Review published on June 29, 2017.
I first came across Charley Boorman when he appeared on our screens with Euan MacGregor in their epic travel adventure Long Way Round, where they rode motorbikes from London to New York via Russia. Since then I have watched and read about all his travels and adventures all around the planet all through Africa and racing from Paris to Dakar. All of these have involved motorbikes to a greater or lesser degree. He was employed by Triumph to be an ambassador for them and involved in promoting their bikes. He was whisked off to Portugal to ride and be involved in the launch of the new Tiger Explorer when he was involved in an accident between a Mercedes and a wall. The impact broke his right ankle and smashed his fibia and tibia in his left leg. The damage was so severe that no one knew if he would lose his leg, let alone know if he would be able to walk or ride his beloved motorbikes once again.
From this dramatic and frankly traumatic start, Charley tells us the story of his long road to recovery. He does not hold much back telling you about his injuries, the number of operations and dealing with all the medical professionals for each of his injuries. He uses his time while recovering to look back on his childhood memories; his earliest moments spent on two wheels, to those significant moments that his father arranged which helped kickstart his career on the screen. After the accident, he had to cancel numerous events and he relives the time he has spent on motorbikes heading around the world on various escapades with the wonder if will ever be able to do it again.
I have been a fan of Boorman for a number of years now, he comes across as a genuinely good guy with as much as a sense of adventure as fun. He writes in a chatty style and is always honest about how he is feeling from the lowest moments and fears to the high points. He is eager to get better, and even while in a cast manages to get himself into scrapes still. Definitely a book for his fans, but there is enough in here to keep most people interested. There was a tantalising hint of a new adventure too; I hope that they do it.
Paul Cheney 4/3
Long Way Back by Charley Boorman
AA Publishing 9780749578503 hbk May 2017
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