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.