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The Longest Walk: An Odyssey of the Human Spirit Paperback – November, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Athena; 1 edition (November 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155778230X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557782304
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Meegan walked 19,019 miles over seven years--from the southernmost tip of South America to the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. "The account of his walk through South and Central America is first-rate adventure, with physical dangers and obstacles surmounted. From Texas to New York and across Canada is a weary trudge, and the final push proves to be anticlimactic," noted PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Accounts of walking tours are worth reading when they are well-written and the author has a perspective and personality worth sharing. It has remarkably little to do with the challenge of the trek itself: Colin Fletcher could make any stroll fascinating. Hanuse was 53 when she walked across the country (her husband accompanied her with a well-equipped RV). Her book is cluttered with diversions of her dog's antics along the way. Outside of admiring her pluck, there is little here for the reader. Meegan, a young Englishman, walked 19,000 miles from the tip of South America to the top of Alaska. Yet that isn't what makes his a better book. Instead it is Meegan's engaging style, his lack of braggadocio, and his amazing capacity to shrug off unpleasantness that makes his book enjoyable to read. It is of little consequence that this is the longest recorded journey. His trip took seven years, with several interruptions, during which he managed to start a family. Recommended for public libraries. Harold M. Otness, Southern Oregon State Coll. Lib., Ashland
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
If you love romances, this story will lift your spirits.
George D. Smith
I would reccommend this book for anyone who has dreams they want to come true, and also for those who like to read about travel.
Nathan Birt
I galloped through it and immediately loaned it to a friend; it's one of those books you want everyone you know to have read.
Vital Spark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Birt on June 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
'The Longest Walk' is an amazing story about the author, George Meegan, who begins walking from the tip of South America, at Ushuaia, and ends up at Pruhoe Bay, at the North Pole. Journeying with him is also his Japanese wife, Yoshiko, and his two children who the have along the way, there names translated meaning: Don't Stop, and Keep Walking. I thoroughly enjoyed this book for many reasons. Meegan gives excellent descriptions of the people and places he meets, and gives insight that is not seen on the surface. I would reccommend this book for anyone who has dreams they want to come true, and also for those who like to read about travel. A great read, no matter how hard it is to find!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Roche on March 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book about ten years ago and still have vivid scenes in my head of Mr.Meegan's couragous undertaking. I was so inspired by his determination and daring I set off on my own adventure. At the age of 62 I walked across England alone. It wasn't as dangerous as Mr. Meegan's oddyssey, but it was a milestone in my life. Read Longest Walk and it will inspire you to more adventurous undertakings or just give you delightful hours of armchair travel as you walk in his worn-out shoes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Sherwood on April 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I can relate with the author about many of the personal experiences that he came across in his long journey. George Meegan must be a very deep person in his method of handling the situations that he encountered. On his trip of 7 years, he managed to get married,and father children without totally breaking his mileage countings, however, this is not the main plot of the book. He brought out the warmth of these little known and studied peoples of Latin America and showed the world that these people are really generous and kind, other than what the media makes them out to be. I can relate with one particular experience he had in Mexico that struck me deeply. Anyway, I recommend this book to anyone that may enjoy an adventure of the human spirit. It makes for good reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary Clark on November 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I won't loan this book to anyone for fear it won't come back to me. I plan to reread it every time I feel my own spirit of adventure waning. I would give it 5 stars, but the prose is often awkward - the author was no Faulkner, but he had a wonderful story to tell, one that still has me shaking my head when I think of the determination he possessed to pull this off. If you'd rather read about real people doing amazing things rather than pulp fiction, buy this book! (but don't loan it out . . .)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George D. Smith on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are a lot of long-walkers these days-mostly backpackers who go along wilderness paths in pristine preserves-but Meegan did his long walk entirely at the edge of the roadside. This is just about the most dangerous place anyone can walk. Significantly, Meegan sees this walk as an obsession, and his worst experiences were not near the slums and impoverished shanty towns that he passed throughout Latin America, but right here in the U.S.A. Gun-crazed, car-crazed, and arrogant, Americans almost managed to bump him off. Canadians were not as much a threat, but they were not at all very helpful either. You might think that impoverished Latinos would be a big threat, particularly in places like Guatemala or Nicaragua (this was in the 1980's, when many of these countries had revolutions and death-squads), but you would be wrong. The impoverished "Indians" who he passed daily in Latin America treated him with understanding and respect. They almost always took him into their hovels and gave him food and drink. In contrast to his descriptions from Latin America, the miles he spent along the roadside in North America are just briefly noted. Things only come alive again when Meegan relates his experiences with the Native Peoples of the Yukon and Alaska-these pages sparkle. This is not just an adventure tale-it is also a great love story, since Meegan embarks on this journey with his Japanese girlfriend Yoshika-who he subsequently marries. They have a great romance, and Meegan manages to father two children. If you love romances, this story will lift your spirits. The book is long and could use some editing, but it was, after all, a very long walk. Highly recommended-whether you are a walker or not.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. H Knights on September 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Meegans feat, (and feet) is/are simply unreal. Next time your kid wants a ride somewhere local. Hand him or her this book. I particularly liked his entries for what he experienced in Honduras. After experiencing what sounds like a complete mental breakdwon in a church basement in Tegucigalpa, he gets up in the morning and starts walking again. Keep on truckin Meegan! You rule, sir.
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