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Dervla Murphy (1931–2022)

Autor(a) de Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

29+ Works 2,642 Membros 108 Críticas 6 Favorited

About the Author

Obras por Dervla Murphy

Wheels Within Wheels (1979) 153 exemplares
In Ethiopia with a Mule (1968) 147 exemplares
Muddling through in Madagascar (1985) 113 exemplares
Through Siberia by Accident (2005) 104 exemplares
The Waiting Land: A Spell in Nepal (1967) 103 exemplares
Transylvania and Beyond (1993) 101 exemplares
Cameroon with Egbert (1989) 91 exemplares
Tibetan Foothold (1966) 84 exemplares

Associated Works

Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) — Editor, algumas edições7,869 exemplares
Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers (1993) — Contribuidor — 192 exemplares
Forbidden Journey: From Peking to Kashmir (1937) — Introdução, algumas edições174 exemplares
Her Fork in the Road: Women Celebrate Food and Travel (2001) — Contribuidor — 80 exemplares
Oxtravels: Meetings with Remarkable Travel Writers (2011) — Contribuidor — 57 exemplares
Slightly Foxed 38: A Great Adventure (2013) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
Extreme Earth (2003) — Contribuidor — 17 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



I took this book out of the library after reading an obituary of the author. Dervla Murphy was quite the intrepid traveller. Her first book, which sadly wasn't stocked in my local library, is about a solo trip she took by bicycle from Ireland to Inda. The present book was written about a trip she took when she was sixty-six, again solo. In between and after she wrote other books about her travels. All of them seem to be done on a shoestring. What a woman!

When Murphy went to Laos in 1997 the Second Indochina War (more familiarly known as the Vietnam War to Americans) had been over for more than twenty years. During the war the Pathet Lao had been hiding out in the northern part of the country but after the war their Lao People's Revolutionary Party became the government. Despite their Communist beliefs, they espoused a New Economic Mechanism (NEM) in 1986 which led to partnership with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Friends of Murphy's who had lived in Laos for three years told her that the unspoiled beauty of the country would soon be destroyed by the economic reforms and foreign investments associated with the NEM. Murphy wanted to explore the country before that happened. And explore it she did, mostly under her own power (either walking/hiking or bicycling) and entirely without a guide or even an interpreter. She willingly ate whatever was available and slept wherever she could lay down her rucksack. Along the way she met the local people and got to know how to distinguish the different tribes. Occasionally, she would find herself unable to travel a road or path that she had intended but she was never deterred. One of the few times she took a bus her foot was badly injured when the bus had to stop suddenly. Throughout the rest of the trip her foot ached and pained her but she found that she could cycle without pain. So she bought a cheap, one gear, Thai-made bicycle and got around some regions that would be difficult to do with a modern bicycle due to road conditions and elevation change. One of the other dangers was the substantial risk from unexploded bombs and land mines. The American Air Force had, during the war, basically carpet bombed the whole country and much of that weaponry was lying in wait for unsuspecting farmers, children and tourists.

And Murphy doesn't just provide a travelogue of Laos. Liberally sprinkled through the book are her thoughts on politics, economics, conservation, war, and even tourism. She would have been such an interesting person to meet but I guess I'll have to make do with the books that she has left as her memorial.
… (mais)
gypsysmom | 5 outras críticas | Feb 29, 2024 |

The late great Irish travel writer Dervla Murphy travelled around Laos in late 1997 and early 1998, and produced one of her typically empathy-filled accounts of the country and its people, along with the difficulties of getting around on a bicycle. (The title of the book refers to the fact that she injured a foot quite early in the trip, which also hampered her mobility.) It becomes gradually clear that this is a society in deep trauma after the American bombed it to smithereens in an unreported sideshow to the Vietnam War. Murphy generally enjoys and learns from her interactions with the locals; other foreigners are a different matter (to her annoyance, she finds that a fellow passenger on a ferry boat has brought along a copy of one of her earlier books).

Murphy was anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist, and deeply hostile to western interventions in the developing world. That’s not quite where I am coming from, but I really appreciate her candid and unflinching commentary on the consequences, intended or unintended, of economic transition. But I must say that I appreciate even more her description of the glorious landscapes through which she travels, cycling along uncertain roads through the middle of the Laotian mountains. The one thing that the book lacks is a proper map; when I tried to identify some of the spots where she travelled, I was astonished at the distance she covered. I foolishly thought that crossing Bosnia on bombed-out roads in 1997 in our Belfast-bought Skoda was a bit of an adventure, but really there’s no comparison. It’s a fascinating read.
… (mais)
nwhyte | 5 outras críticas | Jan 7, 2024 |
Best book on Russians EVER!!!

Strongly recommend to anyone interested in Russia/Russians. I am Russian. And I am all ears when it comes to foreigners trying to explore and explain the essence of this enormous country and its controversial folk. That is why I try not to miss such kinds of books. Mostly what I fish out is just a crusade for confirmation of deep rooted stereotypes/myths or very shallow account a-la Marco Polo.

I must say this book is a precious exception. With surprising astuteness she slices open the notorious "Russian soul" and identifies motives underlying many Russian behavior modes, views, philosophy etc.

All during the journey to the most godforsaken (or government/Moscow forsaken) places.

I am impressed! Many of her conclusions really stroke me and find the whole account astonishingly trustworthy.

Of course exposing some unpleasant features of current (or ancestral) mindset and collective unconscious might hurt some purists or idealists, but isn't bitter truth better than sweet fables?

I strongly recommend the book to all my foreign friends and for you as well.
… (mais)
Den85 | 1 outra crítica | Jan 3, 2024 |
Slightly misleading title, she doesn’t spend much time in Transylvania because she keeps on getting invalided back to Blighty. When she does finally spend some time there, on a bike the following year (1991) it’s entertaining enough though as she fends off mad sheepdogs and gets tipsy on tuica before breakfast.

An interesting analysis of Romania immediately post-Ceaucescu but didn’t give me the wanderlust like a great travel book does.
yarb | 3 outras críticas | Aug 2, 2023 |



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