Troubador Box of Frogs

Released: 28/01/2017

ISBN: 9781785898648

Format: Paperback

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Box of Frogs

Memoirs of a Canoeing Cyclist


In 2015, Iain Hollis embarked on a 4,000 mile solo cycling adventure around Europe. Medically retired with a broken ankle, after spending 23 years in the police, the 46-year-old former Royal Marine Commando spent 95 days on the road. Towing a trailer loaded with kit, his travels took him from France, over the Austrian Alps and right down to the Black Sea in Bulgaria. Camping each night in any available cover and cooking on a portable stove, he witnessed all kinds of things. The return route through Ukraine, Poland and Estonia culminated with a ferry crossing to Sweden before he flew home after an epic journey spanning 26 countries. The ride was a kind of self-help therapy to a troubled individual. Rejected by his mum after his parents’ divorce and cruelly abused by his stepmother, Iain was placed in a children’s home at the age of 7. From a long-term foster home, he joined the Marines at 16 and recalls his experiences in the desert, jungle and Arctic. He even shared a landing craft with Prince Philip and got a part as a movie extra, playing a German in Indiana Jones. At 21, he joined the police, got married and had kids, but his traumatic childhood caused a near breakdown and his career took a bumpy ride with a suspension from duty and a daunting court trial. Subsequently getting his new life seemingly on track, Iain took up marathon running and won the 2000 London fancy dress. He went on to compete on three more occasions but this new hobby was cut short following his ankle break in 2003. Unable to run, his journeys to work by boat soon earned him fame as the ‘canoeing cop’. With a gradual deterioration in the ankle and after failed surgery, he came close to self-amputation. Box of Frogs:?Memoirs of a Canoeing Cyclist is a fascinating autobiography that will take you on Iain’s globe-trotting rollercoaster ride of life so far. It will appeal to those who enjoy true stories and tales of overcoming adversity and strife.

The book is a fascinating read that you just can't put down. Iain comes across as a likeable eccentric who has and continues to have a zest for life and adventure. The book is funny and heart-warming.

by James P

A fantastic read that shows just how much one man can achieve through good old fashioned 'get up and go' and plenty of determination.
Many will no doubt be inspired to embark on their own 'once in a lifetime' adventures through reading this book!!
A real page turner that is full of inspiration, intrigue and humour.
Well done Hollis!!!

by Glynn J

(Mad as a) Box of Frogs is the perfectly apt title for this book and descriptive of the author Iain Hollis. Iain opens his heart and bares his soul with detailed memories of his childhood, often painful and hard, but surviving this moulds his determination and motivation to give him the invincible attitude he would take into adulthood. His career as a Marine and later as a Police Officer are cut short through injuries, but an ankle injury won't stop this man doing what he wants so he embarks on a European cycle ride, just because he can!
The 'Lone Ranger' cycles through Europe, bagging a number of Countries never visited previously. The book is easy to read and captures the never say die spirit of the 'Eccentric Englishman' who is like Bill Bryson on a bike.

by Andy Stevens

Iain Hollis has certainly led an interesting life and his early memoirs reflect this. However where the book really stands out is the surperbly detailed and almost forensic detail of his epic cycle rides. I found it compelling. Linked to this is his inginuity in contriving equipment, repairing kit and keeping costs to a minimum. The whole ensemble added up to a great read. Can't wait for the next installment

by Jerry Watkins

Box of Frogs...hell yeah!! Iain is even more bonkers now than when we first met 40 years ago. Being one of his 'earliest friends', I was aware he was in foster care and had met Donna a number of times. What this book shows is how Iain managed to overcome everything his early family issues had thrown at him to become even more focused and determined to succeed at anything that was put in front of him, or he set upon himself.

After being early retired on account of a broken ankle, anyone else would have given up on any physical activity that put even more pressure on the injury. But not Iain. He set himself the ultimate challenge to cycle 4000 miles across Europe in all weathers and across some treacherous terrain. What he achieved is truly inspirational. There were times he was ready to give up and head home but he didn't!! He persevered and this persistence paid off with him surpassing even the targets he had set himself for the trip.

Iain's story shows that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve whatever you desire. You just need to focus, keep a positive attitude and persevere. Anything is possible, regardless of who you are and where you started off in life. Thanks for the trip down memory lane Lollis.

by Priti

Once you start you just can't put it down


by John M

I have had the advantage of knowing Ian for a fair few years and have always found him an interesting character as well as a good mate.
The book is an excellent read from all angles it is thoroughly enjoyable, flows really well and very interesting. Ian not only takes you on a brief journey of his life he will also take you on an interesting journey around Europe(by bike)and a few other journeys too. Everyone I have recommended the book to have enjoyed it and found it quite compelling, once you start you can not put it down. Enjoyable read for all genders .

by andy shaw

Iain  Hollis

Iain Hollis (1969 - present). Born in Leicester, Iain had a turbulent childhood following his parents' divorce. He was brought up in care from the age of 7 and joined the Royal Marines at 16. He served all over the globe, from the desert of Oman, the jungle of Brunei, 3 winters in Norway and 2 tours of the Mediterranean. At 21 he joined the Police and maintained his love of running and kayaking. An injury on duty saw him medically retired after 23 years. Post discharge he travelled extensively but has since taken time out to publish his memoirs. Box of Frogs

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