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Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle [Paperback]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring and beautiful Oct. 13 2002
Format:Hardcover
It was by accident I discovered this book, but how fortunate it was! Murphy did not just ride a bicycle from Ireland to India, impressive in itself, but she lived and laughed and played with the Prince's and Peasants she met through out her journey. Her descriptions of the people she meets and the ancient lands she cross are simple and magical.
Some of her experiences seem to belong to fairy tales, other's remind's one of Arabian Nights, and at other times, it seemed Murphy was whisked into Tolkien's land of Middle Earth with fierce and gallant warriors on horseback.
I will quote a couple of passages which highlight her sense of humor and observation.
"...But it was worth it all to rise gradually from that fertile, warm valley to the still, cold splendour of the snow-line, where the highest peaks of the Hindu Kush crowd the horizon in every direction and one begins to understand why some people believe that gods live on mountain tops."
"...when suddenly I came on the most unexpected sight-a playing field complete with twenty-two youths and a soccer ball. I know very little about soccer, but enough to know this is how it is not played. No one ever moved about trotting speed, no one ever tried to tackle anyone else, the referee never used his whistle, the ball was never headed and the two goalies sat crosslegged between the posts most of the time, looking abstracted. The real excitement from a spectator's point of view was caused by the fact that one side of the field had a sheer drop of 200 feet, so that the main object of all the players was to keep the ball from going into the ravine rather than to kick it between the posts."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't Dervla Murphy better known? Sept. 3 2001
Format:Paperback
What a find! I'm amazed Dervla Murphy is not much better known. She has such an appealing vigor and zeal for adventure, combined with an acute eye for cultural observation and a rich capacity for description. Dervla takes one of the most audacious trips I've ever heard of, and undergoes some of the most harrowing and arduous of trials with non-showoff-y courage, such as when three heavy objects that turn out to be wolves fling themselves at her on a dark deserted road in the Balkans, or she is awakened in the middle of the night to find a "scantily dressed Kurd" standing over her bed. (In both instances her pocket pistol dispatched the dilemma without further ado.) Not only are these accounts riproaring, but she so warmly and affectionately describes the so-called "undeveloped" cultures she grows to know as she passes through remote stretches of Afganistan and Pakistan, that she quite awakens a First World reader to the narrowness of our outlook.
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Format:Paperback
For anyone who read and enjoyed Into Thin Air, this book will definitely hold your interest. I challenge anyone to read three pages anywhere in the book and then put it down. Half awe-inspiring adventure, half Margaret Mead among the third world, it adds up to a whole that is both fascinating and, to this reader at least, utterly compelling. Inspiring for all women, I'd call this book a Must Read and highly recommend it to all my friends and children, both men and women.
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