Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India

Magic Bus On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India In the s hundreds of thousands of young Westerners inspired by Kerouac and the Beatles blazed the hippie trail overland from Istanbul to Kathmandu in search of enlightenment and a bit of cheap d

  • Title: Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India
  • Author: Rory MacLean
  • ISBN: 9780141015958
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the 1960s hundreds of thousands of young Westerners, inspired by Kerouac and the Beatles, blazed the hippie trail overland from Istanbul to Kathmandu in search of enlightenment and a bit of cheap dope.Since the Summer of Love, the countries that offered so much to these dreamers have confronted the full force of modernity and transformed from worlds of Western fantasyIn the 1960s hundreds of thousands of young Westerners, inspired by Kerouac and the Beatles, blazed the hippie trail overland from Istanbul to Kathmandu in search of enlightenment and a bit of cheap dope.Since the Summer of Love, the countries that offered so much to these dreamers have confronted the full force of modernity and transformed from worlds of Western fantasy to political minefields.Through a landscape of breathtaking beauty Rory MacLean retraces the path of the once well worn hippie trail from Turkey to Iran, Afghanistan to Pakistan, India to Nepal, meeting trail veterans and locals on his way, and relives wide eyed adventures as he witnesses a world of extraordinary and terrifying transformation.

    One thought on “Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India”

    1. As someone who travels as lifestyle, I'm enchanted by stories of the overland journey from Turkey to Kathmandu which hundreds of thousands of young Europeans and Americans embarked upon in the 1960s and 1970s. For such an amazing scene, there are remarkably few books about it. I picked up Rory Maclean's MAGIC BUS hoping to learn more about those halcyon days of hippies and seekers. Unfortunately, the book was a disappointment.Maclean traveled over the trail himself after Afghanistan was opened a [...]

    2. The book's writing was fine and the material was interesting, but for some reason I just didn't like it. I think the author was just kind of dry and I didn't really like him throughout the book. I can't put my finger on it but to me he seemed kind of condescending. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy learning about the counterculture of the 60s, as well as any Overland trail veterans. Just because I didn't care for the book doesn't mean that someone else won't like it either.

    3. Hit or miss. Some of the old tales from the “intrepids” who traversed the hippie trail in the '60s are pretty fun, especially considering what weirdos they've turned into since the dream of that decade got Nixon'd and Manson'd and Thatcher'd into oblivion. When MacLean is simply interviewing people and documenting his travels, he's a passionate and intelligent storyteller. But when he tries to ascribe any actual social value to the hippie trail-- that it brought liberating Eastern spirituali [...]

    4. I traveled the "hippie trail" from Istanbul to India in the mid 1970's and I was looking forward to reading this account. Sadly the book is terribly written and full of cliches. It's a "journey" you'll want to miss.

    5. I've decided to start reviewing every book I read, and 'Magic Bus' by Rory Maclean happens to be the first installment of this trend. The colourful bookjacket caught my eye on a charity shop shelf in the old Elephant and Castle. Many days later I returned during the opening hours of the shop to purchase its golden form but unfortunately it was missing from the window display. A short delve into the collection of books at the shop soon revealed it was still there, and I started reading it immedia [...]

    6. Someone recommended a movie to me called the magic bus and when I didn't find it, I took this book out of the Library. The author's premise was to travel the path that the 60's hippies took from Turkey through Iran, onto Afghanistan and farther east while finding out from those who lived in these places where the hippies had gone if hippie travels had changed their landscape or culture.So Rory talked to people who lived in the places and got invited into homes. He described places and what was s [...]

    7. Big regret of my life was that I was too young to be a real hippie. At least that is what I’ve always thought. But the more books I read about hippies, the less interesting they are. Turns out, it seems, most people who went off to become hippies either (1) quickly realized the search was futile or (2) are still out there somewhere, probably sitting in the park in San Francisco waiting for their next high. Maclean follows the road the hippies traveled to see what is there now and what hippies [...]

    8. I was interested in this because I caught the Magic Bus to Athens once, - it took a week from London. It was cheap, which was why we took it, and a girlfriend and I spent a few weeks in the caves at Matala in Crete. And it's this nostalgia the author tries to tap in to. Not very successfully in my opinion because he doesn't know what he thinks. Very modern.I think it was AA Gill, who is a superb travel writer, who pointed out that it's not enough to go on a trip, you have to know what you think [...]

    9. honestly quite boring at timesbut wowlots of different perspectives on history, politics, culture so, not all bad. quite a heavy read. i'm glad i read it but i'd most likely not read it again. but great effort by the author, not easy researching and trying to replicate the hippie trail, as evidenced by the book's contents.

    10. Quite shallow and superficial; I expected much more from this book. The author comes off as a real jerk, making sure to belittle the old hippies he meets in his travels by suggesting that their good memories are a product of drug intoxication. Marked by what seems to this layman to be poor editing and a frustratingly disjointed writing style. Read Karma Cola instead.

    11. This book just didn't do it for me. I found myself questioning a lot of the people the author supposedly met along the trail, like Penny, the burnt out hippie chick trying to reclaim the trail of her youth. She seemed like such a cliche I couldn't help but question whether or not she'd been made up. The writing is pretty dry as well. A disappointment.

    12. Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail From Istanbul to Indiaby Rory MacLean (Penguin Books 2007)(910+/-). It sounds like a great tale of drug taking and depravity, but the book was a serious bummer. The author attempts to be Castenada-like and even features a made-up guide. The book has a great looking cover, but the inside is a disappointment. My rating; 2.5/10, finished 2008.

    13. Wonderful reading although the chapter on the American army base in Afghanistan kind of made this book lose its magic - all too real and all too 2012. I definately need some sort of closure with this book. What happened to Penny and all the other characters? Would love to see a Part II to this book.

    14. back then the earth was unexplored e hippie way to travel lonely planet guides no packaged tours.w everything is so neatly packed it just took the nirvana out of travelavel is no longer about discovery or explorings just another job

    15. very good book about the Hippie Trail in the 60's, and the countries it ran through. it is very well-written, and the writer tries to strike a balance between telling stories from the past and retracing that, and trying to understand the countries he is driving through. i think he manages this quite well. it is interesting to see how, of the countries that were on the trail, some of them - mainly Iran and Afghanistan - basically bear almost no trace at all of the people who passed through them a [...]

    16. Well, okay. I was a little disappointed. Truth be told, I was looking for stories of drug-taking and depravity. It did lead me to further research into the hippie phenomenon, in other books. The result? I was already familiar with most of that stuff! It's been exhaustively documented, championed, mystified and rehashed. And it led me to one telling anecdote of sexism I found on the internet. It made me wonder how much of that got glossed over. A lot, I suspect. (See: ephemeralnewyork.wordpress ) [...]

    17. Rory MacLean's Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India (Brooklyn: Ig Publishing, 2009) is an odd book to categorize. It is part travelogue, part oral history and part journalism. In short segmented chapters MacLean travels not only the trail but in the process discovers former travellers revisiting their own pasts. His writing brings to life the magic of the world that called out to those who traveled along the old Silk Road and he questions how they were influenced and influenced [...]

    18. This book was not what I expected, and perfectly so. Rory remade the hippie trail relevant by including the stories of the magic in the past, as well as the wonders, sometimes terrible landscapes to experience today. Travelling to India in two months, I am ecstatic to have been gifted this book. I feel free to avoid the everyday travel guides with ritzy restaurants or the 'must-sees', and just truly navigate my way following the path of my curiosity as did the Intrepids in the 60's, of course wi [...]

    19. Remembering my (elder) brothers' exploits and my pre-conceptions I expected a simple 'travelogue' without any depth or personal involvement/interest. What I got was the complete opposite! With Mr Maclean we lived the life both then & now - with that timespan admirably blurred. His sometimes almost poetic language, brought to life the very personal travel experience he obviously experienced - seemingly bringing him and maybe the reader, to some form of enlightment - of the time then, the stat [...]

    20. A Canadian travel writer aspires to revisit places that people visited in the 1960's as they traveled from Turkey through Iran and Afghanistan on their way to India. Shares people he encounters and local traditions/history while aspiring to see the places people would have visited along the way. Some swearing. Includes B/W photos at the end and a list of travel books to read.

    21. Despite the title (and acid cover) this is certainly not a laid back road trip book. It is really packed with historical and geographic detail, as such I found it really hard work. I really did want to like it as I was using it for research but it never grabbed me and the prose lacked the human touch and insight into fellow travellers I was expecting.

    22. Impossible to find but worth it. A great on the road breakdown of the interesection of hippiedom and the Eastern mystique.

    23. I really good read that can make you think about the impact of tourism on local populations. Particularly strong in the chapters on Turkey and Afganistan - but then fades away a bit in India.Well worth a read!

    24. A great book in the tradition of Paul Theroux, using personal experience - sometimes possibly fantasised - to create a travelogue which explores the West's orientalist fantasies of LSD and guru-fuelled liberation.

    25. I found this book slightly disappointing; the premise was interesting but the narrative failed to truly entertain or entice. I've read many of the authors other books, but this one really didn't do it for me.

    26. this book has some interesting parts but pretty much the overall feeling is that you should have just been born in the sixties.

    27. An Welsh couple gave me this book in a hotel lobby in Delhi. Amusing, but cheesy in the way travel books can bea good escape from the polluted roads of Kathmandu on the way out of town.

    28. this book is also a part of the history of Europe Afghanistan and other middle east countries written in a narrative and artistic way.

    29. this book made me really want to be born in the 60's and experiencing life as hippies. it should be a good read, but some errors in data is rather annoying.

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