Braving hunger, heat exhaustion, unbearable terrain and cultures largely untouched by civilization, Dervla Murphy chronicles her determined trip through nine countries, through snow and ice in the mountains and miles of barren land in the scorching desert. Full Tilt is a highly individual account by a celebrated travel writer based…
Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. (learn more)
Why read it?
2 authors picked Full Tilt as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Utterly mad yet totally mesmerising, Murphy’s journey was an early inspiration to me in my bicycle-bound adventures. Packing a pistol and little else, she set off in 1963 and pedalled through a brutal European winter, over the Iron Curtain and across the Middle East and Afghanistan where she often disguised herself as a man to get by. In the mountains of northern Pakistan and India she traverses incredibly remote regions on broken trails and occasionally finds herself the guest of regal relics from bygone eras. Murphy’s no-nonsence prose and unembellished style should be a benchmark to all travel writers.
If you need a book to launch you on a long bike ride, or any adventure for that matter, this is it. The story moves like a rocket. Dervla cycled by herself from Ireland to India on a single-speed bike in 1963 with a pistol strapped to her leg. She doesn’t so much reflect on reality as inhabit it. This isn’t a travelogue that will change the way you look at the world. But it will make you want to go out and squeeze the zest from it.
Our community of 6,000+ authors has personally recommended 10 books like Full Tilt.