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Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  6,542 ratings  ·  314 reviews
It started as a daydream. Poring over a map of the world at home one quiet Saturday afternoon, Ewan McGregor - actor and self-confessed bike nut - noticed that it was possible to ride all the way round the world, with just one short hop across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. It was a revelation he couldn't get out of his head. So he picked up the phone and called ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Atria Books (first published 2004)
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My love of Long Way Round is purely emotional. We are not talking about great literature here, nor should anyone expect it. After all, the book isn't written. It is spoken. But that adds to the charm.

As these two spoiled boys travel around the world from London to New York, cutting through places like Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, it is the chattiness and comradeship of such close friends living a "Boys' Own" adventure that sucks us in. Whether they are shitting their pants when a Russian min
Long Way Round is a mentally and physically exhausting journey made by two friends who wanted a break. The book is comprised of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s daily diary entries that were written during the entire trip. By sharing both of their personal diaries you are able to get two very different perspectives of their overwhelming trip around the world.

In the beginning, I was a little irritated, especially with Ewan. He liked to name-drop quite a bit and, also, liked to mention which mo
Wow... I went into this book with very little expectations, firstly I know nothing about bikes, and secondly I thought that it may be some kind of shameless promotion on behalf of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman but I was incredibly wrong.
I was amazed at the journey these men took, and especially amazed at the vast amount of emotion that they both experienced and described throughout the journey and especially at their homecoming.
This is a book for any travel lover, for those who wish to expe
This is a true story about two fairly well known people taking a trip across a vast distance. The A-List actor and a well-to-do buddy (d-list actor?) have a dream and try to put it into action. Some of their challenges are ones that most people would not have - e.g. having a director who does not want you riding a motorcycle to practice for the trip in case you injure yourself before your movie is complete. Some of the other challenges they thought were unique to their "star power" were likely c ...more
Rex Fuller
Disappointed. I wanted and expected to like this. There are pieces of it that I did like, such as the instances of interacting with Ukrainians and Mongolians. Those pieces, approximately 20% of the book, are lost in constant whining about the authors' disagreements with each other and their support crew members, not having enough privacy from media, missing their families, and generally what was going on inside their own heads. The authors show some writing talent and a stern editor who could ha ...more
I'm not even going to blame the fact that I interrupted reading this with a few much better books & coming back to it was torturous. Too much man whining, too much man bickering, too much "Oh but we miss our families so much!!" No one forced you to leave them & take this trip, did they?
Sian Wadey
Author B in my A-Z was Charley Boorman although it says that Long Way Round was just written by Ewan McGregor.
I'm a fan of both actors but I've never seen the TV show so I went into this with a fresh mind not really knowing what to expect. And can I say it was the biggest disappointment.
Both authors moaned, whined and cried their way around the globe. I know it must be hard to miss those you live with constantly, but they were crying when they left and cried during a lot of the journey. When th
I wasn't sure that I was going to like this book. Although I think bikes are nice to look at, as a car driver, anything on two wheels on the road annoys the hell out of me. So the idea of going around the world on a bike wasn't particularly appealing. I thought it would be dull. I was wrong and I flew through this in two days.

I love Ewan Mcgregor and this book allows you to see a different side of him to his movie star personality. I have no idea who Charley is but I enjoyed his point of view n
Robin Allen
This book was kinda boring and whiny for a couple of rich dudes on bikes with a film crew following them around.
I am a total sucker for armchair travel. I love reading about adventures and long distance travel, especially if done on a bike, foot or some other odd thing. I love reading about the details of what people ate, what gear they brought, funny stories of misunderstandings and the significance of meeting people on the road.
This book of Ewan McGregor and his buddy taking a motorcycle trip from London through Europe, into Kazakstan, Mongolia and Russia seemed initially to have all of those things. W
Long Way Round is a fairly well-known TV series documenting the journey undertaken by actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in 2004, riding motorcycles all the way around the world from London to New York, across very remote and wild terrain in Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Siberia. McGregor was already quite a famous actor, appearing in Star Wars, Trainspotting and Big Fish; Boorman was considerably less well-known, in the shadow of both Ewan and his more famous father John Boorman (the director ...more
I don't usually take the time to review books here, but this book was so poorly written and annoying to read that on several occasions i wanted to throw it out of a window. The amount of crying and whining that these two grown men did through out their trip, and the amount of pages taken up talking about how much they miss their really loses the essence of what a trip like that is all about. I can see that they attempted to convey some of the emotional trials and tribulation th ...more
Sundeep Supertramp
About the authors:
Ewan McGregor, the author. Does that name ring some bells? Yeah, he is the same guy from the movies Star Wars, The Impossible (2012), The Island (2005), Big Fish (2003).

It is claimed that the other author, Charley Boorman, is also an actor. Though I've not noticed in any movie, as I far I could remember, here are a few movies which starred him. Travellers (2011), Deliverance (1972), Excalibur (1981), The Serpent's Kiss (1997).

The whole idea of the book is to cirucum-naviga
Full disclosure:
1. I love Ewan McGregor and would enjoy doing naughty things to him. Preferably while he talked in his Scottish accent.
2. I watched this TV series.
3. I am reading this book not because of #1 and 2 so much as the fact that someone said that she'd read in this book (or sadly the subsequent one) that he and his wife had an open marriage and I became determined to get to the bottom of this. Which I suppose does relate to #1 if not exactly #2. This is not embarrassing to admit at all.
Granted, this is right up my alley, but it's a solid book regardless of your love of motorcycles and adventures.

The series is good, and the book is a nice companion to it. I actually rewatched the show simultaneously with the book, not a bad way to do it. Gaps in the book are filled in by the show and vice versa. At the end of the day, I just found myself wishing I could have gone along with them on their trip. I looked like an amazing time.
Beth Oppenlander
The task was a daunting one to begin with. Ride a motorcycle from London to NY, via Siberia. The tales are funny, honest, brutal, generous and insightful. But most of all, they invite you into the private lives of two people who had a crazy dream and never gave up on it (though there are detours) and the team of individuals who filmed these adventures and made them all possible. A great read for those who want to experience the world vicariously through the lens of Charlie and Ewan.
Wendy Blansett
Great book. This book is not necessarily all about the bikes and blokes that ride them, but it is more about the places, the people, and the moments. Ewan and Charlie travel through some of the most remote and poorest regions of the world, but wherever they go, the people are gracious and kind, offering what little they have, including food, liquor, and shelter.

Ewan rarely plays his "Obi-Wan" card - only when it's a must. For most of the journey people have no idea who he is. He is just a guy ri
Circumnavigation of the globe on motorcycles-taking the long way and some might say the "hard" way. Even if it's becoming almost cliché, it still has a lot of potential as an inspired story. McGregor/Boorman come up a little bit short though.

OK, until I read this book, I honestly did not know these two dudes. I am not a Star Wars fan (ooo I can already see hate mail). I knew vaguely that their project had received a lot of sponsorship support but that's all. Part of their story is raising the co
This book reads as though McGregor and Boorman wrote it in their favourite green crayon on the back of a beermat in the bar at the airport's departure lounge. Admittedly these guys aren't authors, but they skimp on details and the story and have a style that is 'tell' rather than 'show'.

It gets a bit grating in places, and although I enjoyed their camaraderie and the trials of riding their bikes, ultimately the book was a disappointment and offered no greater insights than the film.
Expeditions and explorations of the twentieth century are probably my favourite genres in books.

“The Long Way Round …” is, by five years, twenty-first century.

What a mistake. What a good thing my monetary losses in this instance were next to nothing, and nothing remotely approaching the “UK 18.99 recommended price”.

I DID like the sketch maps. Nicely drawn, scattered through the chapters. They could have been even better as a fold-out supplement in an inside-back pocket.

This book should really
keith koenigsberg
These guys set out on an admirable journey: around the world by motorbike. I wish I had been invited. However they spend too much time talking about each other, rather than the landscapes and characters they presumably encounterd. There's way too much discussion of their petty arguments, their longings for home, their fatigue and fear, etc. It reads a bit like a script for an MTV Real World episode. I'm sad to say: skip this book.
This is one of those rare occasions where you should watch the TV show before you read the book. "Long Way Round" is available on Netflix and I highly recommend it if you like any of the following: travel, motorcycles, Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, buddy stories, adventure, British people. Just read the summary. They go from London to New York on motorcycles! How does that not sound interesting?

After binge watching both "Long Way Round" and "Long Way Down" I felt like I was missing something.
A lovely gift from a lovely friend, but sadly it is a portrait of two Englishmen whining about being on the adventure of a lifetime. As a somewhat accomplished global bike trekker, I couldn't believe the crap I was reading. If it wasn't for Ewan's additional contributions to motorcycling (see Faster and Kentucky Kid), I would have dismissed it after two chapters.
Liz Aisbett
I loved the notion of this story, but basically found the entire saga to be a bunch of whinging about their free bikes, with support, and getting all emotional about being away from their families for a few months. Consequently, I've avoided all other variations on their themes, and dive into other people's adventures instead.
I really wanted to like this book but couldn't. It could have been so much better. It could have been a tale of hardship, adventure, discovery, humananity, etc. Instead it was a story of two middle aged men moaning about how their GPS and iPod didn't work on their luxury BMW motorbikes. Get over it.
Diana S
Wow! What an amazing trip! Ewan McGregor and his best friend, Charley Boorman, both bike nuts, traveled around the world on their motorcycles. It took them 4 months traveling 20,000 miles. I'm glad they took the time to documented their fantastic trip. Great Photos! I give this book 3.5 stars***.
Rudy Kong
One of the most disappointing travel books I've read. They went on a pretty cool adventure but Charlie's chapters drove me nuts. They sounded like whiners to me. And what's with driving across Canada from North to South and not making mention of it except for a car accident?
Self-indulgent actors, on a self-indulgent trip around the world. To be fair, I never saw the TV show, but I still just came away convinced that these guys are pretty terrible people.
I learned that these guys are even nuttier than they came across in the TV miniseries...and that trying to ride motorcycles across Mongolia is a really bad idea. ;)
only inspirational if you think its hard for two whiny rich kids to get paid to live their dream by burning more fossil fuel than i will ever see in my lifetime.
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Long Way Round 3 19 Dec 06, 2013 01:18PM  
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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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