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Ewan McGregor first came to notice in Shallow Grave. Since then he has appeared in more than thirty films including Star Wars Episodes I and II and Trainspotting. Charley Boorman has appeared in films such as Excalibur, The Emerald Forest and, more recently, The Bunker.
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.
For LONG WAY DOWN: 'A great book' BELLA Praise for LONG WAY ROUND: 'Both McGregor and Boorman prove themselves to be engaging, articulate and entertaining narrators ... a highly readable and spiritually uplifting book about a dream come true' WANDERLUST 'Touching and memorable... one for armchair travellers and bike freaks' DAILY MAIL