Read Race to Dakar by Charley Boorman Ewan McGregor Online


In January 2006, 230 people raced in trucks, cars, and motorbikes from Lisbon to Dakar in the 28th annual Dakar rally—the most challenging race in existence. Taking part was a team of three bikers—Matt Hall, Simon Pavey, and actor and bike nut Charley Boorman. After his celebrated trip round the world with Ewan McGregor, documented in Long Way Round, Charley was keen for aIn January 2006, 230 people raced in trucks, cars, and motorbikes from Lisbon to Dakar in the 28th annual Dakar rally—the most challenging race in existence. Taking part was a team of three bikers—Matt Hall, Simon Pavey, and actor and bike nut Charley Boorman. After his celebrated trip round the world with Ewan McGregor, documented in Long Way Round, Charley was keen for another challenge. Racing in the Dakar had always been a dream of his, and so it was the obvious choice for a new adventure. Supported by Australian champion biker Simon Pavey and experienced British biker Matt Hall, Charley attempted to do what many professional bikers have failed to do—to successfully compete in the Dakar rally. His book details his extraordinary adventures and those of his fellow bikers, and also explores the history of this most dramatic and romantic of races. From Portugal through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, and Senegal, it also provides a unique look at the countries hosting the rally. It is an exhilarating and fitting sequel to Long Way Round....

Title : Race to Dakar
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316731928
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Race to Dakar Reviews

  • Brad
    2019-03-24 11:39

    Race to Dakar exemplifies what I love, and what ultimately attracts me, to the best travel literature -- the stories of people awakening and changing from their contact with other cultures.Charley Boorman -- son of the famous director of Deliverance, best friend of Obi Wan Kenobi, and motorbike aficionado -- was in the midst of a stuttering, mid-life acting career when Ewan McGregor talked him into taking a trip around the world on their motorbikes. It didn't take much convincing for Boorman to join McGregor and the Long Way Round was born. The trip took them from London, through Europe, into Kazahkstan, Mongolia, Siberia, then onto Canada and the US. And that's where Boorman's change began. Though he's never officially announced his retirement from acting, Boorman realized he could ride bikes for a living, a very good living, and he began to consider new trips and adventures. But something else equally important happened. Charley Boorman met children in the Ukraine living under the specter of Chernobyl, met children in Ulan Bataar living under the streets of their home, and traversed the Road of Bones to Magadan. The seeds of a life change were planted with what he saw, and he wanted to help change the lives of the people he'd met in any small way he could. And then, after Long Way Round came to an end in New York, he opened his big mouth and joked that he was going to do the Dakar Rally -- the world's toughest, most dangerous, most exhilarating Enduro race. The holy grail of riding for anyone who takes their biking seriously. Well...someone took him seriously, and it suddenly became part of the marketing for Long Way Round, forcing Boorman's hand and breathing life into a second adventure before Boorman had a chance to rest from his first.He took it on. It has always been a dream of his, and Boorman suddenly thought his dream could be a reality. He had survived the off-roading madness of Kazakhstan, and the broken and battered Road of Bones, so surely Dakar was within reach. He talked to Russ Malkin, the producer of Long Way Round, and in no time at all the pair were on the Road to Dakar.Boorman went through a year of real training, breaking bones, crushing vertebrae, covering his body in scars and building up his mental strength to leave his inner dilettante behind and become a true Enduro racer. He assembled a team of three racers, including himself, his off-road instructor, a fellow Enduro racer, and a whole supporting cast of cameramen, mechanics, and filmmakers, and he was off. Five days into the Road to Dakar, Boorman got into what should have been a nothing accident, the sort of fall that happens constantly in the Dakar. But this one was unlucky, and he broke both his hands in multiple places. His dream ended quickly, but the race was still on for his team, and Boorman held strong for them, shifting roles from rider to "mother hen."In that role, Boorman wasn't just riding through impoverished African nation after impoverished African nation, he was living on the verge of their squalor. He was forced to stop children from slipping into their bivouac to steal precious equipment needed for the race, struggling constantly with the fact that the children were stealing out of necessity not avarice. He faced the ethical dilemma of Europeans riding a race that was as dangerous to the African bystanders (two young boys were killed by cars during the race) as it was to the racers. He watched the super rich bivouac pick up and move from nation to nation, full of food and water and technology, leaving behind only garbage and filth that the locals would dig through for anything of worth or sustenance. He witnessed a riot where police beat demonstrators mercilessly for their opposition to the race itself. And the seeds that were sown in Asia on the Long Way Round took deep root in the deserts and mountains of North Western Africa.How much have his riding experiences changed Charley Boorman? His career as a travel writer and documentarian will undoubtedly give us a full chronicle of that change and his honesty will make it clear how deeply that change goes, but I suspect the greatest change for Boorman is and will remain the way he sees the world. No longer will he pass along the roads he rides without a care for those living along the side. His mind is open to the harshness of the world, and to his privileged place as a rich European with time and leisure enough to live a dream that few others can attain.Charley's change is a lesson that Albert Schweitzer wanted the world to learn all those years ago, and a lesson that most of us never truly learn.Charley Boorman has learned that lesson, and he is doing his best to pass that lesson on in the books he writes about his adventures. I can't wait to engage with the greater world outside my borders. It can't come soon enough, but for now I will read the stories of Boorman and Paul Theroux and other great travel writers and continue to long for my own full awakening.

  • David Barnes
    2019-03-23 14:51

    Charley Boorman, son of director John Boorman was not a household name until he joined with bike riding mate and actor Ewan McGregor for a ride around the world called Long Way Round. A documentary turned book as well, which is also on my Goodreads shelf. After the success of LWR Charley Boorman was in the spotlight and had a chance to take on a childhood dream of riding in the Paris/Dakar rally. With a team including Dakar experienced rider and off-road trainer Simon Pavey, and cameraman/rider Matt Hall Boorman with film crew, mechanics and BBC in tow takes on the north African desert on BMW motorbikes as 'privateers'. This book is based on that documentary, written by a ghost writer but using transcripts, recordings and daily diaries of the team members to peice together the whole experience. The video series accompaniment to the book is expremely watchable, as is this book is readable. I like Charley and his tentative approach to the race known to kill the most hardened and experienced riders gives the story an 'every-man' feel. The skills needed to accomplish the race are daunting and even Pavey has his moments of fear and doubt. It is Matt's story that grabbed me the most as his was all about an unseen side of the famous rally now held in Argentina and Chile due to assumed terrorist threats in Africa.Charley Boorman is someone I would like to have a pint with, and maybe invite him out for a paddle in my kayaks. A genuine adventure hound is he.

  • Writerlibrarian
    2019-04-13 13:48

    A very solid 4 stars. You get into this mad race, this madness of men right from the beginning. Charley Boorman is a compelling narrator and a really, really good character to identify with for this ride of a lifetime. Literally.It could be boring race, motorbike slang and the ego of the star/actor could have ruined the story. Not the case. You hop of the bike along with Charley and when his ride gets interrupted abruptly, you would think the book would lose its appeal. Not so. By then you've gotten to know his crew and got addicted to this insane, deadly rally race in the African Desert. Boorman goes from racer to team nanny (with two broken arms no less) and sees the Dakar to the end. For the readers and fans of Long Way Around, some of the usual suspects from that are there. Russ Malkin (producer and driver of the support 4x4) is as much an adrenaline junkie as the rest of them. Unlike the ghost writer (I assume a ghost writer here) for Long Way Down who didn't get Charley's personality, voice and energy, this one did. It's a great 15 days ride across Western Africa, on race bikes, against all odds.

  • Joolz
    2019-04-19 15:56

    Having watched the (little) Dakar coverage on TV for many years, this was a real eye opener for me. To see how little help the riders and drivers get is amazing, and to read about Charleys rescue (and at times lack of) and about his injuries which caused him to pull out was just shocking tbh. Well written and when I think Charley must haven written notes about his trek at the same time as doing it, is just astounding! A real story of endurance and I admire Charley even more so now.

  • Greg
    2019-03-30 13:01

    Subsequent to his trip around the world with Ewan McGregor ("Long Way Round"), Charley Boorman undertook to compete in one of the toughest motorcycle races in the world, the Dakar Rally. Though he didn't finish, this is an honest and entertaining inside look at what the competitors experience in this physically and mentally challenging race.

  • Virginia
    2019-03-21 09:45

    Amazing how honest Boorman comes across, even puts in the stupid stuff he said and did. I love the way he talks about his fellow adventurers and his wife. He really comes off as a very warmhearted individual. I will never ride the dakar, or even a motorcycle for that matter but as an armchair travellor this is one of my favorites, you really feel the book. Gotta order the DVD.

  • Brandon
    2019-03-22 15:56

    The weakest of the three motorcycle adventure books that he has written or co-written. It focused too much Charley being nervous or unsure of himself. Ultimately, it mostly showed that he was not mentally ready for the race. Once the book was split into separate narratives from Charley, Simon and Matt, the book became much more interesting.

  • Pam
    2019-04-02 09:48

    This is Charley Boorman's account of his attempt to do he Dakar rally. I enjoyed the book a lot. I would have given it five stars if it had gone into a bit more detail of the history of the Dakar rally. He does a bit of history but I would have liked to hear a bit more since I knew nothing of the rally until I heard he was doing it. Overall, very fun read if you are into motorcylce racing.

  • John
    2019-03-22 15:51

    The Long Way Round is Charley's best known book but I really liked this tale of the 2006 Dakar Rally. I also share the dream of doing the Dakar, but Charley actually went and did it, and he made it much of the way his first time through.

  • Tyson
    2019-03-22 08:00

    Boorman decides to go solo this time and tackle the harsh environment of Dakar. Along they way we see how a racer prepares and what the realities are of racing in some of the worst tracks and trails. A great book to read if you are a fan of the A Long Way Around or Long Way Down series.

  • Paul Devall
    2019-04-18 15:46

    Great support book to the TV series.

  • Sharon
    2019-03-23 07:56

    a good book, really lets you know how tough it is to ride in the paris to dakar race.

  • Jeanette
    2019-04-19 11:05

    truly amazing inspirational book. I am in love with Charley!!

  • Saturday's Child
    2019-03-24 13:45

    I'm not into motorbikes but I do love Charley. An easy and enjoyable read about the incredible Race to Dakar. I'm glad I only participated in it through someone else.

  • Ethic
    2019-04-16 07:58

    Good book about the Dakar rally. Photos in the book spoil things that have not yet happened at the point they are placed so I suggest you not look at them until afterwards.

  • Mirjam
    2019-03-27 09:05

    Loved reading this, a must for all other middle aged couch potatoes like myself who can only dream of participating in anything like this.Hope to read more of his

  • PastAllReason
    2019-03-29 09:43

    Enjoyable, but missing the spirit of Long Way Around, and Long Way Down.

  • Katrina
    2019-04-01 10:54

    Interesting book about the perils, thrills and excitements of the Dakar.

  • Keith
    2019-03-29 12:00

    Charley Boorman is so much fun to read if you're a fan of motorbikes!

  • Ed
    2019-03-21 16:03

    This book has been on my to read shelf longer than any other book. Since 2008! Every time I'd look at that list to see what I might want to check out next, it'd be there. A comforting, non-intimidating presence that I just never got round to reading. Until now! I'm gonna miss seeing it there...Charley seems like a really nice guy, and I loved Long Way Round/Down, so that's the whole reason I even heard about this book. The Paris-Dakar rally is this crazy rally, the bulk of which takes place in the Sahara desert, and for some reason actually started in Lisbon when Charley did it, not Paris? The book did not explain why, far as I remember. I actually do not know much about this rally. I've heard of it a few times, I know it's meant to be crazy difficult, but that's the extent of the knowledge I brought into reading this book. And I felt like I didn't really get a proper sense of what it's like from this book either. No, well, I picked up that it's extremely difficult. There are obnoxious car drivers who do it, along with the motorcyclists. There are things called road-books, and they are EVIL. And only like 30-40% of riders actually finish the race. But I didn't...I mean, what kind of vehicles get to race in this thing? It's the Sahara, how to they deal with the searing temperatures? How do people end up getting lost, can you not just follow the tracks of the people in front of you? How does the whole clean-up process work, surely they're not just leaving broken bike parts strewn through the desert? How do the support vehicles get from place to place? Hell, how do border crossings work? There are surely straightforward answers to all of these questions, the book just didn't explain it well at all. I didn't really pick up details like that, the book seemed to presuppose that you already had that knowledge. Maybe if you already know about the Dakar and have watched it on tv it'll all be clear. Maybe i have poor reading comprehension. Ok, no, but wait. Claudio! Claudio was the cameraman on Long Way Round, and he's a cool guy. He also went along on the Dakar, but was not even mentioned until the race was well underway. If you didn't know who he was already, he's just the guy that appears out of nowhere for a couple of lines. So it's not just me, this book does gloss over a lot of details like that.I probably shouldn't compare this to Long Way Round, but what i liked so much about that is how they interacted with all the people of the countries they visited. This wasn't that kind of book. It's all about the mechanics of the journey, the riding and injuries and breaking down in the desert. There was a lot to talk about, to be fair. These guys are pushed to their limits. Charley actually gets knocked out while they're still in Morocco, when he breaks both his hands and is no longer able to ride. From that point on he's mostly in the camps trying to cope with the logistical side of things. His teammates still have plenty of adventures though. But yeah, this is all about the hows of the journey, not the wheres. I didn't learn much about these Saharan countries except that there's a lot of sand dunes. They didn't have time to be tourists. So for that reason it was less interesting for me, personally.I'm glad I read this book, I picked up a few new things, and there were plenty of exciting moments. I just didn't think the book was written as well as it could've been.

  • David Andrews
    2019-03-21 12:37

    2.5 stars, if I could. In reality, the very last quarter of this book is all that redeems it. Looking across some of the other reviews, I wonder if maybe I'm missing something in the translation from British to American, but by and large Boorman comes across as entitled, whiny, and insufferable for vast stretches of the book, only occasionally broken up by moments of 'hey remember I'm friends with Ewan? I'm a semi-celebrity?'In between all this, there is some interesting stuff to unpack and very interesting people to meet. I would have much preferred a book about Simon Pavey, Nick Plumb, and Matt Hall, three other riders (Simon and Matt made up the rest of Boorman's Dakar team, while Nick was there as a privateer), or even just about the privateers. The preparation, training, and execution of the Dakar rally all seemed tremendously interesting - if only Boorman would get the hell out of the way. In the last quarter of the book, the format changes - for the better. At that point, the three members of the Race to Dakar team are each followed individually, each in their own voice, and things become more interesting. There are glimpses of the vast income inequality ever-present in Africa, of the utter insanity of the men and women of the Dakar race itself, and of the inhumanity of the whole production. I wouldn't rightfully recommend this to anyone, though, even for that last half - I'm sure there's gotta be a better Dakar book out there somewhere.

  • Carling Shirley
    2019-04-19 15:45

    I really enjoyed this book. It was very dramatic and entertaining more so because it's a true story. I only knew a little bit about the Dakar race. And I watch 'Long Way Round' and found Charlie to be funny and sweet. As much as I enjoyed the book there is a stark contrast between the people living in the area and the crazy white man spending lots of money to risk his life. I can see the idea of pushing yourself and archiving the almost impossible end goal to be enticing. But to me people that do these extreme things are almost another species. I don't fully get it but it's entertaining to read about.

  • Dave
    2019-03-21 15:00

    Charley has a great conversational style and after watching Long Way Round/Down countless times as I read the book I can sometimes here his voice. If you like bikes and you follow the Dakar rally you will enjoy this book

  • Barbara Baker
    2019-04-21 10:45

    I'm a big fan of Charley Boorman every since "Long Way 'Round," so this was a slam dunk for me. Won't spoil the end, but this was a great exposure to how difficult this race really is, and how much it takes to even get to the starting line, let alone the finish.

  • James Welfare
    2019-04-01 07:44

    Light read with a an interesting viewpoint. Can't say that I was blown away by the quality of the writing but the first hand accounts without the polish of professional writing helped convey a sense of the depth of involvement of the guys doing the racing.

  • Karenann Toney
    2019-04-17 15:35

    Brilliant u really feel every bump in the road on this adventure

  • Duncan Reed
    2019-03-31 12:03

    Really enjoyed this. It was interesting to see just how stressed out Charley was during the rally, which didn't really come across on the TV show.

  • Michael Moseley
    2019-03-30 09:43

    Follow up to Long way round Dakar race.

  • Kevin
    2019-04-04 10:45

    Entertaining and interesting. I found the television documentary after reading this book.

  • Derek Moffat
    2019-04-13 12:03

    At one point i really thought if i had won the lotto i would enter as a privateer .... read the book would i enter No ! great account of the struggle to reach Dakar.