Thursday, October 2, 2014

Books: Uneasy Rider

Easy rider is the title of the famous movie featuring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. Though I haven't seen the movie, a good look at the poster tells you it is about men, motorbikes and riding. So when Mike Carter names his book as Uneasy rider, you pretty well know where it is leading to. First, this book is about bikes. Second, this book has an unusual way of looking at things, topped with generous dollops of humor. Thankfully, the book is enjoyable because of the second factor. Although the humor comes in the form of self-deprecating type, it is thoroughly enjoyable.

After hitting forty and a divorce, even though he is unsure which is the hardest hitter, Mike Carter decides to take alcohol-induced challenge. Go on a bike trip all over Europe. Possessing neither a motorbike nor a license, he has to acquire these two before setting out on this adventure. He not only does these two but also goes on a course for riding in Wales. Then, he sets out on a road trip from Britain. The trip lasts six months,  and it also takes him all over Europe, Scandinavian countries, Eastern Bloc countries and finally reaches Turkey where he turns around to head back home. During this trip, he finds out more about the middle age crisis, the necessity of human contact, countries and their customs, and finally how to reconcile with the past.

The book is for men. What is the big thing with 40? Why do men feel chained after marriage? Why is it important to buy material possessions like a big ugly motorbike to boost your ego? Why do men after a certain age wants to lock their eyes with young things a little longer than necessary even though it is not leading anywhere except an instant ego massage? Why does thinning hair trouble men? These are some of the many questions asked in the book. Brace yourself. There are no answers in the book. The author frames these questions in a funny manner making you think harder and finally lets you reach the futility of this line of questioning. This style makes the book very enjoyable. These are the very questions which pop up in your mind at the most inopportune times. Mike Carter has written it down in black and white.

Throughout the book, Mike Carter teases himself on why he is doing what he is doing. Who in the right mind will embark on a journey like this? Despite all the self-flagellation, Mike Carter finally finds peace. Most importantly, he makes new memories. He can move on. But, does this book serve as a solution to all men undergoing similar uncertainties in life? No, I don't think so. At the same time, the book confirms the fact you may not be the only one having self-doubts, and you are the only one who can solve the conundrum. 

As a bonus material, here is an article published by Mike Carter on the most beautiful motorbike rides in Europe. http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2008/mar/24/europe.top10motorbikerides

Tags: Books,Mike CarterMotorbike




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