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Long Way Down

Now in paperback, this second remarkable travel book from famed actor Ewan McGregor and his good friend Charley Boorman chronicles their epic adventure ride on motorbikes from Scotland to South Africa.After their fantastic trip around the world in 2004, recounted to acclaim in Long Way Round, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn't shake the travel bug. Inspired by their UNICEF visits to Africa, they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth. In Long Way Down, they share their 15,000-mile journey, from the northernmost tip of Scotland to the southernmost tip of South Africa, to ride some of the toughest terrain in the world. Along the way, from the pyramids in Egypt to Luke Skywalker's house in Tunisia, they meet people who have triumphed over terrifying experiences--former child soldiers in Uganda and children living amidst the minefields of Ethiopia. They have a close encounter with a family of gorillas in Rwanda and are nearly trampled by a herd of elephants in Botswana. Riding through spectacular scenery, often in extreme temperatures, they face their hardest challenges yet. With their trademark humor and honesty, they tell their story--the drama, the dangers, and the sheer exhilaration of riding together again through a continent filled with magic and wonder.
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About the Author

Ewan McGregor is one of the most acclaimed and successful actors of his generation. The star of Star Wars and Moulin Rouge, he lives in London, England. Charley Boorman, son of famed director John Boorman, is an actor living in London.


Verdict: The endless references to chafing, bad road conditions, and bike repairs result in a book more about the riding experience than Africa. The DVD documentary is a better option. Recommended for public libraries where demand warrants. Background: McGregor and Boorman, two London-based actors with a passion for motorcycling, completed a 20,000-mile London to New York motorcycle trip in 2004, which was the basis for a book and documentary both titled Long Way Round. Next, the biking itch inspired this trip, from John O'Groats, Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa, by way of such countries such as Tunisia, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, then across to Namibia. By motorcycling, the two were able to see the African landscape, homes, villages, people, and animals up close, all of which should yield a narrative brimming with excitement and description. However, the passages here, which alternate between McGregor and Boorman, sound more like transcripts of filming of their trip, which is also available as a BBC series on DVD.The authors tell us many times how amazed they are to be riding through the continent, but the reader might wish for more colorful renditions of what the authors experienced. Both men did, however, help support and raise awareness for African causes, including funding to prevent AIDS and landmines, and to support community health via projects sponsored by Riders for Health and UNICEF.Melissa Stearns, Franklin Pierce Univ., NH Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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