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Endless Horizon: A Very Messy Motorcycle Journey Around the World Hardcover – February 15, 2009
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From the Inside Flap
“Riding a bike removes the need for clutter, toys, rubbish that other men have to take on holiday. If I want adrenaline, I’ll rush a giddy overtake, not rent a jet ski.”
The world through the eyes of Dan Walsh is never less than Technicolor, and always uninhibited, rebellious and on the edge. Not since the days of Ted Simon’s Jupiter’s Travels has one man embarked on such a crazed bike trek around the world.
“For me, Chile will always be South America’s supermodel sister – very beautiful but too long, too skinny, and too expensive to ride, and despite the groovy exterior, unpleasantly right-wing underneath.”
Dan has traveled the length and breadth of the world; in Africa, on his XT Desert Rat; in America, on a BMW F65OGS Dakar. Along the way he’s visited Buenos Aires, where “revolutionary” means the angry poor invading the presidential palace, not a really small phone that’s also a camera. He’s been mistaken for a bum in New York, hammered by deadly tequila in Mexico, contracted typhoid in a dilapidated Bolivian hotel, visited the Most Beautiful Road in the World in Peru, and been kidnapped in Kenya.
“I get my bum pinched by a tranny, my pocket picked by a grafter and get a gun pulled on me by a one-eyed, one-armed midget who’s upset ‘cause I winked at him. These are the days that must happen to you.”
Cynical but grudgingly hopeful and bitingly funny, Dan Walsh is the rightful heir to Ted Simon as the pre-eminent biker-rebel of our generation.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first few pages will tell you all you need to know about the writer's admitted lack of expertise and common sense. There is " ...burst-mattress XT600 dirt bike..." (see that license plate? the XT is by definition and manufacturer legal description not a dirt bike). Actually the book's marketing folks are not in the running for accuracy either, where they proclaim "Dan Walsh rode out of London on a Yamaha XT Desert Rat.." forgetting all the while to hire the fact-checker who might have told them that there is no such model, except in their imaginings.
And perhaps more revealingly, Walsh wonders aloud "... how fast you have to move to outrun stupidity." For those still wondering, Walsh did not even attempt to outrun stupidity. He merely distilled it and carried it, in industrial strength and volume, wherever he went. It's best to get these acknowledgments out in the open, and early on. Oh, yes, and remember that this book is a rehash of mostly previously published material. Though there is occasionally amusing and even creative writing, this book features a few too many repetitions of phrases that weren't particularly funny the first ten times, and attempts at some foreign phrases that are, well, he got the word order backwards.
Though Walsh's book is by no means in the same league as Chatwin's "In Patagonia," each has its own version of purely volitional messiness. Chatwin was a bit free and loose with certain of his facts, but nevertheless wrote a fine book that was well regarded even if the cognoscenti were well aware of his occasional tendency to invent. Of course, most readers take the factoids of In Patagonia as if they were true.Read more ›
Take it for what it is; a 'stream-of-consciousness' book about a guy and his war with himself.
I find some fair points in some of the criticism here. I take exception as I'm sure Walsh does, when he is stupidly compared to T. Simon. Chalk and cheese, each excellent.
Not for the first time someone feels obliged to say Walsh is not a great fan of the US - so? I'd say it's US foreign policy he doesnt like and he's in a club of millions on that one, and you too. So dont take that personally. Simon Gandolfi, another m/cycle writer feels the same.
His writing is often top class - he is a writer of quality in the moto writing stable. His writing is often closer to poetry than prose and the cultural and literary allusions are everywhere - if you can pick them up.
His attitude to the bike is as someone said, appalling. Worse, he writes of waiting for someone else to fix it for him. He is lazy and useless here. But we're talking about his writing - don't make the mistake of assuming that a writer is all peace and love and wisdom; no more than you are. If you want a reference on this , think of the opening of "Zen and the Art" where Pirsig's companion has an attitude to machinery which Pirsig doesnt share. Walsh is that companion. Read "Zen"again and think about it - but dont tell me that the marvellous Pirsig is a motorcycle writer as one collection of writing claims. So we agree that Walsh is useless mechanically - but he's a fine writer! Just dont get him to repair your bike. He never said he was a mechanic.
Some of DWs behaviour is mental -"striping his arm in a bar" - and you ask yourself "would I travel with him? " No, I wouldnt and he wouldnt travel with me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book and entertaining to read from start to finish. Even if you're not a would-be motorcycle world traveler, Dan's book is well worth reading. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
I thought it was a fun read. Don't read this for literary genius. Read it for an escape from daily 9-5 humdrum.Published 9 months ago by yahyah
you know, it doesn't get much better than this. I just love this guy, please more!Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
I returned it. I was expecting a neat story but didn't care for the rough character throughout. Just wasn't for me. You might like it though.Published 22 months ago by Tracey
Dan Walsh is random, not very entertaining, and has a writing style that you will either find "novel" or on level with a 5th grader. Save your money. Read morePublished on January 27, 2013 by Frog4aday
Like others have mentioned, this is the US release of "These are the Days." Same book, different title. Read morePublished on March 14, 2012 by Dan Diego
Superb and funny account - this is the most oblivious world traveler who actually completed his trip, but loses credit for the bike notPublished on August 20, 2011 by Pennyname
I tried and tried, but just found this book so easy to put down and wish I hadn't bothered trying.
I skipped several pages when it just became intolerable and boring. Read more