Scaling a new peak of rash over-ambition, Tim Moore ('Bill Bryson on two wheels,' according to the Independent) tackles the 9,000km route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike.
Asking for trouble and getting it, he sets off from the northermost Norwegian-Russian border at the Arctic winter's brutal height, bullying his plucky bike through the endless sub-zero desolation of snowbound Finland.
Sleeping in bank vaults, imperial palaces, and unreconstructed Soviet youth hostels, battling vodka-breathed Russian hostility, Romanian landslides and a diet of dumplings, Moore and his bike are sustained by the kindness of reindeer farmers and Serbian rock gods.
Haunted throughout by the border detritus of watchtowers and rusted razor wire, Moore reflects on the curdling of the Communist dream, and the Cold War generation reared on fear of apcalypse.
Three months, 20 countries and a 58 degree jaunt up the centigrade scale, man and bike wobble up to a Black Sea beach in Bulgaria, older, and wiser, but mainly older.
Sunday 22nd October 12.30
All of us in the Hardy Society were very positive about 'our' first night and the subsequent events. I thought Tony's event with Rachel and Dinah worked very well with interesting conversations from the both of the women.
You and Paul must be very happy with the positive way Dorchester people are continuing to embrace the Festival, and in impressively increasing numbers. Congratulations to both of you.
Next year's dates are already in our diaries and we are looking forward to meeting up with you soon to discuss our involvement.
Paul was an excellent interviewer, and I loved the format. Great audience, acoustics...
Kate Adie's Desert Island Books was thoroughly enjoyable! I had no idea she was (a) so glamorous and (b) so delightfully funny.
Thank YOU for hosting us so brilliantly on Sunday. Dad and I had a great time and were both really impressed by the very smooth running of your festival. It was a total pleasure being there with you, Helen, and the team. Congrats to all concerned on a job well done. It was fun to be a part of it.
I felt truly privileged to be able to enjoy so many events in your excellent programme...quite sumptuous! Had I been able to, I would have booked every event!
Thank you for organising the Dorchester Literary Festival. It was our first year...and will certainly attend again. We particularly enjoyed Victoria Hislop (with a good interviewer), Kate Adie and Dr Julia Shaw on Memory - excellent presentation and interesting subject.