On October 6, 1973, Ted Simon knew there was no going back. He loaded up his 500cc Triumph Tiger in the pouring rain and said good-bye to London.
Over four years he rode 64,000 miles round the world. Breakdowns, revolutions, war, a spell in prison, and a Californian commune were all part of his experience, which was colored variously by utter despair and unimaginable joy. He was treated as a spy, a god, a welcome stranger, and a curiosity. The extraordinary trip became a journey into his own soul, and for many others - including the bikers Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor - it is a pure inspiration. Rupert Degas, "the most versatile of narrators" (The Times), captures all the thrills and spills of Simon's experience and the timeless charm.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©1979 Ted Simon (P)2015 Naxos AudioBooks
"[Narrator Rupert] Degas's accents for the various people Simon encounters add an extra dimension to the work, creating a vivid listening experience." (AudioFile)
"Eloquently Written ~ Exquisitely Told"
"In spite of wars and tourism and pictures by satellite, the world is just the same size it ever was. It is awesome to think how much of it I will never see. It is no trick to go round the world these days; you can pay a lot of money and fly round it nonstop in less than forty eight hours, but to know it, to smell it and feel it between your toes you have to crawl. There is no other way. Not flying, not floating. You have to stay on the ground and swallow the bugs as you go."
YES!!! If you've ever taken a road trip on a motorcycle, or have ever dreamt of doing so, you will absolutely love this book. Ted Simon has provided a written account in prose, using eloquent yet playful vocabulary. Rupert Degas does a wonderful job narrating Ted's work.
Ted's journey is so descriptive that a detailed picture forms in the mind, providing a transcendent experience.
I loved this book, and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in exotic journeys.
"Intriguing and yet......"
Yes but..... Doing other things at the same time lessens the intermittent discomfort.
WHEN... he describes the riding and the bike and the roads... NOT when he goes on and on and on and on and on.....
Wasn't one in particular
Yes definitely. It should be and why hasn't it been already. Either Ewen McGreggor or Charlie Boorman.
I can appreciate a man who really gets into his work. I can also appreciate a man who doesn't apply that passion with such arrogance that he feels the needs to push it in your face every chance they get. Ted Simons was a journalist, a writer and one who has a great appreciation for the written word. While I appreciate that and admire that. Mr. Simon got a tad wordy and at times drafted a rather boorish story. At times it seemed as though he forgot what he was writing about, which was... riding a motorcycle around the world. Instead at times, the author treated it like "I traveled around the world, met people, ate weird food, fell in love, lived in filth, among filth and oh yes... there was a motorcycle." The best part of the book was the last chapter as he neared his destination. There he remembered he was on a motorcycle and that was the key part of the journey. The motorcycle. That is what I wanted to hear about. The roads, the ride, the bike. That's what the last chapter gave me, just what I wanted.
I admit I felt a bit melancholy as the book ended, but it was the last chapter that gave that to me. Don't get me wrong, it is a great true story, one that could have been told a bit differently, but a good story.
"It's a lot more than a story, a lot more!"
I have read many travel books, but Ted Simon is the best. I simply loved it. I was in a state of shock and awe just listening to the best English writing I have ever come across. Ted you are fantastic!!
"When it was actually cool."
I first ran across this book in 2001, when I work at a bookstore that catered to Travelers.
This edition had Ted on his battered Triumph.
"Four Years Around the World on a Triumph"
I never picked it up to read but I often found myself staring at the cover wishing it was me. I knew at some point in my life I would read this book with the hopes of relating it to my own adventures...more importantly my own life.
15 years later, in the form of an MP3, that time came. Mr. Simon is a master of vivid and heartfelt description. His monumental journey has finally become a part of my imagination.
Thank you Jupiter.
"A timeless and unexpected treasure."
Having recently acquired a Triumph 800XCC, I've been seeking a book that would give me an introduction to what a potential journey-big or small might look like.
I must admit, I purposely avoided this book initially as I felt that surely, it would be dated. Without question, it is not. This book will stoke the inner fire of adventure for any motorcyclist.
It reenforces the dying concept of human interaction and the willingness to help and give to others without seeking anything in return.
I would highly recommend the audio version as the English accent of the narrator only adds validity to the story and it is quite easy and appealing to imagine it is the voice of Ted Simon.
"Marvelous writing and narration"
The engaging and descriptive writing is matched by a captivating journey and narration that pulls you into the adventure.
Two quotes from the book that I loved, "Was it an escape I was trying to turn into legend?" and, "Stifled by the boredom of it but with nothing useful to say to anyone."
There were times during this book that I was lost in the sensationalism and the colorful writing style. Traveling around the world alone for 4 years is an interesting topic and this book is worth a listen. I will admit it felt put on at times, not like a journal of the journey but like a novel but that did not detract from my enjoyment.
"The least adventurous adventure book"
I typically love adventure travel books, but this one disappointed me. There were many times were the book grew dull and difficult to get through. Ted Simon spends more time writing about his deep thoughts than he does describing the journey and the places he visits. I loved long way down and long way round, which were inspired by Jupiters travels, because they were descriptive and made you feel like you were along for the ride. Ted Simon spends too much time with his own self contemplation and often comes off as whiny and wastes time describing things I don't care about. By the twentieth time he described a women's breasts, I started really losing interest. The performance though is spot on and very well done. I recommend Sam Mannicom's "Into Africa" as a better, more captivating alternative to this book.
"An absolute must."
If you are into adventure riding this book will get you beyond excited about heading out on your next trip. A beautifully written account of one mans experience before the world changed into what we know today when exploring on two wheels.
"Surprise this book is so popular "
Honestly I found it boring, may be because of the narrative. The narrator was awesome. But the book itself had less storyline, didn't make it interesting. The ending was excellent though and gripping.
I'm a biker. With dreams of riding around the world (it'll probably never happen!) but I live to hear about others adventures. This is not a story of a motorbike journey around the world. It is about a mans journey around the world, He just happens to have chosen a motorbike as his form of transport.
Very well written, and very well read.
I'll be listening to it again I'm sure.
Found it an interesting recollection of the journey trip was made in the 70s which made it an even more remarkable achievement with todays gps and communication advances it would not have many of the interesting situations faced
"One of the best"
For me this is the best all round audio book I have heard in this genre and certainly one of the best of any genre
Ted brilliantly portrays the many varied characters he encounters
Rupert Degas is a superlative narrator. This one really shows what an audio book can add
Richly atmospheric, varied and entertaining throughout. This is a great armchair travel experience.
"Inspiring, but over too soon"
It is a superb documentary of his travels and is only let down by the giant gaps is the narrative: whole countries are passed by without mention.
Writen with a wonderful bouncey voice, it is just a disappointment we didn't get more.
"loved every minute of it..."
brilliant and interesting journey that ive enjoyed listening to over and over again. cannot recommended enough
"Fantastic personal journey and adventure"
The inner search as well as the meeting all races and religions
The world is a small place
Fantastic book and wonderful adventure . A real eye opener
I bought this in the late 70's and at 18/19 didn't understand the magnitude of this journey.
Now it's re kindled my dream to try and copy his journey.....
"great traveller book"
grt book.i would recommend to my friends without hesitation.iam listening it once again.thanks very much
"Overwritten but wonderfully poetic"
I bought this to listen to on my commute. The story is quite entertaining and the performance is good. However, the language and prose made me continually drift off into a day dream. It's very beautifully written; so much so that I wished I'd bought the paper version so I could give it the attention it deserves.
Oddly disappointing as an audio book but one day I'll buy the paperback and really dream of my own round the world trip.
An extremely enjoyable adventure. Inspirational.
I found the narration overly dramatic at times but it was otherwise exceptional.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.