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Full Tilt

Ireland to India with a Bicycle
Written by: Dervla Murphy
Narrated by: Emma Lowe
Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Full Tilt is the inspiring true story of Dervla Murphy's 1963 journey from Ireland to India on an Armstrong Cadet bicycle, and the trials, landscapes, and cultures she encountered along the way. The route takes her through the valleys and snowy mountain passes of Europe and India to the scorching deserts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the metal of her bicycle, Rozinante (named after Don Quixote's steed), becomes too hot to touch. She travels alone, without luxuries, sleeping on the floors of teahouses or on blankets outdoors, vulnerable to wild animals, insects, and thieves. However, she is often met with generosity and kindness, and shares many meaningful encounters with the locals. Her portrayal here gives a fascinating insight into the unique communities of the Middle East in the early 1960s. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 Naxos Audiobooks (P)2019 Naxos Audiobooks

What listeners say about Full Tilt

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Inspirational story

Certainly not for the politically correct crowd but I think you have to place this journal in the context of the early 1960's when Murphy made her journey. She is not racist but just frank in her views about the various races she encountered on this incredible journey. These views were based on her own personal interactions as they happened day by day and not on any preexisting prejudices. She loved the Afghanis and the Pakistanis, she didn't like the Persians and the Punjabis very much and seems mixed on the Indians (although disappointingly the section on India is very short ). The vocabulary she uses is that of the period as well, so the use of the N word to describe a certain shade of brown is certainly shocking to us in these BLM times. Her stamina and fortitude seem almost superhuman and the distances she cycled per day are mind boggling. Her bike Roz (inante) would seem like a clunker to today's carbon fiber crew so what she achieved on an old steel frame (constantly needing repair by various bush mechanics of varying skill levels) is all the more amazing. An inspirational and very interesting story. Loved the way she carried a pistol in her gaberdine trouser pocket and used it to good effect. Also very cool that she is a Freya Stark fan, according to her Wikipedia page, another inspirational female traveler ahead of her time who wrote in a similarly uninhibited way.

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  • Ian Jentz
  • 2020-06-06

Racist, classist and not well written

I initially started listening to this for a book club. After a few chapters, I can no longer enjoy it due to many problematic comments referring to poor people who are begging as “pathetic“ as well as people of a variety of countries as having inferiority implied and said in a multitude of ways. I realize the book is a journal and it’s somewhat dated but perhaps some thoughtfulness about the author’s perception is still relevant.

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  • Sandra L Hawthorne
  • 2019-10-17

A joyous journey

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It made me so happy to hear that so many people in the world are so kind!

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  • Strongman53
  • 2020-06-27

Good book overall

An admirable example of adventure, determination, and learning - somewhat tedious story telling, punctuated with interesting and perhaps still current examples on the various countries she visited.

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  • Lynne
  • 2019-08-19

Travels, people, locations and experiences very interesting

Murphy’s experiences, fortitude, intelligence, and sensitivity were remarkable. The hardships she endured and overcame were both miraculous and believable. The ending was abrupt I was expecting a continuation or conclusion. Her bicycle journey was a remarkable and inspiring saga.