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Road Fever [Paperback]

Tim Cahill
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 3 1992 Vintage Departures
Tim Cahill reports on the road trip to end all road trips: a journey that took him from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in a record-breaking twenty three and a half days.

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

If you define "adventure travel" as anything that's more fun to read about than to live through, then Tim Cahill's Road Fever is the adventure of a lifetime. Along with professional long-distance driver Garry Sowerby, Cahill drove 15,000 miles from the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego to the northernmost terminus of the Dalton Highway in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, from one end of the world to another, in a record-breaking 23 1/2 days. Just like the authors' camper-shelled GMC Sierra truck, the narrative bounces along at a relentless pace. Along the way Cahill and Sowerby cope with mood swings, engine trouble, Andean cliffs, obstinate bureaucracies, slick highways, armed and uncomprehending soldiery (not to mention the challenges of securing O.P.M., or Other People's Money--the sine qua non of adventure, Cahill observes). Author of such off-the-wall travelogues as Pass the Butterworms and Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, Cahill is equipped with the correct amalgam of chutzpah and dementia to survive what can only be called "The Road Trip From Hell." Readers, however, will thoroughly enjoy themselves.

From Library Journal

This is a hip, rather self-indulgent, yet ultimately triumphant account of an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Re cords time for a road trip from the tip of South America to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Cahill and endurance driver Gary Sowerby spent 23 days piloting a truck while battling customs snafus, mechanical problems, bad roads, civil rebellions, terrorists, bandits, the vagaries of weather, their own anxieties and mood swings, and physical exhaustion, with grit and bluff, sporting lapel pins and consuming donated four-month shelf-life milkshake packages. For all the comic-opera aspects of the text, Cahill is an informed, serious commentator on the history and prospects of the countries through which they pass. Readers familiar with Cahill's alternate lifestyle point of view will know what they are getting into. Fans of his contributions to Outside and Rolling Stone , and of Jaguars Ripped My Flesh ( LJ 10/1/87) and A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg ( LJ 2/15/89) will grab his newest work. For others, expect a treat.
- Libby K. White, Sche nectady Cty. P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Other Cahill books have been more engaging, I have read them all. Still a good read, but more journal or log than the typically adventurous romps Tim will take you on.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Half Road Trip Half Boredom June 4 2004
By A Customer
Half of this book details the planning process of the road trip which is far from a rip roaring laugh out loud time. The road trip part of the book is somewhat interesting and there are a few good laugh out loud parts. It appears that Cahill was contracted to write a book and found out that he didn't have enough material from the road trip so he had to fill it with the thrilling money raising and visa application process. The ending is the classic "need to get this finished before deadline" and the last 3000? miles are glossed over in five pages. I like Cahill's writing style but this book is definitely lacking interesting material for him to use.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Has its moments Aug. 2 2003
By Erkle
A generally enjoyable quick read book that has some laugh out loud moments. Cahill tells a fun story about his trip up two continents and gives some insights into the worlds of adventure driving and travel writing. Nevertheless, at times the story drags and gets a little redundant. I would have given it 3 1/12 stars if Amazon let me do it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Read It Fast July 23 2003
You probably can't race through it in 23 1/2 minutes, a minute for each day of Cahill and partner Gary Sowerby's Guinness World Record trip from south of Ushuaia, Argentina, (a lovely little city, by personal and Road Fever testimony) to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, but you should speed through the pages as they sped along the roads. The trip was in 1987 and would be impossible today because some of the route through Colombia is under violent guerrilla control. I would have liked much more of the trip and much less of the preparations. The logistics of preparing for long-distance race driving are staggering, but -- alas -- they are also not very interesting and well over a third of the less than 300 pages cover the getting ready. Once on the road some of Cahill's descriptions of the people and terrains through which they drive are terrific, especially the accounts of the Atacama desert in northern Chile and especially scary driving through Central America. I'd have liked more of that, but too much of the writing is of the "by five o'clock we reached x where we stopped for gas and got directions out of town" variety. Kind of like reading your MapQuest driving directions; they fill space, (usually) get you there, but are more functional than interesting. In the end, while I enjoyed Road Fever I thought it would be more fun than it was. Final note: absence of a map or maps is inexplicable.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Expect Too Much Nov. 22 2002
I am a big fan of non-fiction adventure stories, and bought this book based on the advice from this board. The book is basically a yawner. SPOILER COMING: Nothing happens. I kept waiting for either the adventure or the humor. Needless to say, I played the part of the jilted reader. If you read this book, your response will be: "what's the big deal, I could have done that." I think Tim's motivation for this book was solely cash (nothing wrong with that - just warn me first). It was clearly written out of contractual obligation and not because he truly had something to say.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A different reason for loving Road Fever July 4 2002
I gotta tell you that I didn't find the book as laugh-out-loud funny as many of the people here did. But that fact didn't cause me to love "Road Fever" any less then they did. What I loved about it is the care Tim Cahill spent in recounting in great detail the amount of preparation - especially in the area of paperwork - required to make a journey from Tierra del Fuego to the northern tip of Alaska in record time.
Because, frankly, it's not a question of how fast you can drive; rather, the BIG ISSUE is how much time it takes you to cross the border from Country X to Country Y. And then again from Country Y to Country Z. This ain't the European Community where you can whiz past the Germany - Netherlands border without realizing it. These are real border crossings - guards, official stamps, commissars, corruption, danger, you name it.
Garry Sowerby and Tim Cahill spent up to a year preparing for that aspect of the trip. Yes, GM sponsorship helped in places. Yes, the Canadian government helped in places. But what carries them through at the end of the day is the intense focus and planning these two guys put into the journey before the trip even gets started.
There's a lesson in there for everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great road book Jan. 19 2002
If you're looking for something to while away the hours on a road trip, this fits that niche to a T. Cahill's account of a world record-setting drive from Argentina to Alaska is laugh out loud funny. All his stuff is generally excellent, this one in particular is filled with compassion, insight, and an eye for travel detail like nobody's business. All written with a self-deprecating humour that's refreshing compared to a lot of self-serious travel authours. Perfect read for anyone, but travellers will particularly enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Am Roto Also! Dec 11 2001
I also have an addiction to travelling off the beaten path locations where it's usually much cheaper than a typical tourist
destination. Having travelled through much of Mexico as well as
a good stretch of Pan-American with my friend in Peru, I can really identify w/Mr. Cahill. These are the tales of misadventures not so different from many of my own. It's not that difficult to get stopped a dozen times by Mexican police in a beat up old El Camino, two-tone w/ primer spots here and there
and mag wheels, and pay a bribe only once. Licensia?, oh, he means license; Si,Si, it's on the bumper Senor, as they walk off in frustration.
In Peru, a policia may ask for a lightbulb for the station as a bribe. When queried as to where one might find a light bulb, they say that the equivilent cost in Soles(Peruvian$) will do instead.
Never really enjoying the luxuries of tourist resorts, the journey, is always more interesting!
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