at all, but it didn't lack the human connection. It was about you and your team -- Simon, Matt and your backup crew (which, as always, included Russ Malkin) -- and those other racers in the Dakar you came to know and respect. Expressing your relationships, giving us a glimpse of how people interact while traveling, showing us how you engage with the people you know or are coming to know, stepping "into other people's lives for a little while," these are the times when your books are at their best. But you really didn't do that in By Any Means. The total lack of support crew (your only companions are the ever present Russ and your new cameraman, Mungo) certainly made your adventure more adventurous, but it also cost you a valuable component of human interaction. But the real problem was the nature of your adventure from Ireland to Australia. Using any means of transportation to get around the world, except commercial airlines, foregrounded the transportation far too much. Your other adventures only used motorbikes, and even though you talked incessantly about those bikes, they were props, mere background to where you were traveling and the humans you met along the way. But the myriad modes of transport forced By Any Means to be about those modes and almost nothing else. Motorcycles, tuk-tuks, road trains, rocket boats, wake boards, elephants, horses, hiking, helicopters, etc., etc., if there was a new way to travel you took it, and I can see how that would be fun for you and how it would make good television, but reading about how you take a dolmus so that you can cross the next border and reach the guy with the motorbike and sidecar so you can get to the train to the truck to the tractor to the taxi to the truck becomes tedious beyond belief. Your story is all about the next thing you ride not the people you meet along the way. Sure you give us a quick description of the folks you meet, but there is no sense of engagement, no feeling of you stepping into their lives, just you saying "hi" while you kick them into the backseat of their rickshaw and ride them around Varansi, just you pontificating about their governments while you ride in the back of their cabs, just you delivering medicine for UNICEF without telling us anything substantive about the kids you meet. I wanted more of what you're good at, not a list of the cool vehicles you got to ride, so...yeah...you disappointed me, Charley. But I'll give this a try on TV, I promise. Those bits that are missing in your book might just be there on screen, and that would redeem the time I spent reading about your latest trip. And don't worry...I'll still come back for your next adventure. One boring one won't kill it for me. I am made of sterner stuff than that. Still your fan, Brad

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    While I was aware of two previous books by this author, involving long distance motorbike rides, I hadn't read any. I wasn't aware that his exploits had been filmed for BBC or that he's the son of film director John Boorman. All this knowledge is taken for granted by the author. I thought he might consider that his first books could attract a motorbike-specialist readership, perhaps, whereas this 'by any mode of transport' challenge held a broader appeal. I'm at a loss to know how he paid for th While I was aware of two previous books by this author, involving long distance motorbike rides, I hadn't read any. I wasn't aware that his exploits had been filmed for BBC or that he's the son of film director John Boorman. All this knowledge is taken for granted by the author. I thought he might consider that his first books could attract a motorbike-specialist readership, perhaps, whereas this 'by any mode of transport' challenge held a broader appeal. I'm at a loss to know how he paid for this trip and supported his family as he doesn't say, but maybe the BBC paid him a wage and expenses. He never mentions who paid for everything. A three-month trek from Wicklow to southern Australia and to Sydney seems like a lot of travel when each leg has to be booked separately and no scheduled air flights are included unless absolutely essential. The Orient Express was a glamorous start - after the obligatory motorbikes of course. From there matters went downhill as Charley and his couple of guy pals crossed borders, experienced heat and humidity, rode in tuk-tuks and overcrowded buses and trains, floated on boats from container ships to cement barges and straddled elephants. While the author has to be admired, and met awful sea conditions including sinking boats and foul weather for days, he did seem to be constantly rushing to get to the next guide with a truck and not taking in that much of the life and environment, which had been his stated aim. He does show us the most polluted town in the world - on a lake of oil in Eurasia - and he feels uncomfortable in a religious state where women are veiled, all but his plucky female taxi driver. His observations are almost all about people, not nature. I liked seeing the two medical runs that the crew participated in with UNICEF, a great charity. This group uses public transport and local staff as much as humanly possible, so nobody gets helicoptered in to a New Guinea hill village - it's a five day boat and climb trek with vaccines which are in a dry ice box and must not get warm. We start to wonder whether the people in extremely remote areas are really doing the right thing by staying there instead of coming to where there are education, medical care, food and employment opportunities for their children. But while they are there, they are being helped. This is a reasonable read for the variety, lads-outing, friendships and many alternate and basic lifetyles shown. The writing is peppered with sentences beginning 'it had' or 'there was' so not wonderful, just jotted observations. Given that the author regularly bemoans having left his wife and two kids for three months, he may not take off for a while on any more trips.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cath Hughes

    Having read and watched the other adventures of Ewan, Charley and Russ, I really enjoyed this book. I also love travelling with my husband and have already been to several parts of Europe, Thailand and Hong Kong. It was also great reading about them using so many vastly different forms of transport rather than just motorbikes. And I loved reading the descriptions of the different countries and their people.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris Steeden

    112 forms of transport and 20473 miles. Charley Boorman is not the most literary person in the world but you cannot fail to be taken in by his sheer enthusiasm. It is quite infectious but there are so many points in this book where he pines for his family (he is away from them for over 3 months) and does that old celebrity in peril spiel that it takes the shine off this great adventure. By Any Means begins on 12 May 2008 at his dad's, John, house in County Wicklow, Ireland. He is with friend, Rus 112 forms of transport and 20473 miles. Charley Boorman is not the most literary person in the world but you cannot fail to be taken in by his sheer enthusiasm. It is quite infectious but there are so many points in this book where he pines for his family (he is away from them for over 3 months) and does that old celebrity in peril spiel that it takes the shine off this great adventure. By Any Means begins on 12 May 2008 at his dad's, John, house in County Wicklow, Ireland. He is with friend, Russ Malkin, who thought up the new project (on the back of a boarding pass) and was expedition leader on 'Long Way Down' and Paul Mungeam (known as Mungo) who will be the camera person as it will be a BBC programme. Charley is riding a 1953 Triumph and from the photos in the book it looks a wonderful bike. Their first exercise is to get over to the Isle of Man and they hop-on a fully working scallop fishing vessel and see the crew at work. From then the journey through Europe really is by any means: train, bike (motor and pedal) and car. They pass through Georgia where war with Russia is starting to ramp up, there has been Islamic extremism including the Mumbai terror attacks that happen after they visit on Nov 26, 2008 in India, a cyclone (Nargis hit on 2 May 2008) in Burma (killing 84,500) and an earthquake in the Sichuan province of China on May 12, 2008 killing nearly 70,000 people. They had an interesting time in Nepal when King Gyanendra was told that he had 15 days to vacate the Palace and Nepal becomes a Republic. Remembering that the journey was in 2008 and Russ says 'Did you know that they're expecting a major earthquake (in Nepal) in the next 30 years and the buildings are not prepared for it'. Well, as we know, that major earthquake happened on April 25, 2015 killing over 8500 and effecting over 5 million in some way (nearly 3 million being displaced). They meet Peter Hilary who is Sir Edmund Hilary's son. It was the 55th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Everest. They also ride Minsk motorbikes in Vietnam supplied by an Australian called Digby who actually helped out Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent who wrote the book 'A Short Ride in the Jungle: The Ho Chi Minh Trail by Motorcycle'. PS. I have just watched the episode where Charley and Russ cross the English Channel in a Laser Dinghy. They really did look crazy so I can now see why Charley built up so much concern in the book. They had a support boat so were never in any real danger but still it was mad.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sam Still Reading

    I read this book in conjunction with watching the DVD of By Any Means. I was very glad that I did because sometimes the DVD episode was a bit rushed and I was wondering, 'How did they get there? Where's Russ? Who's Anne?'. The book solves all these problems. Not high literature, but a fantastic Boys' Own adventure travelling from Ireland to Australia- by any means except a commercial flight. Charley, Russ (both familiar faces from Long Way Down/Round and Race to Dakar) and Mungo the cameraman cro I read this book in conjunction with watching the DVD of By Any Means. I was very glad that I did because sometimes the DVD episode was a bit rushed and I was wondering, 'How did they get there? Where's Russ? Who's Anne?'. The book solves all these problems. Not high literature, but a fantastic Boys' Own adventure travelling from Ireland to Australia- by any means except a commercial flight. Charley, Russ (both familiar faces from Long Way Down/Round and Race to Dakar) and Mungo the cameraman cross countries on tuk tuks, elephants, dolmus and everything in between. A great adventure that has inspired me to visit countries that weren't on my list, such as Nepal and Cambodia. Although non fiction, the boys certainly had their share of calamities- from boats to knees to multiple broken cameras. Charley also talks about home sickness, travel sickness and lack of sleep, which I didn't think came through on the DVD (very professional). Being an Aussie, I have to make mention of the trip from Darwin to Sydney. It was very well done- not too stereotypical (except for the English boys running out of fuel in the NT) and a good representation of just how diverse Australia really is. Nice to see that the BMWs were rejected in favour of a Nissan (X5 is certainly not an off road car). It made me happy to see that someone else could enjoy my own country. I'd love to see an extended version of the TV series, that would be great. All the boys were very likeable, good presenters and fairly easy on the eye ;) There's some lovely pictures in the book too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adam Whitehead

    Having previously travelled on motorbike from London to New York via Europe, Central Asia, Siberia, Alaska and Canada on Long Way Round, and from John O'Groats to Cape Town on Long Way Down, Charley Boorman sets out on another adventure. This time the motorbikes (and previous wingman Ewan McGregor, who was busy filming) have been left behind as Boorman sets out from his childhood home in County Wicklow, Ireland, aiming to get to Sydney, Australia, travelling by any means of transport he can find Having previously travelled on motorbike from London to New York via Europe, Central Asia, Siberia, Alaska and Canada on Long Way Round, and from John O'Groats to Cape Town on Long Way Down, Charley Boorman sets out on another adventure. This time the motorbikes (and previous wingman Ewan McGregor, who was busy filming) have been left behind as Boorman sets out from his childhood home in County Wicklow, Ireland, aiming to get to Sydney, Australia, travelling by any means of transport he can find. The result is a 20,000-mile odyssey through twenty-five countries. Having enjoyed Long Way Round when the book and TV series appeared in 2004, I was disappointed with Long Way Down when it appeared. Aware of the mishaps and problems they'd had on the first journey, Long Way Down had been timetabled and planned to such an extent that a lot of the fun spontaneity of the earlier mission was lost, and the strict timetable meant that Ewan and Charley had to skip interesting areas they were passing in order to hit certain locations at certain times. This proved to be a point of contention on the African trip, and it wasn't until past the halfway point that they could finally relax and chill out a bit. For By Any Means the goal was to reinstate this sense of spontaneity. As well as that, the decision to ditch the bikes was taken because travelling by motorbike through some of the areas they were heading to - particularly island-hopping from Malaysia down through Indonesia to Australia - would have been logistically difficult. Dropping the bikes and travelling through mostly inhabited areas along the way also meant that there was no need for the support vehicles and teams which, although important from a safety perspective, had eroded the 'two guys against the elements' feel of the two trips, particularly the second. Finally, whilst the bikes had been important for eating as many miles as possible per day (particularly on the first trip, which almost circumnavigated the globe), it also meant that contact with the locals was fairly limited. The new approach conversely relied on talking to local people and making use of local means of transport. The book successfully complements the TV series. Interestingly, the book relates stories not mentioned at all in the TV series, whilst skipping some elements that were much more heavily focused on in the series. Charley's visit to Angkor Wat was a major part of the TV show but is here covered only briefly, whilst a visit to another, lesser-known temple wasn't even mentioned on the show but is given coverage in the book, for example. This avoids the problem of repetition between the two mediums, and is helpful if you're planning to get both the book and the DVD. The steps taken by the team do mean that By Any Means is a more engaging story and trip than Long Way Down. Many of the locals they meet whose stories they hear simply wouldn't have been encountered with the bikes roaring past at 70mph. Logistically the expedition isn't perhaps quite as spontaneous as it first appears: a support team in London arrange several modes of transport ahead of time and at one point the gang is defeated in their attempts to enter Burma and have to take a commercial flight to get to China instead. Still, the journey is an impressive achievement, and Charley Boorman's down-to-earth style is readable and entertaining. 'Proper' travel writers appear to be a bit snooty about these expeditions (a sequel to this journey, in which Boorman travels on from Sydney, up through Papua New Guinea and the Philippines to Tokyo, is currently airing on BBC-2 in the UK) since Boorman doesn't really get to grips with the politics or socio-economic backgrounds to these countries, but that's not really the point. Boorman's concern is meeting the local ordinary people and finding out how they live their lives under different circumstances. This 'theme' is actually successfully handled, as the way of life between bus drivers in Turkey, one of the few female taxi drivers in Tehran and cattle drovers in Australia's Outback is contrasted. The conclusion - people are people wherever you go - might not be shockingly revelatory, but it is nicely handled nonetheless. There's also some ironic interest to be gleaned from the fact that Iran, the country the team was most concerned about crossing, turned out to be one of the friendliest and most welcoming they visited and had possibly the least security concerns. By Any Means (***½) is a breezy and entertaining account of a genuinely impressive journey around the world. The book is available now in the UK and USA. By Any Means 2 is currently airing in the UK and a new McGregor/Boorman motorbike trip, possibly through South America, is being planned for next year with the working title Long Way to Go.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Keenan

    Being from GB and entering the travel writing business inevitably means standing on the shoulders of giants. Chatwin and Byron went to places they had read deeply about and put themselves into situations that were guaranteed to thrill and excite the imagination. Greene and Lawrence didn't make travel the focus of their writings but they lent their pen and prose masterfully to the unique places their careers took them to. Fermor and Thubron lend their well-educated airs and pomposity to their wri Being from GB and entering the travel writing business inevitably means standing on the shoulders of giants. Chatwin and Byron went to places they had read deeply about and put themselves into situations that were guaranteed to thrill and excite the imagination. Greene and Lawrence didn't make travel the focus of their writings but they lent their pen and prose masterfully to the unique places their careers took them to. Fermor and Thubron lend their well-educated airs and pomposity to their writing but the fun in reading them is how they get around with meagre means and sheer curiosity. If you're going to join the gang, you better have something that makes you stand out. While I've heard good things about Boorman's other books, nothing really stands out to make this travelogue unique or interesting. If he does do research beforehand into the places he visits it's not evident in his writing. While he tries his best to get around without the help of planes, his seemingly unlimited BBC budget and crew of helpers doesn't add much to the sense of adventure. Lastly, he definitely phones it in when it comes to the writing, more dad jokes about bums and Viagra than clever witticisms or shrewd commentary. If the people he met lived wildly different lives or held unique viewpoints about the world than himself they were certainly given less ink than the various types of motorcycle, tuk-tuk, boat, barge, donkey, camel, or horse he had the pleasure to ride on. I did like the parts of his travels where he goes to help out UNICEF. Too bad a heart of gold doesn't make you a good writer. Try out Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World if you want to read about charity work written with a more talented hand.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Harridine

    Started off by saying how travel is much better when it’s not rushed, and be sure to factor in enough time to experience everything properly...but this book was just a description of rushing from one form of transport to another...it didn’t seem to matter where they were, as long as their next journey was in place. That and the fact they were buying several of the vehicles, made it just a description of a spoilt rich boy and his playtime. The fact they were doing it to challenge themselves not t Started off by saying how travel is much better when it’s not rushed, and be sure to factor in enough time to experience everything properly...but this book was just a description of rushing from one form of transport to another...it didn’t seem to matter where they were, as long as their next journey was in place. That and the fact they were buying several of the vehicles, made it just a description of a spoilt rich boy and his playtime. The fact they were doing it to challenge themselves not to fly, and people were popping back and forth on planes, made it a bit ridiculous..It was certainly one of those, I’ve started, so I’ve got to finish, books...but was a struggle to keep going!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    A fun read, for a good cause. ( UNICEF)

  10. 5 out of 5

    RA

    The alternately cheerful and sometimes dour Charley Boorman on one of his (soon-to-be-many) adventures. Ireland to Australia. And a video series to boot!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    I agree with Charley, must have strong thighs for the squat toilets :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cordelia

    Lovely transporting book. Charley's humor is addicting. Lovely transporting book. Charley's humor is addicting.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tito Quiling, Jr.

    Travel titles are some of the best companions when you're waiting in line for something, whether you're in the supermarket, processing government IDs, paying bills, or applying for a visa. While you are craning your neck every minute or so for the number that's displayed and the client called upon, there's a sense of distance with each chapter you finish and this one did it for me. I've been trying to get hold of this series because I got hold of the first one last year and I liked it, however, t Travel titles are some of the best companions when you're waiting in line for something, whether you're in the supermarket, processing government IDs, paying bills, or applying for a visa. While you are craning your neck every minute or so for the number that's displayed and the client called upon, there's a sense of distance with each chapter you finish and this one did it for me. I've been trying to get hold of this series because I got hold of the first one last year and I liked it, however, this one which features Boorman, minus McEwan, seems to be disconnected at times with the places that we went to, and the team was more preoccupied with merely transiting and making it to the their end city. Although the language has remained crisp and beautifully narrated, the act of traveling seems to be bank on a capitalist mode since there is an inventory of all the expenses shelled out during the production. And I get that it may be an integral part of their journey, but somehow, focusing on financial capacities takes the excitement and the rawness of being able to interact with the locals and not safety officers that will ensure a smooth passage. Perhaps we can try to lessen certain privileges when it comes to these experiences.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    By Any means lacks the human interaction and the getting inside the culture that Long Way Round and Down both did. I'm not sure if it is that Charley is fantastic at the fun side of it while Ewan is a little deeper or whether it was the fact that the focus on the transportation got in the way whereas the others were simply just on the bikes. It's funny in places and you have to love Charley's sense of adventure and little boys wide eyed spirit and determination to enjoy everything he does, but i By Any means lacks the human interaction and the getting inside the culture that Long Way Round and Down both did. I'm not sure if it is that Charley is fantastic at the fun side of it while Ewan is a little deeper or whether it was the fact that the focus on the transportation got in the way whereas the others were simply just on the bikes. It's funny in places and you have to love Charley's sense of adventure and little boys wide eyed spirit and determination to enjoy everything he does, but it just lacks something this time. We need to hear more about the characters he meets on the way and their lives. I've since seen the DVD and that is even more rushed - it almost felt like a race through the countries - Charlie you need to relearn the art of slower travel, it's much more inspiring to the average reader/watcher. He'll be turning into a Nick Sanders soon - and that's a whole other ball game.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Writerlibrarian

    A much better ghost writer (credited this time) made this trek across three continents by any means of transportation (except big commercial airplanes) enjoyable. Charley is being Charley and he is much more aware of the privileged life he leads and makes an effort in learning and interacting in a mostly non failing way with the people he meets on the way to Sydney. The team that comes along is less interesting in a way than Ewan (who is not there but gets mentioned a few times) but I kinda like A much better ghost writer (credited this time) made this trek across three continents by any means of transportation (except big commercial airplanes) enjoyable. Charley is being Charley and he is much more aware of the privileged life he leads and makes an effort in learning and interacting in a mostly non failing way with the people he meets on the way to Sydney. The team that comes along is less interesting in a way than Ewan (who is not there but gets mentioned a few times) but I kinda liked that. Russ still remains an enigma but I don't read these to get to know the team but to see what Charley gets up to and how he gets to the journey. In this he drives, rides, gets to point A to point B in inventive and sometimes dangerous rides. Bikes are a much better bet than boats. Enjoyable but not as thrilling as Race to Dakar.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Brown

    This is a fun, folksie tale. Charlie leaves his Dad's place in Ireland to travel to Sydney by any means other than commercial airliner. He has many adventures on the way and has a few near death experiences. It is a genuine story. He had lots of support but he did do it himself and he was the only member of the team to do the whole distance. I really enjoyed the European legs and the India and Central Asian parts but I found it bogged down when he was in South East Asia. To me it was a lot of th This is a fun, folksie tale. Charlie leaves his Dad's place in Ireland to travel to Sydney by any means other than commercial airliner. He has many adventures on the way and has a few near death experiences. It is a genuine story. He had lots of support but he did do it himself and he was the only member of the team to do the whole distance. I really enjoyed the European legs and the India and Central Asian parts but I found it bogged down when he was in South East Asia. To me it was a lot of the same. It picked up when he left Indonesia and entered Australia. He raced the last couple of days which I found a touch disappointing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    PastAllReason

    Follow along with Charley Boorman on his journey from County Wicklow, Ireland to Sydney, Australia. Over the course of 3 1/2 months, Boorman travels "by any means possible". This includes time spent on the Orient Express, bus, container ship, elephant and camel. Boorman also makes a couple of stops to continue charity work with Unicef, continuing work done on previous ventures. Follow along with Charley Boorman on his journey from County Wicklow, Ireland to Sydney, Australia. Over the course of 3 1/2 months, Boorman travels "by any means possible". This includes time spent on the Orient Express, bus, container ship, elephant and camel. Boorman also makes a couple of stops to continue charity work with Unicef, continuing work done on previous ventures.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I found this book to be disappointing. Boorman goes through several countries that either still have or had horrible things happen (the Killing Fields etc) but really glosses over the situations. As he is only interacting with the select people set up before his trip, he really doesn't always interact with "the man on the street" so he does not always capture a complete picture of the country he is in. I know that politic science was not the purpose of this book (or any of them in the series) ye I found this book to be disappointing. Boorman goes through several countries that either still have or had horrible things happen (the Killing Fields etc) but really glosses over the situations. As he is only interacting with the select people set up before his trip, he really doesn't always interact with "the man on the street" so he does not always capture a complete picture of the country he is in. I know that politic science was not the purpose of this book (or any of them in the series) yet it was really frustrating for him to gloss over the history of the places he visits.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Although I still loved this book. It did not have the same vibrancy and spirit as the other books I have read by Charley Boorman. This adventure seemed like a good thing with bad timing for Charley personally. He seemed more mournful than usual that he was away from his family, also seemed in sections of this trip that he just wasn't enjoying himself as much. This book still had wonderful imagery, wonderful people and brilliant landscapes...somehow it still seemed flat. Although I still loved this book. It did not have the same vibrancy and spirit as the other books I have read by Charley Boorman. This adventure seemed like a good thing with bad timing for Charley personally. He seemed more mournful than usual that he was away from his family, also seemed in sections of this trip that he just wasn't enjoying himself as much. This book still had wonderful imagery, wonderful people and brilliant landscapes...somehow it still seemed flat.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ang

    This book seems to exemplify the border crossings Charley refers to - there is a noticeable change part way through the book. While the first half seems to be simply going through the motions, the second half - somewhere around Asia, warms up. Whether it is because there is more purpose to the challenge, with the UNICEF runs, or whether it is because Asia is new, different, friendly and vastly different from Europe, or something I can't guess at. Either way, I was glad for the change of tone. This book seems to exemplify the border crossings Charley refers to - there is a noticeable change part way through the book. While the first half seems to be simply going through the motions, the second half - somewhere around Asia, warms up. Whether it is because there is more purpose to the challenge, with the UNICEF runs, or whether it is because Asia is new, different, friendly and vastly different from Europe, or something I can't guess at. Either way, I was glad for the change of tone.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did! The first two that I read, had a lot of focus on Ewan, which is the person that I identified with more in the books... But the more I got into this book, the more I appreciated what they were doing and how difficult it was. I'm looking forward to the next installment I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did! The first two that I read, had a lot of focus on Ewan, which is the person that I identified with more in the books... But the more I got into this book, the more I appreciated what they were doing and how difficult it was. I'm looking forward to the next installment

  22. 4 out of 5

    ~*kath*~

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one. I love a good travelogue, especially if it involves motorbikes, and have enjoyed Charley's adventures with the very gorgeous Ewan McGregor. Charley is charming and funny, with a good heart and the ability to tell a good story. A fun read with some beautiful photos to go along with it. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. I love a good travelogue, especially if it involves motorbikes, and have enjoyed Charley's adventures with the very gorgeous Ewan McGregor. Charley is charming and funny, with a good heart and the ability to tell a good story. A fun read with some beautiful photos to go along with it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rodgier

    Charley Boorman does an amazing job tell about his travel adventure from Ireland to Australia. His writing style is very personable and makes you feel like you are at pub having a drink while he tells you a story. I found the book well paced and I felt like I was part of the travel experience. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys travel journals or travel adventures.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ando Mando

    I ended up abandoning this book (for now) as I owned a hard back copy that was a pain in the ass to carry around. I managed over 2/3rds in the end but wasn't too bothered about finishing it as I'd seen the TV series. Overall OK, though some parts feel rushed and although generally I like Charlie, at times he comes across a bit bratty. Maybe I'll finish it one day but life's too short! I ended up abandoning this book (for now) as I owned a hard back copy that was a pain in the ass to carry around. I managed over 2/3rds in the end but wasn't too bothered about finishing it as I'd seen the TV series. Overall OK, though some parts feel rushed and although generally I like Charlie, at times he comes across a bit bratty. Maybe I'll finish it one day but life's too short!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I gave this book 3 stars because overall it was an interesting read but I wish it had more about the areas Charley went through and the cultures and people. Obviously the focus was transportation, which was what the trip was based on, but it was a shame to read certain parts of the book where they were merely rushing to get to next mode of transport by a deadline. Good book, okay read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim Heywood

    clearly a rushed journey! having seen the DVD, was hoping perhaps for a little more from the book, however great seeing the teams perspectives and have more insight into the locations and the joys and miseries of hectic paced travel.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Another great road trip tale from Charley. Loved the chapter in Nepal where they met Hillary's grandson and witnessed the beginning of rNepal as a republic. Modes of transport from: elephant, tractor, dolmas, many boats and bikes. A really inspirational book. Another great road trip tale from Charley. Loved the chapter in Nepal where they met Hillary's grandson and witnessed the beginning of rNepal as a republic. Modes of transport from: elephant, tractor, dolmas, many boats and bikes. A really inspirational book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David P

    Reads like a laundry list of travel, in bullet point form. It's really such a missed opportunity. "We went here. Then we stayed there. Next morning we took an X to Y..." Very little space is allocated to the observation of the places or people encountered. Reads like a laundry list of travel, in bullet point form. It's really such a missed opportunity. "We went here. Then we stayed there. Next morning we took an X to Y..." Very little space is allocated to the observation of the places or people encountered.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Duncan Reed

    Some very interesting people and facts / history of the places they went through. Living in Australia, I'd have liked the Aussie section to be more pages. Overall, a good read. Not as good as Long Way Round or Dakar. Some very interesting people and facts / history of the places they went through. Living in Australia, I'd have liked the Aussie section to be more pages. Overall, a good read. Not as good as Long Way Round or Dakar.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thebestdogmom

    I just love Charlie. Wish Ewan went on this trip with him. The end of the book seemed a bit rushed. I just loved the idea of the trip he took.

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