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Jupiter's Travels  By  cover art

Jupiter's Travels

By: Ted Simon
Narrated by: Rupert Degas,Ted Simon
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Publisher's Summary

On October 6, 1973, Ted Simon knew there was no going back. He loaded up his 500cc Triumph Tiger in the pouring rain and said good-bye to London.

Over four years he rode 64,000 miles round the world. Breakdowns, revolutions, war, a spell in prison, and a Californian commune were all part of his experience, which was colored variously by utter despair and unimaginable joy. He was treated as a spy, a god, a welcome stranger, and a curiosity. The extraordinary trip became a journey into his own soul, and for many others - including the bikers Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor - it is a pure inspiration. Rupert Degas, "the most versatile of narrators" (The Times), captures all the thrills and spills of Simon's experience and the timeless charm.

©1979 Ted Simon (P)2015 Naxos AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Rupert] Degas's accents for the various people Simon encounters add an extra dimension to the work, creating a vivid listening experience." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Jupiter's Travels

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It's a lot more than a story, a lot more!

I have read many travel books, but Ted Simon is the best. I simply loved it. I was in a state of shock and awe just listening to the best English writing I have ever come across. Ted you are fantastic!!

6 people found this helpful

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Eloquently Written ~ Exquisitely Told

"In spite of wars and tourism and pictures by satellite, the world is just the same size it ever was. It is awesome to think how much of it I will never see. It is no trick to go round the world these days; you can pay a lot of money and fly round it nonstop in less than forty eight hours, but to know it, to smell it and feel it between your toes you have to crawl. There is no other way. Not flying, not floating. You have to stay on the ground and swallow the bugs as you go."
YES!!! If you've ever taken a road trip on a motorcycle, or have ever dreamt of doing so, you will absolutely love this book. Ted Simon has provided a written account in prose, using eloquent yet playful vocabulary. Rupert Degas does a wonderful job narrating Ted's work.
Ted's journey is so descriptive that a detailed picture forms in the mind, providing a transcendent experience.
I loved this book, and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in exotic journeys.

5 people found this helpful

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The least adventurous adventure book

I typically love adventure travel books, but this one disappointed me. There were many times were the book grew dull and difficult to get through. Ted Simon spends more time writing about his deep thoughts than he does describing the journey and the places he visits. I loved long way down and long way round, which were inspired by Jupiters travels, because they were descriptive and made you feel like you were along for the ride. Ted Simon spends too much time with his own self contemplation and often comes off as whiny and wastes time describing things I don't care about. By the twentieth time he described a women's breasts, I started really losing interest. The performance though is spot on and very well done. I recommend Sam Mannicom's "Into Africa" as a better, more captivating alternative to this book.

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Meh, it was not what I anticipated

Not at all what I was expecting. The book is more of a lifestyle diary than a Long Way Round tale about the difficulties of traveling on a motorcycle. Too much about the ancillary parties and after-hours action than the riding, the bike and the difficulties. It's probably right up the alley for some, but it just was not my cup of tea.

3 people found this helpful

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When it was actually cool.

I first ran across this book in 2001, when I work at a bookstore that catered to Travelers.
This edition had Ted on his battered Triumph.
"Four Years Around the World on a Triumph"

I never picked it up to read but I often found myself staring at the cover wishing it was me. I knew at some point in my life I would read this book with the hopes of relating it to my own adventures...more importantly my own life.

15 years later, in the form of an MP3, that time came. Mr. Simon is a master of vivid and heartfelt description. His monumental journey has finally become a part of my imagination.

Thank you Jupiter.

2 people found this helpful

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Intriguing and yet......

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes but..... Doing other things at the same time lessens the intermittent discomfort.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

WHEN... he describes the riding and the bike and the roads... NOT when he goes on and on and on and on and on.....

Which scene was your favorite?

Wasn't one in particular

Could you see Jupiter's Travels being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes definitely. It should be and why hasn't it been already. Either Ewen McGreggor or Charlie Boorman.

Any additional comments?

I can appreciate a man who really gets into his work. I can also appreciate a man who doesn't apply that passion with such arrogance that he feels the needs to push it in your face every chance they get. Ted Simons was a journalist, a writer and one who has a great appreciation for the written word. While I appreciate that and admire that. Mr. Simon got a tad wordy and at times drafted a rather boorish story. At times it seemed as though he forgot what he was writing about, which was... riding a motorcycle around the world. Instead at times, the author treated it like "I traveled around the world, met people, ate weird food, fell in love, lived in filth, among filth and oh yes... there was a motorcycle." The best part of the book was the last chapter as he neared his destination. There he remembered he was on a motorcycle and that was the key part of the journey. The motorcycle. That is what I wanted to hear about. The roads, the ride, the bike. That's what the last chapter gave me, just what I wanted.
I admit I felt a bit melancholy as the book ended, but it was the last chapter that gave that to me. Don't get me wrong, it is a great true story, one that could have been told a bit differently, but a good story.

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Enjoyable

Two quotes from the book that I loved, "Was it an escape I was trying to turn into legend?" and, "Stifled by the boredom of it but with nothing useful to say to anyone."
There were times during this book that I was lost in the sensationalism and the colorful writing style. Traveling around the world alone for 4 years is an interesting topic and this book is worth a listen. I will admit it felt put on at times, not like a journal of the journey but like a novel but that did not detract from my enjoyment.

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A timeless and unexpected treasure.

Having recently acquired a Triumph 800XCC, I've been seeking a book that would give me an introduction to what a potential journey-big or small might look like.
I must admit, I purposely avoided this book initially as I felt that surely, it would be dated. Without question, it is not. This book will stoke the inner fire of adventure for any motorcyclist.
It reenforces the dying concept of human interaction and the willingness to help and give to others without seeking anything in return.
I would highly recommend the audio version as the English accent of the narrator only adds validity to the story and it is quite easy and appealing to imagine it is the voice of Ted Simon.

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Amazing

Amazing book!!!!
This is a book everyone should read, and I think was amazing for sure

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Most likely the best motorcycle travel log ever written

Written along time ago while I was still in college I read it back then when it first came out. And just listen to it through my intercom system today on a long distance motorcycle trip. Little bit freaky in that I crashed just at the time that I listen to Ted crash. Towards the end of the book. As I pulled up to my hotel tonight for the last time after having dinner the book came to an end just as I placed the key to my room into the door. Coincidence yes metaphor absolutely. If you love to travel. If you’re open minded about people you meet along the way. If you’re a wanderer not trust a tourist and/or if you love motorcycles you will love this book.

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  • RoadKingScot
  • 07-26-19

Makes me want to travel further.

As a biker I've been meaning to read this for a while. I was expecting a great tale about how Ted's bike took on the world and how he managed to keep it going. I was expecting some great riding inspiration and motivation to just get out there and ride as far as you can.
Well, I got all of this and a hell of a lot more. The book was a splendid cultural analysis of Africa, South America, Australia and Asia in the mid 1970's. I loved how Ted just kept on going and how he managed to continually repair and rebuild his bike. I wasn't expecting Ted to have spent some time in jail as a suspected spy and I was surprised that he continued riding after that.
So, what am I left with? I'm left feeling that I've only just started exploring the world and I really need to get out there more. Would I be brave enough to go to all the placed Ted visited? No I wouldn't. I hope I can get to visit some of them though. I also hope that one day I can spot his Ted's bike in a museum somewhere.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Paulytom
  • 12-21-18

Simply wonderful

Not overwritten, inspiring and incite full story, you don’t need to be overly interested in motorbikes, it’s transcends hobby interests, it’s a very human and surprisingly undated story of human endeavour . Wonderful

7 people found this helpful

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  • michael d porteous
  • 11-01-15

Excellent

I'm a biker. With dreams of riding around the world (it'll probably never happen!) but I live to hear about others adventures. This is not a story of a motorbike journey around the world. It is about a mans journey around the world, He just happens to have chosen a motorbike as his form of transport.
Very well written, and very well read.
I'll be listening to it again I'm sure.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Awsparx
  • 11-29-15

Excellent listen

Found it an interesting recollection of the journey trip was made in the 70s which made it an even more remarkable achievement with todays gps and communication advances it would not have many of the interesting situations faced

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-19

A must read for any traveller

Such rich writing that made me feel like I was in the 500cc Triumph. Having done some traveling myself, the stories and particularly the thoughts resonated with me in a wonderful way.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr S.J.Elford
  • 06-08-19

An brilliant book held me enthralled for hours.

One of the most enthralling books of travel I have ever heard. I felt as if I was with the author throughout his journey. Exquisitely read, which fully enhanced the wonderfully detailed story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • saxaholic
  • 03-14-19

A wonderful ride.

A thrilling and fascinating journey, full of great observations, and thoughtful introspection. Brilliantly narrated too.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen Gorvel
  • 10-02-19

great book with superb narration

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. as a motorcyclist it is very inspiring and makes me want to emulate Ted's travels.
Rupert Degas is absolutely brilliant in his narration and draws you into the story. you really forget it is not actually Ted speaking 😉

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 09-18-19

An incredible story.

Any motorcycle travellers life is incomplete without reading this book.
I've met Ted.
He is a true gentleman.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Power Saver
  • 08-06-19

Great Story Telling

Ted made a great journey, not a unique journey, but few can bring the journey to life the way he has in this book. Very enjoyable listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-27-21

Bit negitive for such an accomplishment

should be called I traveled the world and found India. a very easy story to listen to but the constant negativity about nearly every country apart from India was a bit tiring. seemed to bag a country out then finish with one pleasant story at the end to try and give it a little credibility. it also seemed he liked India because they treated him like the English gentleman he considers himself to be unlike other countries where he was considered equal which did not seem to sit well with him.

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  • Colin
  • 05-23-18

Great travel story.

Never got bored with this, being a motorcyclist I kept wondering if I would have what it takes to try that. Summary, perhaps then, but not now. But then who knows!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • FritzRadda
  • 04-25-18

Wow. Deep searching. A MUST LISTEN

I was toying with an adventure on a motorcycle and came across this deeply intelectule journey in the 1970s around the world. The journey which must have been a logistic challenge is well described but the other journey, the one in the mind is the one that blew my mind. Rupert Degas is now my favourite narrator as he performs accents beautifully.

Enough said. If you want to go on the two journeys, one on the road and one in the mind, this is a must.

Thanks Ted and Rupert.
Fritz

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-22

Brilliant !!!!

The only book I have felt inspired to write a review.. and funnily the review of the book i recall was someone saying it was the only book they have been inspired to write a review for.. and so it goes.. So so much more than the touring adventure story… such depth of reflection and referent view to himself and the world he journeys through, not just as ‘a man on a bike’,, but seeing himself through every detail of his experience, not separating himself from the ride or the world he rides through.

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  • Malachy O'Connor
  • 04-28-22

If ever an Internet review of literature would get you to listen, please let it be this one.

Just finished listening after touring about UK/Ireland on a short jaunt.

This book is absolutely incredible and I feel incredibly grateful to both author and narrator for pushing further back the perimeter of the impossible in life.

Please read it, it is so wonderful.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-27-21

Like adventure & motorbikes?

Awesome story, I felt like I was riding along the whole time & some moments really hit home.

Not very PC but it was the 70s - there was some positive change though for sure

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  • lincoln frok
  • 12-23-20

Adventure at its best

If you have ever imagined an epic around the world adventure then this is your book

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  • ken Kroeger
  • 11-02-20

Amazing story

Having read about his second trip, retracing his original thirty years later, I was keen to hear about his original journey. I'm so very glad I did.

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  • rab
  • 09-16-20

Live the Ride

This is a remarkable account of a journey that gets to the very essence of what it is to travel independently to foreign lands with nothing but you, a motorbike, and the the gear that can be carried on the bike. A fantastic adventure to see the world getting an insight into the people and cultures of the countries traveled to and to complete the journey. The descriptions of people, places and situations left me feeling like I was actually there, in large part due to the book being so well written but also being superbly narrated. It makes for very easy, and compelling, listening.

If your a motorbike rider contemplating a long overseas journey this is a must listen as it will leave you considering and questioning far more than the straight logistics of the trip. It's a marvelous insight into a way to travel, thought provoking, uplifting, and motivating and one I highly recommend listening to.

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  • Will Kerr
  • 10-29-18

Awe-inspiring at its core

A simply amazing journey, documented so honestly. A must read for anyone at all interested in the world.