Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

Full Tilt - Dervla Murphy Finished....oh thank goodness! I'm so glad that I'm done this book. The only thing that kept me pushing through was the fact that I was reading it for a class. I thought that Dervla's adventures were interesting, and that she was incredibly eager to get into the craziest situations, but I'm not a fan of her form of storytelling...at all. I understand it's in diary form, but I would have much preferred the focus to be on the environment, the different things that she describes as being beautiful, so basically the things she sees. We get the most extraneous details on her meals, and on the people she stays with. The food part would have been good if she'd just described the crazy dishes, but for the most part she eats eggs, which honestly, really isn't interesting...I can eat eggs, too. She describes how everything stinks, but when she sees something beautiful she says it's beautiful and doesn't really elaborate, at least not as much as I would have liked. If I'm going to endure reading through a book where I'm told everything she eats, I would at the very least like to have the amazing things she's seen described...as those are the actual details that I'd want to hear about. Also, I didn't really like Dervla. I know I don't know her, and I feel like I'm kind of being mean by saying that. However, I'm talking about her as the narrator, and as this is her travel "diary" I'm taking most of what she says at face value, and some of her comments I found to be incredibly judgmental, or I felt like they seriously underplayed certain situations. In fact, she seemed more sympathetic with the starving animals than she did with the starving people half of the time, and when she gives her food to a starving man she actually says she wishes she hadn't given it to him because then she didn't have food. So she missed one meal, and this man is starving, yet she still wishes she hadn't shared. This wouldn't be so bad if she hadn't been getting basically everything free in her travels. In most of the countries she travels through they don't let their guests pay for anything, so she gets free food, free shelter, free bicycle repairs...and even free cigarettes, but she can't share one measly meal with a starving man without regret...I'm sorry, but that's just awful. There were also some comments that just seriously rubbed me the wrong way. It's probably a good thing people don't share their every thought in every day life because when you're being honest as Dervla seemed to be in this book...you say some things that really don't make you look good. So, I didn't like this book. In fact, my prof said he didn't even like this book...at least not the first time he read it, but personally, I won't be giving it another chance. While Dervla is an amazing traveler, and I'm sure she's the life of the party, I don't think she's all that great at writing about it. If you really like travel writing, and don't mind maybe reading a book a few times you'll probably like this way more than I did, but for me...it was definitely a miss.