Troubador 41 Broken Spokes

Released: 28/11/2017

ISBN: 9781788036214

Format: Hardback

Review this Book

41 Broken Spokes


It has been said that the Bicycle saved the human race from a particular type of catastrophe...inbreeding. In rural areas in particular it offered pioneering males and females the opportunity to roam further afield, e.g the next village, in order to unleash their romantic powers and marry into another community and in doing so spread the gene pool...Hooray for that then!

Starting life as an item much desired by the gentry, the bicycle in its early days had the Range Rover effect, sitting high the rider felt mighty. In later years its uses expanded and thus its appeal was diluted as it became a useful means of delivering bread, meat and newspapers and the favoured tool transporting workers to the factory gate whilst lithe types pedalled quickly and became racers.

So, for the last 150 years there tubular geometric shapes have liberated and broadened our lives, but not until 41 Broken Spokes has that configuration of tubing and its riders been presented in poem, verse and imaginings in such a unique and wonder filled way. You might laugh out loud. You might sob quietly.

A wheelbarrow full of surprises. That neatly sums up this collection of poetry , prose and imaginings.
That phrase comes from an A.A.Milne poem: Jonathan Jo has a mouth like an O and a wheelbarrow full of surprises, If you ask for a bat, or something like that, he has got it, whatever the size is.
This book is a bit like Jonathan Jo's wheelbarrow. There is whimsy, social comment, flights of fancy, silliness and some sad reflections, all wrapped into a bicycle theme. You will meet small boys, a happy couple, old men, heroes and bicycle parts given lives of their own. As the introduction says, you might laugh out loud, you might sob quietly. This collection will give you pause for thought and you will certainly be moved. Do I have a favourite? Yes, the 2 liners, but only because I can remember them! But then, on another day, Tiananmen Square, and Private Parr will resonate. There's something for every mood.
I read this book at a gallop, straight through to get a flavour of the contents. Then I went back several times, picking out one item or perhaps a couple, and let them sit with me. This way, the book will spark memories, since we all have a relationship with the bicycle. I will spare you mine.


  • Buy as a printed
  • £9.99

  • 1 customer reviews
Also by Colin King / Related Books