In the introduction in this version of the book, he gives his opinions on other travel books and how he wanted to tell his journey how it was. Don't think I read much of the intro either.. rambling/listing dates..
I thought leaving from London and travelling all through Asia, to Japan, and then back via the Trans-Siberian railway would be really exciting. That's why I bought it. My first gripe with the book was "he smelt of bread crusts" which doesn't make sense to me. Not even sure how you can have a smell that's specific to the crusts but this is coming from a guy who constantly goes on about drinking wine on the train, and little else. 'Epic' turned out to be a very boring man sitting around on international public transport for huge periods of time, something I don't think offers good writing material. The times he got off the train to look around were disappointing and this where his writing really stood out, mainly because he was off the train; secondly because it was quite poor.
Once he gets onto the Indian continent it becomes extremely dull. There are a few interesting conversations. "Few" being emphasised there because to sum it up this book . The people he talks to may as well be deaf-mutes. This guy is really anti-social as well, and didn't actually seem to enjoy the journey in the slightest. May as well have gone to Butlins.