Review in The Telegraph – Andrew English, 2007
Along with the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook Ted Simon’s Jupiter’s Travels is the ultimate bedside book for those thinking about ( but probably not actually going to, because the shed needs painting this weekend) making a getaway from it all.
It was written about his 1973 trip around the world (it lasted four years) and is so much more than a motorcycling book. It has sold more than 400,000 copies since, becoming something of a cult.
In 2001 at the age of 69 Simon repeated the journey, swapping the valiant Triumph for a BMW steed. Simon’s immaculate, knowing and unabashedly humble prose makes me wish I was a better writer, so much so that his book has barely left my side in the past few days. It is by turns sad, funny and immensely uplifting. Though it seems depressing how the word has changed so much for the worse in 30 years (and also how the human frame is so much more fragile than its mind) there is also an abiding spirit, and goodness in people that oppressive governments, grinding poverty, exploitative multi-nationals and bullying officialdom cannot quite banish.
Recommended reading this book rather than painting the garden shed.