Free Country by George Mahood: irreverent, amusing and revealing

This self-published book by George Mahood is great fun. In Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain, George and a fellow adventurer set off to prove that the people of Britain are generous, considerate and generally good eggs. The experiment to examine this thesis involves setting off from Land’s End towards John O’Groats to complete the journey by bicycle. The couple’s only possessions at the start are a pair of union jack boxer shorts each plus a camera, notebook and pencil to record the journey. No bikes or alternative means of transport, no other clothes, no money. For 18.5 days they then blag their way to John O’Groats and cover the 1000 miles on the most unlikely bicycles, which were acquired along the way.

Free country
A heart-warming tale of British generosity, and cycling lunacy

There are interesting descriptions of the places visited but this is a travel book that’s much more about people than geography, revealing the stark contrasts in attitude that travellers might encounter on a bizarre journey such as this. And, before you ask, the Scots come out of if at least as well as the English for their generosity and good humour.

Towards the end of the book George comments, “It doesn’t cost anything to cycle or walk through the beautiful British countryside… It doesn’t cost anything to make new friends, and it doesn’t cost anything to smile and have fun.” Amen to that.

At £1.99 for the Kindle edition (£10.99 in paperback), this book is a steal.

3 thoughts on “Free Country by George Mahood: irreverent, amusing and revealing

  1. Frank Burns January 10, 2013 / 12:58 pm

    Snap! I read and reviewed this myself just a few weeks ago. A very entertaining read!


  2. Bob Jones January 10, 2013 / 5:15 pm

    Just checked out your review…much more eloquent!


  3. Rebecca Olds (@velovoice) January 13, 2014 / 11:30 am

    A year later… snap! 🙂

    As you know I just discovered your blog and, I admit it, I’m reading every single post from beginning to end, in order.

    Coincidentally, George started following me on Twitter this week. I had no idea who he was but had a look and found his book. I’ve just bought it for my Kindle and am loving every word so far.

    Frank’s review is very good, too!


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