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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brilliance of "Take A Seat"
I picked up Dominic Gill's book after having seen the 45 minute or so documentary detailing his 24 month adventure on a tandem bike. I enjoyed the documentary and my hopes for the book were high, fortunately I was not disappointed. In a little under 300 pages, Gill chronicles the challenges, joys, and sheer physical effort that went into his journey. Honest, funny and...
Published on July 13, 2010 by Student87

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would've Been a Better Trip...If Not for All the Whining!!
When I 1st read the description for this book, I was very excited. I loved the idea of inviting others to ride on a tandem bicycle with the author on his journey from Alaska to Patagonia, Chile. I looked forward to hearing about all the interesting people from different cultures that the author would meet along the way. Unfortunately, you learn very little about the...
Published on February 10, 2011 by M. C. Tolen


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brilliance of "Take A Seat", July 13, 2010
This review is from: Take a Seat (Paperback)
I picked up Dominic Gill's book after having seen the 45 minute or so documentary detailing his 24 month adventure on a tandem bike. I enjoyed the documentary and my hopes for the book were high, fortunately I was not disappointed. In a little under 300 pages, Gill chronicles the challenges, joys, and sheer physical effort that went into his journey. Honest, funny and descriptive the book transforms the reader into the world of long (really long) distance cycling, unconventional international travel, and the adventures of looking for new friends in strange places. Reading Gill's chronicle I found myself feeling all the things he must have felt, and isn't that the purpose of a truly great read? To find yourself in a world different from your own, to identify with a character and to feel the thrilling sense of adventure found within the pages of "Take A Seat".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would've Been a Better Trip...If Not for All the Whining!!, February 10, 2011
When I 1st read the description for this book, I was very excited. I loved the idea of inviting others to ride on a tandem bicycle with the author on his journey from Alaska to Patagonia, Chile. I looked forward to hearing about all the interesting people from different cultures that the author would meet along the way. Unfortunately, you learn very little about the people that he encounters and instead are forced to read the authors incessant whining and moaning most of the journey.
First of all, as great of an idea as it was, the idea actually came not from the author but was suggested by his publisher. So it seems a bit contrived from the start. Secondly, its ultimately not a very practical idea since the author is on a one way trip. So unless the tandem rider just happens to be needing a ride in the same direction it's difficult finding volunteers. Most of those who rode with the author only go as far as they can and then simply have to take a bus back home. As you can imagine, the author finds it difficult to get takers and a great deal of the book is the author riding by himself.
It's frustrating for both the author and reader. However, worse is hearing the author complain all the time about not having a rider, pulling the load himself and the loneliness he experiences. Yet, when he finds someone kind enough to ride with him, he goes on and on complaining that they aren't pulling their weight, causing him to have to do more work pedaling with their extra weight and wishing he was alone again. Then, once the rider has had enough of the bicycle, the author (who admits to his foul moods) or both, he quickly reverts to complaining again about going at it alone. The downfall and complaint of nearly every rider seems to be not the pedaling, but how ridiculously uncomfortable the seat is, which seems to greatly put out the author. Despite these universal complaints, even by those experienced in riding, it never dawns on the author to get a much more comfortable seat for his riders.
Equally frustrating is that despite having approximately 275 people ride with the author during his journey, the reader hardly gets to know anything about the people who ride with him. Many times all you learn is a name and a one sentence description of where they're from and how he met them. Very little of their personal lives, background or culture is learned. Certainly you would think that while crossing a country on a tandem bicycle with someone you would learn and share more about them. Even "Adam" who seems to be the author's favorite rider and probably rode with him the most, is left largely unknown to the reader. The author, in a diary like fashion, tells us many times how much of a character Adam is and how funny he is, but doesn't share much about the funny things actually said or done. The reader gets everything 2nd hand like a journal, personal only to the writer. Therefore, as a reader I never quite felt like I was "right there" with the author and felt no personal relationship or really care about any of the people he met along the way.
At the end of the journey, the author, much like the reader feels unfulfilled. I have no doubt as to how difficult the journey was and certainly there will be many frustrations and things that go wrong. At times there are flashes of great writing and the better side of the author's personality shows through. However, somewhere along the way, the thrill of adventure and the sense that even the worst day of such an adventure still beats working at a desk, got lost. For those of us, still tethered to our desks and office life, an opportunity to live vicarously through such an author's adventure is an opportunity largely missed in this instance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not an adventure until something goes wrong, December 29, 2010
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LT (Las Vegas, NV) - See all my reviews
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Having had the opportunity to join Dominic for a night on a more recent cross-country cycling trip, I can see that his magnetic personality is transfered right into the pages of Take a Seat as you join him for 20,000 miles from Alaska to the tip of South America on Achilles, a tandem bike used to pick up anyone who wanted to offer a bit of company and pedaling power. Dom's story is addictive, inspirational, emotional and contains all the unexpected qualities that define an adventure. You honestly do feel like you're right there, sore arse and all, journeying across open land, tall mountains, coastal highways and experiencing life and culture in its purist form along the way. With so many depressing stories dominating media headlines, escape to the real world on a journey that will restore your faith in humanity. Take a seat, it will change your life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Read!!!, December 13, 2010
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Dominic Gill isn't only and adventurer he's also a adventure writer! Reading this book I felt like I was on the back seat of his bike. Being a martial arts school owner teaching children, I'm making this book mandatory for all our teens. Aside from the story being awesome it also teaches one about perseverance, living your dream and just how strong the mind can be. Can't wait for the next book. Great job!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, March 12, 2013
By 
Kerri K. "Kerri" (Southern Cailfornia USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Take a Seat: One Man, One Tandem and Twenty Thousand Miles of Possibilities (Paperback)
Could have been a great book, but missed the mark. Most of the book is the author's self-centered whining about everything. It gets tiresome quickly. Although he met fascinating people, there's nothing about them; instead the book is filled with the author's self-absorbed whining. There is also considerable self-censorship: he must have had romantic involvements along the way, but there's nothing about that, either. The book also lacks the obvious. Eg., there is absolutely no technical information or detailed photos of the real star...the tandem bicycle. And even more idiotically, there is no decent map showing his route or the geography or topology or anything else.

The author has a good command of the English language. It's too bad that the concept of the book was so poorly realized and the book comes off as a spoiled brat's self-centered bellyaching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book! I had it sitting on the table ..., December 31, 2014
This review is from: Take a Seat: One Man, One Tandem and Twenty Thousand Miles of Possibilities (Paperback)
What a great book! I had it sitting on the table for months before I read it and I wish I had started earlier. This is not the same person as the tv series; that fellow was on a recumbent bike. Dominic's writing was great and was able to catch and keep my attention the whole book. I wish there was more information on gear selection but you can probably find that on his website. Again a great travel book and helps to keep your travel dreams alive!
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best cycling memoirs i've read, May 18, 2014
By 
Robyn Weinbaum (orlando, fl, USA) - See all my reviews
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i'm a fussy reader [professional writer, editor, journalist] AND i ride a tandem [about 4500 miles a year]. i enjoyed gill's style, wit, geographic narrative, and honesty. the concept of riding from alaska to ushuaia captivated me and his writing style engaged me. having read numerous 'cross-country on a bike' narratives, usually annoyed by the self-centered or self-righteous tone of the authors, gill was refreshing. he calls himself on bad behavior, attempts to understand the trials and pains of the stoker, appreciates small kindness. put this on your shelf with 'ten points' by bill strickland, 'french revolutions' by tim moore, 'escape artist' by matt seaton.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, April 22, 2014
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I can only imagine such a life experience as Gill had during these 2+ years. It was a pleasure reading along with him.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, September 2, 2014
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For bicycling enthusiast this is an inspiring story.
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Take a Seat: One Man, One Tandem and Twenty Thousand Miles of Possibilities
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