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India: The Shimmering Dream: The First Overland Journey to India by Motorcycle in 1933 [Paperback]

Max Reisch , Alison Falls
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 16 2010
This is a truly great travel adventure through Iraq, Iran and Baluchistan to India in 1933. But what really sets this book apart are the wonderful descriptions of the people and cultures, now nearly forgotten, but still hugely relevant in today's age: all brought evocatively to life by the wonderful photos from 1933. At that time, the idea of traveling to India on a motorbike through the deserts was considered impossible; there were no roads and they were attempting to cross the burning deserts in the middle of August, on a tiny two-stroke motorcycle with barely enough power for the bike and rider, let alone a pillion passenger! Gripping stuff, yet perceptive and full of drama - definitely a must for all travel and motorcycle enthusiasts.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Suprising July 26 2012
By jimo368
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I enjoy adventure travel, esp on a motorcycle. When I seen it was written by a German shortly before the second world war I was expecting a dry account of travelling among the "lesser' natives. I was happily suprised and refreshed to see an excellent account by two young men that were very liberal minded exploring the eastern world. It is always great to see things in the context that only such young and adventurous minds can deliver. The world has changed so much since this journey was taken (1933) and yet in many ways nothing has changed. It could have easily been written in the last ten years. I really felt like I was travelling along with them and it made me very sad that all this happened so long ago and everyone is long past. I had a hard time putting this book down. I will reccomend this easily.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Long Way Round on Steroids March 12 2011
If you've read or watched the Ewen McGregor "Long Way Round" or "Long Way Down" series - you will love this book. And you'll greatly enjoy it even if you are not familiar with those series. This trip took place in 1933 without GPS, without any real roads for very large distances, in a time when motorbikes were not a common sight in many parts of the world with 2 guys riding on 1 bike! The trip took place in 1933 and the book was published in 1949. The authors really bring pre-world war II people and places to life. Very enjoyable read for anyone who has anything to do with motorcycles and also for those that don't. Makes Ewen and Charlie look like wussies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, for fans of period travel Jan. 12 2012
By Scarlet Lady - Published on
This is an excellent account of a unique journey. I read it slowly, savoring each passage and episode. The writing style is light and lively, with effective use of foreshadowing of future events, and interesting digressions. The photographs are not reproduced to a high standard (in my soft cover edition, at least), but are a perfect complement to the text.

My wife and I traveled overland to India on a motorcycle in 1974. Some of the challenges overcome by Max and Herbert were not so severe - health issues, mainly - but it was remarkable how often I found myself exclaiming "Yes, just so!". Therefore, I recommend this book as a valid, useful comparison of experiences for anyone who loves to travel, to compare the circumstances today to those of the 1930s, and to compare experiences in other countries to those covered in the journey recounted in this book.

Naturally, there are some dated ideas and behaviors described, but not so many as one might think and certainly not so much as to spoil the read or the admiration for these travelers.
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