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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rain and resentment vs. ego and compulsion
Storm
By Allen Noren
I am an avid motorcyclist, but I found this story very frustrating. It is not so much about motorcycling or traveling as it is about ego and obsession. The author is driven by his compulsion to complete The Trip, despite the horrendous, record-breaking stormy weather, over 6000 miles of northern European roadways. He presses on, focused...
Published on Oct. 17 2001 by H. A. Nunes

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars 33 Missing Pages
Highly detailed first person narratives and a good "thread" make this a promising book, although overdone with the similes. At times there are so many similes, one after the other, that they bring attention to themselves instead of the images intended by the author.
Most unfortunately, however, are the 33 pages missing in mid stream. From page 148,...
Published on Sept. 18 2000 by Dick Francis


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rain and resentment vs. ego and compulsion, Oct. 17 2001
By 
H. A. Nunes - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
Storm
By Allen Noren
I am an avid motorcyclist, but I found this story very frustrating. It is not so much about motorcycling or traveling as it is about ego and obsession. The author is driven by his compulsion to complete The Trip, despite the horrendous, record-breaking stormy weather, over 6000 miles of northern European roadways. He presses on, focused on all the details of the challenge of coping with a bike in the most extreme weather conditions. But his girlfriend, the pillion passenger, has nothing to do but suffer. She has nothing to occupy her mind but resentment. Cold, wet, allergy riddled, bored, pissed, frustrated... this is what we see of her. She exists on this trip, to hear Noren tell it, like another natural curiosity to be observed while traveling, like the lakes, seasides, forests and of course the storms.
This book breaks down at the same place that their relationship breaks down. He is a rider, she is a passenger. Never will the passions of the two be comparable. Noren never gets to this point, though. The entire story is told through his obsessive self-centered perspective. We barely get a glimpse of her thinking, and when we do, it is interpreted through Noren's crazed compulsion: she betrays him by losing her connection to The Trip. But he avoids the point that a pillion passenger is passive and detached from the essence of motorcycling, with no control, and a feeling of literal and figurative coat-tailing to the rider. It IS his trip, and she becomes ever more an afterthought to him, as her alienation metamorphoses into her own obsession to have the trip just be over.
It is inevitable that the reader grows ever more sympathetic to her plight, and ever more convinced that he is little more than a neurotic jerk.
All that said, the writing is quite good. The book reads quickly. The style is engaging and the observations are unique and interesting. Noren does an excellent job of detailing the inner workings of a motorcyclists' mindset.... As our loved ones will attest, we are all a little obsessive, a little insane.
The lessons for me: avoid taking my wife on very long trips as a passenger (something I already knew). Make your mate get her own bike, so she can see the trip through the same eyes that you do. Oh, and buy good rain gear and heated clothing, too!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fractions, July 9 2004
By 
Bette (East Coast USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
This book is 1/2 travel journal, 1/4 relationship journal and 1/4 motorcycle journal. Noren's longtime girlfriend requires comfort (physical and otherwise) along with maturity, and riding a motorcycle through whipping rains and wind on dangerous roads, cars passing you at warp speed, provides none. The journey is an eye opener for him and a confirmation of his girlfriend's adult life needs. The passages describing the colorful European characters are great fun to read, while the relationship passages are just the opposite, albeit transposed in a good way. The ending leaves a bit of a tease. Noren's writing voice draws in any gender reader; he's not a macho Hog-riding hardass, nor is he the other extreme, "the sensitive male." There is enough of the relationship aspect to satisfy female readers, and enough of the description surrounds riding the bike, satisfying to motorcycle enthusisasts. If you enjoy reading motorcycle journeys, this is a good one, with some added aspects that others miss, making it entirely unique.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love and Life in the crucible of the Baltic..., Feb. 28 2001
By 
Adrian C. Wright "Long Distance Rider" (Maryland, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
I received this book with great anticipation, and from the moment I started reading it I found it hard to stop. I limited myself to only 2 chapters at a time, I found that way I could savour the pain and the pleasure of their experiences... The book is a great tale of love and life, relationship and partnership, give and take... I could relate to so many of their experiences, the minor tragedies and unexpected turmoils that it felt like a microcosm of many things in my own life, and I think many other readers who have travelled will feel the same. There were parts of this book that made me want to shout at Allen about the stupidity of things said and done (like just go back and say "sorry", or "forget the trip, she's more important than the journey/the bike..."). And when I got to the end, I wanted to say, "No wait... there's got to be more...", it was like leaving a movie theater where you want things to keep going a little longer... Long enough to just find out, to really finish it off (rather like the end of "Castaway"). But that's life... And Love...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, Oct. 6 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
I read a ton of travel books, and this one grabbed me early on and never let me go -- I read it in three days, but it took me a week to get back to my own life. Noren is a writer of wide range, able to describe complicated interpersonal relationships, disparate emotions, the thrill of racing a motorcycle over 100 miles an hour, the drudgery of weeks of rain -- and so much more. I'm glad he's given me the Balkans -- and so clearly that I now no longer feel the NEED to see that part of the world. The things that happen to Noren and his darling companion, and the places they see are so vividly described that I now count this trip as one of my own. It is, however, a trip I'm pretty glad I had nothing to do with. I suppose that in every traveler's deck there is the "bad trip" card, and this one did not strike me as a great time. But lousy trips sometimes make for the best reading -- and this is one of those times. At least twenty times I had to stop, lower the book for a moment, catch my breath, and say, "Now how in the world did he come up with THAT incredible string of words?"
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5.0 out of 5 stars A passionate tale of love on a bumpy ride, July 24 2000
By 
Michael Shapiro (Sebastopol, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
When "Storm" arrived in the mail, I opened it to page one, intending to read the first few paragraphs. I didn't put it down until I'd read the first three chapters. From those first few sentences, Noren drew me into his story with vivid and harrowing descriptions of his motorcycle ride around the Baltic Sea. Even more compelling are his honest accounts of how the trip affected his relationship with his long-term partner Suzanne.
Noren's descriptions of the landscapes of Scandinavia and the Baltic states let me picture these places in my mind's eye, and his accounts of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia just after they broke free from the USSR are fascinating. Like most of the best travel writing, Noren understands that travel tales are ultimately about people, and the characters he introduces keep the narrative moving. While in the midst of "Storm" I looked forward to the next free moment when I could pick up the book and continue along with Allen and Suzanne, in eager anticipation of where their journey would take them next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Storm, May 26 2000
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
Not since Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Blue Highways has there been a book that so movingly captures the transformational effects of an "on the road" experience. Noren, a first-time author whose prose flows seamlessly, describes the dichotomy between the personal growth he's experiencing on this bike trip around the Baltic and the emotional distance it's creating with his long-time girlfriend. What I believed was going to be a travel narrative turned out to be a probing, self-revelatory, and sometimes disturbing examination of the nature of human relationships. What is remarkable about it is that he doesn't take sides. He peels open the relationship and explores it with great sensitivity and ultimately with great insight. I recommend it to you highly. It's a sleeper!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Storm, May 26 2000
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
Not since Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Blue Highways has there been a book that so movingly captures the transformational effects of an "on the road" experience. Noren, a first-time author whose prose flows seamlessly, describes the dichotomy between the personal growth he's experiencing on this bike trip around the Baltic and the emotional distance it's creating with his long-time girlfriend. What I believed was going to be a travel narrative turned out to be a probing, self-revelatory, and sometimes disturbing examination of the nature of human relationships. What is remarkable about it is that he doesn't take sides. He peels open the relationship and explores it with great sensitivity and ultimately with great insight. I recommend it to you highly. It's a sleeper!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Dec 11 2002
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This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
A friend gave me this book as a gift and it sat on my desk for several months. Admittedly I was put off by the motorcycling aspect, but I'm sad now that that stopped me from opening it sooner. Last Sunday night I was going to file the book in my bookshelf but decided to read the first page before I did so. Needless to say I couldn't put it down. It's a wonderful tale of adventure, a dream and its reality, love, and, yes, ego. The story transcends the motorcycle and in that way is much more than a biker book. The motorcycling aspects are excellent, however, because the author is not one of those leather clad oafs with a humongous midlife crisis on his back. Rather, the descriptions are beautifully written and invite the reader to feel what it was like too. Well done.
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2.0 out of 5 stars 33 Missing Pages, Sept. 18 2000
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
Highly detailed first person narratives and a good "thread" make this a promising book, although overdone with the similes. At times there are so many similes, one after the other, that they bring attention to themselves instead of the images intended by the author.
Most unfortunately, however, are the 33 pages missing in mid stream. From page 148, there are 16 pages numbered from 117 to 148, which I'd already read, then it jumps to page 181. At that point I quit.
But I'll look for Noren's next book. (Find another publisher)
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5.0 out of 5 stars I saved and savored this traveler's feast, May 3 2001
This review is from: Storm: A Motorcycle Journey of Love, Endurance, and Transformation (Hardcover)
I waited 4 months to start this book. The idea was to save it for a trip of my own and bring it with me on the road. I did. It was a bittersweet compliment to my travels and was so rich and wonderful that I almost forgot to soak in the landscape, folks, and energies of my CA to Seattle trek (granted, a small trip in comparison to Allen and Suzanne's Baltic Sea journey). Storm is one of those rare "pass-this-book-around" gems.
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