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Jupiter's Travels
Ted Simon
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Jupiter's Travels

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  2,294 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
Simon rode a motorcycle around the world in the seventies, when such a thing was unheard of. In four years he covered 78,000 miles through 45 countries, living with peasants and presidents, in prisons and palaces, through wars and revolutions. What distinguishes this book is that Simon was already an accomplished writer. In 25 years this book has changed many lives, and in ...more
443 pages
Published 2008 by Sphere (first published November 30th 1978)
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Lara Messersmith-Glavin
My father is an adventurer at heart. He rode a motorcycle through South America a decade before Che; he jumped out of airplanes at night and landed in Southeast Asian jungles; he spent 40 years fishing in Alaska, both off Kodiak and in the Bering Sea. Now, he and my mother are retired, and they spend a good deal of their time traveling still - on a motorcycle. They have a great set-up: a trailer packed with a beautiful tent and an air mattress; picnic goodies, bottles of gin. They tool around Me ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ewen McGregor: Hi I'm multi award winning Actor about town Ewan McGregor. I've got a totally original idea for a TV show.
ITV Exec: Oh Yeah...
Ewen: Yeah, Me and my mate Charlie Boorman, the world famous star of stage and screen, are going to ride round the world on our motorbikes. It'll be mega.
ITV Exec: But what about that guy in the 70's called Ted Simon who did all that but without all your money and good looks?
Ewen: WHAT!
ITV Exec: Look i'm sorry but it's all been done before...
Dec 10, 2009 Gavin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Goddamn it!! How did I get tricked into reading another bullshit, transcendental 70's enlightenment novel??!! After Robert Pirsig's puddle of diaper filling, I swore I'd never read one of these things again! This was billed as a travel book...Curses!


On to the book. What a boring, self-indulgent novel. Ol' Ted decides to go slummin' through the third world in some misguided attempt to test himself. Once underway, his special brand of bitter negativity slowly swallows every paragraph. His su
Sep 07, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I never write reviews on here. And I don't know if I was particularly moved to write one after finishing this book, or whether it just happens to be the first I finish since deciding I should write reviews. Otherwise I tend to forget what I thought and felt whilst reading, and if that's the case, what then, was the point?

It's all in the timing. Something can be profound in a certain instance of life, and banal the next. The view, you see, changes from where you are standing. 'Jupiter' was pro
Beverly Edberg
May 19, 2012 Beverly Edberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life (there have been others) but the first page is still the most powerful first page I have ever read. I scanned the first page into my computer so I can pull it up and read when I forget. Very powerful stuff - the book will keep you up at night. I don't believe this trip could be duplicated today. Too many hateful people in the world.
Jul 29, 2011 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed with this book. I had waited so long to get my hands on a copy, and when the chance came, greedily opened the book, looking forward to the adventure within.

While the adventure was there, and it was intresting to see how the world has changed since the book was originally written, I found it hard at times to get into the story.

I wasn't too keen on Ted Simon's style of writing, and at times I found his opinions rather off putting.

He seemed to gloss over some parts of the jou
Daniel R.
Oct 06, 2010 Daniel R. rated it did not like it
Shelves: port-authority
The writing in the book is as bumpy as the roads the author traveled on, frequently crashing into a jumbled heap. His observations and caricature descriptions of different cultures seemed to be tied more to the weather than his personal interactions. The book's pacing is uneven with excessive detail in the beginning and some countries towards the end getting no more than a one line stereotypical summary. There are some well written vignettes scattered throughout the book but overall I'd give it ...more
Kristine Stevens
Who wouldn't like to vicariously travel round the world for four years on a motorcycle?

Just like a trip around the world (been there, done that), this book truly reflects the experience. Not every moment of the experience tells a story or is dramatic and engaging and that is reflected in the experience of reading the book. If you are planning to make a large global trip, this is definitely a great read for you!
Jan 12, 2016 Leftbanker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I’m a sucker for travel books. The thing to remember when reading this memoir is that he goes around the world on a motorcycle. I know that sounds obvious but the motorcycle takes center stage and almost everything else is background. It’s been a long, long time since I cared at all for anything with a motor and even longer since I’ve ridden a motorcycle so this book wasn’t written with me as the target market.

He makes a few wonderful insights but he spends far too many words fussing over his b
Nigel Winter
Jul 15, 2015 Nigel Winter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ted's account of his 1973 world tour on a Triumph 500 can now be regarded as a record of history as much as a travelogue.

Ted, in 1973 at least, was a complex character, but he writes candidly with the educated eye of a traveller rather than a tourist. The book opens with "......I let the bike roll off the asphalt onto the grass under a shade tree. I tucked my gloves into my helmet and stood by the bike looking up and down the country road and across the field of green wheat wondering who was goi
Oct 05, 2009 Corri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is more to this man's journey than riding a motorcycle. This guy is a man of the mind. While riding atop his Triumph, he thinks a lot about the subconscious mind. On his journey on a ship through the Atlantic, from Africa, to Brazil, he mentions he read a book by Jung and his thinking got even more complex and dark as he rode through South and Central America. He shares his thoughts with his readers and takes them through the glories and turmoils of his own mind. I thought this book was go ...more
I had more trouble staying with this motorcycle narrative than I thought I would. To be fair though, I did read his second book (Jupiter#2; see my review) before this one, his first (Jupiter#1). Some parts of it were quite good and Simon is a good writer. The tale seemed to drag at points and the conclusion seemed forced.

Simon was not a motorcycle guy at the beginning and he seems overly obsessed about riding conditions, his abilities and danger for much of the book. There are also points during
Jan 26, 2014 Art rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
I reread this book every few years, normally at a time when I need a pick me up, it reminds me of the first time I read this book, not having any real expectations and finding myself still sitting there hours later having gone on a long journey. This time around I read a edition that had a lot of photographs I'd not seen in the earlier paperback version I read until the pages fell out and it added a new touch to the story.
I love non-fiction travel books and this one's full of adventures but I think I struggled with it a bit because the trip was undertaken with the intent of writing a book, so even though descriptions are wonderful they fit expectations. I'm a bigger fan of books written in hind sight but liked it enough to keep the chain going Jack --> me --> David.
Damon Gubler
Sep 07, 2016 Damon Gubler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a fan of Long Way Round you'll probably enjoy this book.
Feb 03, 2012 Spyder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
As a motorcyclist it was a good, fun book. As a traveler it was even better... the true value of this book lies in the humanity of the tale, after all... the point of the journey, is not to arrive.

Read on my iPad and Android phone via the Kindle app on and in toilets around the world during the 2011 Yellowcard World Tour.
Manasvi mudgal
Jan 02, 2016 Manasvi mudgal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for everyone, especially for those who think a bike trip to Laddakh is a huge deal.

I loved Ted's way of telling the story, we are in his head all the time and seeing the world through it. It's not just a travelogue, it's Ted Simon's, his perspective, his world. A fun read.
Nate Hendrix
Jul 31, 2012 Nate Hendrix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He takes four years to get around the world. But he covers a lot of ground and spends time in many different places. I enjoyed the technical aspect of how he did things and what went wrong and how he fixed it.
Brian Ervin
Dec 20, 2012 Brian Ervin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true must read for anyone who loves motorcycles, adventure, cultural differences, and travel. Three months after I finished, I missed "riding along" with Ted so much, I had to read it again.
Mat Davies
Dec 15, 2016 Mat Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 - Fascinating book. It is amazing to think that Ted Simon spent four years riding across all continents. It is interesting to think that the Soviet Union was out of bounds when this journey was made, and now, sadly, a few of the places Ted Simon managed to ride over are now due to political problems today.

It is a bit of an unbalanced book that scoots past some countries and continents and dwells on others and individuals sporadically. There is a love story in the middle that is covered quic
Molly Stanley
Nov 07, 2016 Molly Stanley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I originally picked up this book I wasn't necessarily expecting the writing to be phenomenal. I was just expecting an average biography-type text that might only be of interest to people who love motorcycling.

What I found is a book containing elegant prose that speaks wonders about the human condition and what it means, especially, to find yourself travelling to the ends of the earth searching for something, but never knowing exactly what that 'something' is. I think that's a feeling that
Dec 15, 2016 Lucydad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a biker, I really enjoyed details of riding some horrific roads, particularly in Africa. I used to live in Tunisia and have also worked in Libya and Egypt. So, I know the cultures, and Simon beautifully captures some of the joys and frustrations of North Africa. Overall a superb read. Highly recommended even though Simon wanders a bit here and there into obscure details. Emotional reactions to long distance motorcycle travel is fascinating. My body won't take the abuse.
Jun 26, 2013 Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great, world-wide adventure and journey of self-discovery. "In my childhood, nobody talked about myths and legends. They were just stories. The job of explaining life was left to science, but science eventually failed the test. So did politics, of course. And love. And property. And journalism just went on begging the question." -97.
On meeting another rider, "'Oh well, back into it again.' I knew he meant time to sweat out the beer and replace it with water, to shrink his stomach back to a ha
Isabel Q
Dec 30, 2016 Isabel Q rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buen libro :-)
Entretenido y de fácil lectura. La primera mitad me ha gustado mucho mientras que la segunda mitad se me ha hecho un pelín larga. Sea como sea al leerlo crea ilusión por viajar, ver mundo y conocer gente! :-)
Jan 07, 2017 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If this is something you think about today, imagine doing it back then. Still prevalent today. Still makes me want to take off on a trip and inspires me to do so.
Derek Post
Dec 11, 2016 Derek Post rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful first person view from a motorcycle.. often troubled times from lack of planning caused by his joy of just wandering.. quick read
Jerome Kuseh
Nov 15, 2016 Jerome Kuseh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this as a child. It was intriguing.
Procyon Lotor
Ted Simon su Triumph Tiger T100p Dunque, la scheda la trovate gi qui: Se volete chilometri con tantissima filosofia leggete ZAMM, qui la proporzione invertita, e i chilometri sono centomila in quattro anni. (entrambi meritano comunque). Immaginabile il contenuto: un viaggio intorno al mondo in moto, porta via solo quattro cinque anni, non molti quattrini e dona fama imperitura e la possibilit di provare a vivere di quello, WOW! Siccome l'hanno fatto in p ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
Ted Simon, a journalist living in France conceives the idea of travelling around the globe on a motorcycle. With some backing from the Triumph company and the Sunday Times, he sets off one wet night from the newspaper's offices in Gray's Inn Road. The journey lasted four years and 64,500 miles.

The result is a curious patchwork. Simon seems to view the world as beginning at Europe's borders. He hustles swiftly down to southern Italy, having had an interesting encounter with the founder and princi
Todd Martin
In 1973 Ted Simon (aka ‘Jupiter’) set out on a 4-year journey on a 500 cc Triumph Tiger motorcycle that took him 78,000 miles through 45 countries. He narrates this experience in Jupiter’s Travels which went on to become the inspiration for the Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman motorcycle ride documentaries “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Down” (which, in turn, inspired me to begin riding a dual sport motorcycle, so Simon was an indirect source of inspiration for myself as well).

Though he was ar
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“In spite of wars and tourism and pictures by satellite, the world is just the same size it ever was. It is awesome to think how much of it I will never see. It is not a trick to go round these days, you can pay a lot of money and fly round it nonstop in less than forty-eight hours, but to know it, to smell it and feel it between your toes you have to crawl. There is no other way. Not flying, not floating. You have to stay on the ground and swallow the bugs as you go. Then the world is immense. The best you can do is to trace your long, infinitesimally thin line through the dust and extrapolate.” 3 likes
“Maybe you know how it is when you have decided to do something really enormous with your life, something that stretches your resources to the limit. You can get the feeling that you are engaged in a trial of strength with the universe.” 1 likes
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