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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
on October 6, 2000
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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on July 24, 2000
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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on May 26, 2000
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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on May 26, 2000
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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on December 11, 2002
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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on May 3, 2001
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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on June 6, 2000
This is simply a GREAT book. This is how motorbike journeys (and relationships) can all too easily become. None of the "romantic bike journey's" here. Simply a true trip, describing the baltics. Defenitly a book for people who love traveling and know the up's and down of a trip on two wheels.
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