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Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World Hardcover – November 2, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; 1st Atria Hardcover Ed edition (November 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743499336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743499330
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Both McGregor and Boorman prove themselves to be engaging, articulate and entertaining narrators ... a highly readable and spiritually uplifting book about a dream come true WANDERLUST Touching and memorable ... one for armchair travellers and bike freaks DAILY MAIL Long Way Round is the tale of a remarkable journey taken (on motorbike) by two men. The fact that those men are figures with notable film connections (Ewan McGregor is one of Britain's most successful actors, Charley Boorman is the son of the celebrated director John Boorman) may be the reason the book got written - and the accompanying television series got made - but so what? This epic trip is conveyed with real elan by its two authors, and there are arguments for preferring the written word over the image: while the latter may convey the exhilaration of the journey more directly, the book is infinitely more subtle in presenting the mindset of its two (often-beleaguered) travellers. Their co-writer Robert Uhlig has cannily conveyed the similar (but at the same time, very different) personalities of the two men, and it's one of the pleasures of the book. McGregor, for whom motorbikes are as important as his acting career, was gazing at a map of the world when it occurred to him that it was possible to ride by bike all the way round the world (with just a smidgen of cheating around the Bering Strait), and he suggested over a meal with best friend and fellow thesp Charley Boorman, that the pair might chase their shadows from London to New York, across the Pacific to Alaska and other far-flung parts. Needless to say, catastrophe matches the adventure at every turn, and encounters with gun-toting Ukrainians, Mongolian Nomads and (most dangerous of all) ruthless paparazzi add to the stress levels. But the 20,000 miles covered by the pair, however arduou Barry Forshaw, AMAZON.CO.UK 'It's like Michael Palin but with added sex appeal.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ewan McGregor was born in Perthshire in 1971. An actor who has appeared in more than thirty films -- Trainspotting, Velvet Goldmine, Moulin Rouge, and the second Star Wars trilogy among them -- he rides an MV Augusta F4S and a KTM Duke. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.

Charley Boorman was born in England, grew up in Ireland, and currently lives in London with his family. An actor whose first starring role was in Deliverance, he met his costar Ewan while shooting The Serpent's Kiss. He rides a Ducati 748 and is preparing for the2006 Paris -- Dakar rally, if his wife lets him

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Customer Reviews

Once I found out there was a book, I knew I had to read it.
Amazon Customer
That and McGregor's celebrity add aspects to the book that aren't necessarily good or bad, just make it different from your typical travelogue.
J. Bosiljevac
So I've just LOVED, the whole adventure and feel as though I know those two WONDERFUL guys and their families!!!
Mr. Louis W. Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 118 people found the following review helpful By S. Box on March 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I normally do not bother writing opinions. You dont know me, my outlook, or how I relate to you.. so what is my opinion worth?

But after reading the slew of negative reviews I was enticed to add my .02. This 'review' will actually be more of a scathing critique of previous feedback than a true review of the book (which I do own and read), but the book review is in there.

If a person does any amount of online research, such as reading the description of this book before buying it, you will realize it is two fairly well known people taking a trip across a vast distance. Just this fact would inform most intelligent people that an A-List actor and a well-to-do buddy (d-list actor?) would not be loading up 2 mopeds and heading into the wilds without some support.

People get hung up on the description of around the world.


- not 'touching every continent',

- not 'around the world by equator

- not 'around the world by your definition.

They said they went around the world and they did. They took a route across the Northern Hemisphere that allowed them, with the exception of oceans, to travel by land around the world. They even made the choice to arrive farther west to the US than they needed to. They also chose not to stay strictly to the rail system from Eastern Russia through Manchuria.

You also need to accept they will have some sort of support, and accepting they will have some level of support, it was refreshing to see that it was really only 2 Chase vehicles and a Camera-Man also on a bike.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Bobuta on December 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I saw the first episode of the Bravo series and immediately fell in love. Not only beacuse it's Ewan (and Charlie kinda grew on me too), but because what it's really about is the friendship between these two wonderful men. The bumps along the way serve only to strengthen their brotherly love for each other.

The joys and hardships along their path really help them to understand how small our world is and how similar we all are as humans. We all care about our children, a roof over our heads and a good meal, no matter where you are in the world. The times when they visit the Unicef centers just break your heart and make you want to sign your next paycheck over to this great orginazation. The BMW website says Ewan auctioned off his bike for 85,000 pounds for Unicef and a couple other charities. I know I'll be sending them what I can.

On a similar note, I got a response to an email I sent the production company and was told they will be releasing the DVD in the US & Canada around January along with the soundtrack CD. The title song from the show is apparently by Stereophonics (I've been unable to find which album it's on) and will be on the soundtrack. I cannot wait!!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By W. Knoble on May 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover

I had to drop my car off to get the brakes fixed and I suddenly wished I could ride my cycle around town while I waited. I couldn't do that because my bike was still in the garage a few towns away. I walked down to get a book and a coffee to pass the time. I strolled through a local book store and was pretty convinced I wouldn't find anything I liked. I saw a new release in the travel section and saw the two BMW bikes and a couple of guys standing beside them. The guy on the right looked familiar. I frowned when I saw it was McGregor because I didn't even know he liked bikes. I immediately picked it up and turned it over. A couple of actors on an "adventure?" I smirked. "This should be a fun read," I mumbled sarcastically.

I picked it up and grabbed a coffee.

I was laughing outloud by the first dozen pages. When Boorman describes him doing a wheelie in front of his dad and his father's reaction after the wall . . . man, that was hilarious . . . because everyone's been in a humbling situation like that at least once in their life.

So what if they are actors? I'm sure all these 1 & 2 star reviewers would get a bad review themselves if they were held accountable for some of their own petty complaints. I bet you it wasn't on the back of a bike in Russia!

I couldn't put the book down. In fact, there were three days at work I was a zombie because I wanted to see where the two rode into next . . . and kept reading into the wee hours of the night.

I've taken cycle trips and spent 12 hours straight on the back of a bike. I love being so stiff and numb from riding that you groan when you lift your leg and get off. I love the cloud of dust when you slap your weathered and wrinkled leathers.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marjorie James on June 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book mainly because of the similarities to Michael Palin's travel books (famous Brit travels the world with a film crew), which I love, and also because I am a sucker for anything on adventure travel. I won't say that I was thrilled with the book, but I wasn't exactly dissappointed either. The writing can be cringingly amatuerish, but the scope and interest of the undertaking is almost enough to make up for it. And you certainly can't fault the writers for their hontesty; in spite of their less-than-adept prose talents (or perhaps because of them) you get a definite feel for them as people, the good and the bad. And they did see some pretty awesome stuff. Overall, I wouldn't put this book in the pantheon of great travel writings, but I will say that if you are susceptable to a bit of wanderlust, it will certainly get you in the mood to hit the road.
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