‘Long Way Round’ by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman

LongWayRound

Non-fiction – hardcover; Time Warner Books; 320 pages; 2004.

I’m often not very quick off the mark at the best of times, but when it came to discovering the wonder that is the 20,000 mile road trip from London to New York (the long way round) undertaken by actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman I am positively turtle-like.

This book, published in late 2004, accompanies the 10-part television documentary of the motorbiking adventure, now available here in the UK on DVD. I recently watched the DVD and fell immediately in love with it, so much so I promptly tracked down a secondhand copy of the book to immerse myself in.

The book, narrated in turn by McGregor and Boorman, is delightful. Easy to read. Funny. Sad. Full of adventure. It fills in a lot of the gaps not evident when watching the TV series — you get a more rounded view of what makes these men tick and how their relationship was tried and tested during the journey. You also get a good insight into the tensions between the two riders and their support crew, who generally followed a few days behind and got into their own difficulties along the way.

As a stand alone read, I’m not sure whether Long Way Round would have been as enjoyable. For instance, there are constant gripes, moans and whinges scattered on every page that might be off-putting if you have not experienced the joy of the documentary.

Still, it’s a great read about a courageous adventure and if you’ve ever wondered what it must be like to pursue a dream and then turn it into reality, then you’ll enjoy this book. And you don’t even have to love motorbikes to appreciate it!

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22 thoughts on “‘Long Way Round’ by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman

  1. while Charlie and Ewan where in Australia preparing for Long Way Round they had a couple of Yamaha 660’s I was wondering what model the bikes where I wouldn’t mind getting one

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  2. That yamaha model has stopped production, but if you would like to get in contact with Ewan and Charley to ask them about those bikes then I recommend doing it through the cameraman on the trip at claudio AT vonplanta DOT net

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  3. Hey ive watched both the long way round and race to dakar and i was wondeing if there was going to be an more. Maybe a baja one. If you dont know do you know of anywayi can get in touch with charlie or the director or anyone?

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  4. Dear guys,
    I was wondering how i could contact Charley Boorman at all? I was after any information about how he went about competing in the Dakar rally like sponsorship ect..
    I am an 18 year old Australian boy who has dreamed of competing in the Dakar rally and i thought that Charley could be a good source of information for me.
    Thanks a bunch
    Regards
    Ryan Roberts
    theblackshadow1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  5. You guys don`t know your bikes very well. In the dvd Long Way Round (special edition) they went to Australia and did some light training and camping on Yamaha 660 Teneres. Those are some sweet bikes. They weren`t sold in the states, at least the latest versions weren`t.

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  6. Great review Kim, cheers. I might add that to my wish list for the next lot of books we get sent out. btw I thought Claudio’s work in the dv was just superb…

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  7. I bumped into Charley Boorman and Claudio in Zambia on my own solo Africa expedition on a KTM 990 Adventure. Ewan + his Mrs didnt stop, but Charley and Claudio were a good laugh and we talked bikes. Also bumped into Sean Howman who had ridden across world solo on a 25 year old R65 – now that’s sometime.
    I am preparing to enter Dakar. Anything is possible.

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  8. I bumped into Charley Boorman and Claudio in Zambia on my own solo Africa expedition on a KTM 990 Adventure. Ewan + his Mrs didnt stop, but Charley and Claudio were a good laugh and we talked bikes. Also bumped into Sean Howman who had ridden across world solo on a 25 year old R65 – now that’s sometime.
    I am preparing to enter Dakar. Anything is possible.

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  9. what contact details are there for the long way round crew i would like to talk to them about the gear they took with them on their trip.

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  10. Does anyone know how to contact Ewan and/or Charley by email? My father and I are planning enduro trip in Scotland and need advice. If not them, anyone know good place to inquire?

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  11. I’m feeling very cheapened by ewan’s fragrance ad’s ! almost feel violated….i was really going off the guy after long way down….as he wasn’t hiding his prima madonna behaviour as much….poor charley? he still seems normal ‘ish…does anyone know where i can send my long way down book back to them…..as its unreadable….its like they just watched the tape back and wrote down what they remembered….if you’ve read any Ted Simon (the guy who already did the world on a bike) you will really see the difference between a travel book and two biking fairies whingeing all the time….and oh my god please spare us from the eve and ewan tour on bikes show aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh! coming soon…..poor charley…

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  12. i read both books and i’ve got both dvds, and i honestly loved both of them. to the guy who said “you will really see the difference between a travel book and two biking fairies whingeing all the time” ? mate, you didn’t have to read the book did you? i’d love to see you ride around the world and write a book about it. i’d also love it if someone had a contact address for ewan & charley, and if they did another bike tour! sexxyyyyyyy

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  13. I was the Fixer for the Long way Down Crew in Uganda and men, It was a great experience. I was excited to meet Ewan cause I play star wars on X-box and I had finaly met the Guy live and also meeting Boorman a bike lover who played with the bike as if it had no waight. All in all it was a exciting and fun filled experience.
    If any one is interested in our(Uganda fixers) fixing services please e-mail me on qriss@mail.com

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  14. Hi there
    can someone help me and tell me how I can get hold of Charlie Boorman. I need to ask quite a few question on a project that I have in mind with motorbikes and don’t seem to be getting anywhere via the website. i would be really grateful if someone could help me out
    Thanks

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