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Long Way Down

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,073 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
The Illustrated Edition of the huge bestseller.

After their fantastic trip round the world in 2004, fellow actors and bike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn t shake the travel bug. And after an inspirational UNICEF visit to Africa, they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth. And so they set off on their 15,000-mil
Hardcover, Illustrated Edition, 288 pages
Published September 4th 2008 by Little, Brown (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 23, 2008 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman have lost some of their naivete in their second world stomping journey, and that innocence has given way to a touch of privilege that leads to some insufferable whining and a lot of indignance at the world's ills. This journey through Africa is more about making their Unicef dates than it is about discovering the world they're riding through (and that isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but it doesn change the dynamic that fans of the boys may find distracting), and ...more
Jan 29, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In general I enjoyed this book. However, its odd that they spent so much time riding and writing about Europe when in fact the context is supposed to be a trip through Africa. Having just traveled in Ethiopia, I enjoyed that part the most. And they provided a glimpse into other regions that I hope to visit. Overall I feel that the authors are honest about their travels - like the irritation you feel when traveling for long periods of time with friends and family or the disgust at the raw smells ...more
A very weak 2 stars. The journal entries like style of "he said, he said" bored me to tears. It dragged the narrative down to a crawl and made a journey that was interesting boring.

There were parts that were worth it but they were so diluted in the incessant flow of boring, redundant informations that unfortunately the thrill of being on the road on motorbikes in Africa was lost unlike Long Way Round where you were there in Mongolia, on the Road of Bones.

Still white dudes on big expensive moto
Nov 15, 2008 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how I feel about this book other than I still really like Ewan McGregor and their travels are interesting (except do we really need to know that Ewan had to purchase new underwear because the ones he brought pinched his bum?). What's interesting about this book is that this book wasn't published when it was supposed to and was a number of months late. I often wonder why, and after reading about 1/4 of the book, am thinking that perhaps the writing needed to be fleshed out a little ( ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hollywood, travel
I loved this book. I’d already watched the TV show, so I knew most of the big moments and things, but it’s so great to read what the adventure is like from their perspective on the road. They both do a great job at describing how different each country is and letting you share in the experience of meeting people along the way.
Perhaps the best parts are when they visit UNICEF and RIDERS. Little goodwill and awareness visits that show the reader what’s being done in Africa to help and why it need
Ewan and Charley are back on their bikes for another trip. This time from John O'Groats in Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa. I really want to watch the TV show now, I hope it's on Netflix!

I loved the stories from their travels, even if they both could be a bit grumpy at times although I felt it was less than it was in 'Long Way Round'. When they met up with the charities, I was really moved by what happened to the people, especially the child soldiers. What a horrific thing to do to peopl
Aug 25, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this as much as Long Way Round. There was still a lot of amazing things that happened to them throughout this journey, but it didn't feel as monumental as the first journey. I am looking forward to seeing the show when it comes out on DVD.
Good book. Did not enjoy it as much as their first book Long Way Round.
Beth Bonini
This travelogue has an alternating POV between Charley and Ewan, and while their voices can be quite endearing and down-to-earth and even humorous, I thought that their entries would have benefitted from some judicious editing. It's like reading someone's diary with all of the boring parts left in. The book doesn't really come to life until the pair reach Africa -- and there was way too much journey build-up for my taste. I didn't really mind the way the book plugs their UNICEF projects; that is ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having been fascinated by Africa for many years, I watched Long Way Down before Long Way Round, and am following the same pattern with the books. Yes, I am aware I am doing this all out of sequence.

Reading along as they traveled, it was wonderful to see the experiences Ewan and Charley had through their own eyes. Not everyone has such an opportunity, be it due to time, money, or both. I think it's great that they had such an opportunity to experience the world in such a way, and took it. Was it
Oct 18, 2013 da-wildchildz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
’You too, mate,’ I said, ‘you too.’

Last line from Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Loved Ewan and Charley’s Long Way Round, so it’s about time I read this. As with Long Way Round, I preferred Charley’s voice to Ewan’s because he moans less (though it’s the opposite on screen.)

In terms of the journey, there was more of a sense of place in Long Way Round than Long Way Down. Long Way Round had me itching to follow the same route. However, this left me with only particular places
Aug 03, 2010 Thomas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There are just two books (I think) that have returned to the shelf without finishing reading. But this is the one that made me angry the most.

As someone who has taken long tours on a bicycle in Kenya and currently planning to do an Ethiopia-Malawi tour, I hoped that it would tell the stories about the struggles on the road that make one a tougher, better person in touch with the reality of the landscape that one passes through and the PEOPLE that are HUMAN and that inhabit that landscape. It was
Jan 23, 2009 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

I did not realize until after I picked up the book that this is actually the second journey/book Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman had done. The previous book, "Long way Round" is now on reserve at the library and I will be reading it next. Fortunately it did not really matter that I'm reading them out of order. The two motorcycle journeys are completely independent of each other.

Reading this book brought back so many memories of riding motorcycles though the dese
Jan 31, 2009 Seracer2003 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much like Long Way Round, this book is set with "the boys" going down through Africa. I thought it was more of the same kinds of issues and dramas, but it was all overshadowed by an amazing look into the lives of real people from those nations. I think sometimes everyone is afraid of Africa, and some places are dangerous, but the culture and energy of the place just totally came thorugh in this piece.

I read the book and am in the middle of the series. I think that's the order to do it in! Again
Dec 02, 2008 Allie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Allie by: A girl who obviously doesn't read much. Or for the same reasons
I read this book while travelling through the countries that it covered, which was the only thing that kept me turning pages. That, and it was the only unread book that I had with me.

I can't stand regurgitated conversations in books - 'he said this, and I replied, no, that!', etc. It's a personal irritation, I guess, but I find it lazy, unbelievable, and reminiscent of my diary as a 13 year old. This book was a collection of re-told interactions and, while I'm sure it's as awesome to watch as th
Feb 16, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow great and very inspirational book. This book covers Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's detailed accounts has they ride their motorcycles from the top of Scotland to the very bottom of South Africa. A true adventure in which they take turns telling the reader about every where they went along the way. Camping out - two buddies with a support team. All of the details captures that described incredible places and people the met along the way. It wasn't all roses, there were a lot of struggles, ...more
J.R. Barker
It was a shame that so much of their journey was spent bickering with each other and winging about the fact that they had to keep powering on.
With better planning they could have had a much better time of it, if they'd have spaced the charity visits further apart they wouldn't have spent so much time rushing.
It wasn't until there was about an eighth of the book and journey left that they sorted themselves out.
What a waste of a journey. All those places they didn't get to see because they were to
Jun 02, 2010 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know much about motorcycles or the private life of Ewan McGregor but this story was an engaging and funny tale of how he and his buddy drove from the northern points of Scotland down through Africa. It did a lot to personalize him and emphasize that despite his celebrity-status, he is a normal guy with a capacity for having fun and giving back.
2.5 stars

The first half of this book was disappointing. It may have been partly because I wasn't in the mood for reading this, but also because motor cycles seemed to be a bigger part of the book than the travelling. And more importantly, there was SO MUCH complaining by both Ewan and Charley. That annoyed me; they hadn't even left Scotland and there was already too much pressure. Barely in Africa they complained all the time about riding too much and not seeing enough. Well, what do you expect
I gave this one a thorough reading and for some reason I had a lot more tolerance for it than the first book. I like the back-and-forth, finish-each-others-sentences format that both books are written in. I think that works really well.

I thought it was funny at the beginning when Ewan's wife, Eve want to go on the trip (I can totally relate) and all of them are wondering if it's a good idea; she entertains the thought that she doesn't nee to go on Ewan's trip; she can plan her own trip! (I thin
Lise Dahl
To some extent I probably waited too long reading it. Read the Long Way Around, and then bought this book - several years ago Since then it's been lying on my shelf waiting for just the right time. The time where I needed a little adventure. A time, where I couldn't on my own adventure. I found that both Ewan and Charley expressed this lack of peace. The first half of the book the keep mentioning the pace, the challenges in the group - all very relevant, however, due to their lack of peacefulnes ...more
Sophie (A Cheeky Book Addict's Thoughts)
Even though i had watched the tv show religiously i decided to read the book, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Once i started, i couldn't put it down.
Jun 27, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, memoir
Ewan & Charlie were my travel companions during my 1st independent overseas trip to New Zealand...
Nov 23, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book first and then watched the TV series. There story got me into Motorbikes, made me buy one and do my test and I'm still smiling 6 years on! Would love to do the trip myself but we don't all have the luxury of bike BMW GS's and a back up team! Looking back this is the best trip they did together, as it was the first one. They tried to capture the same spirit with the rest of their journey's but unfortunately they don't offer anything new. Very inspiring though and it would be great ...more
Mar 19, 2014 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to give non-fiction five stars because it usually doesn't have the excitement of a great fiction story (Unbroken and The Perfect Storm may be exceptions) but this was a great book. I love Ewan McGregor because of Moulin Rouge and Trainspotting, but also love his work with UNICEF. This trip that they took--15,000 miles on motorcycle, from Scotland to South Africa, was amazing. I loved the stories of all the African countries they visited. Loved the photos and that both Ewan and Charley told ...more
Chris Steeden
12-MAY-2007 John O' Groats, Scotland. Ewan and Charley argue, bitch, whine and enjoy themselves travelling on motorbikes to London, France, Italy (Rome and Naples). In Italy they see what appears to be a pyramid modelled on the Egyptian ones. It is the pyramid of Cestius a Roman who decided to be buried Pharaoh-style after Rome had conquered Egypt. Journey carries on down to the port of Trapani where they get a boat to Tunis. At El Jem there is an ancient coliseum that is 1700 years old and the ...more
May 15, 2009 Greg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
Rich white guys do Africa. Awful.
Mar 05, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The followup to the hugely entertaining Long Way Round, Long Way Down is just as fun to read. One of the things I really liked about both travelogues is the authors' unique ways of speaking: they describe riding as "bimbling along," "hooning down French motorways," "burbling through town," etc. Charley is also fond of claiming to have "the collywobbles," which I intend to start working into sentences ASAP. They are both quite good at describing their surroundings in evocative ways, and not shy a ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Alkatraz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I give this four starts because I cannot stand some of the language they use. I suppose I should be aware that men on motorbikes curse and swear too much, especially when there are no wives about.

Anyway, I truly did enjoy traveling with them as they made their way from Scotland to the Southern-most tip of Africa. From deserts to rain forests, the two friends made their way south, forever south. They stopped at various points to visit UNICEF centres and talk with the children effected by war. Fro
Jun 25, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, tv
Funny enough, the day after I finished this book I was watching the morning news and Charley Boorman, who is a co-author of this book, was on his own adventure of traveling from Scotland to Australia by ground only, was finishing his latest adventure in Sydney that day! How funny is that? Unfortunatly, I didn't get to hunt him down. Oh well, next time.

Anyway, this book is a sequel to another book that he and Ewan wrote a few years back except this one took them from the tippy-top of Scotland dow
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Ewan McGregor first came to notice in the film Shallow Grave. Since then he has appeared in more than thirty films, playing Renton in Trainspotting and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars episodes one to three. Other films include: Velvet Goldmine, Little Voice, Moulin Rouge!, Black Hawk Down, Young Adam and Big Fish. Ewan has also appeared on stage in London, tracked polar bears in the Canadian High Arct ...more
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