Now back home after my travels to Clitheroe, London, Reading, Oxford, Bath and Bristol over half-term (it was lovely seeing so many of you in Clitheroe, Oxford and Bristol by the way – thanks for coming to hear me speak – more events coming up in June, July and August…), it has been nice spending a day or so back home; I’ve done the washing, and the shopping, I’ve taken my mother to see a friend in Rochdale, I’ve changed the tyres on the car and I’ve even given a cursory thought to going back to school on Monday… I’ve also had a good chance to read through the reviews for ‘Spain to Norway on a Bike Called Reggie‘.
Don’t believe anyone who says they don’t read their reviews; of course they do and they can often make or break a film, play, musical or book. The initial positive feedback when I self-published ‘Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie‘ back in 2011 certainly helped make that book the success it subsequently became, encouraged me to write a second volume of travel writing – ‘Along The Med on a Bike Called Reggie‘ – and, five years later, was, I’m sure, influential in giving confidence to the publishers Summersdale to adopt the new book as one of their own. So reviews do matter and they are read!
The production of ‘Spain to Norway…‘, compared to the previous books, was long. This was, of course, for good reasons as the editors got their hands on the manuscript and shaped it into a hopefully much better piece of literary brilliance, perhaps. That takes time. As the weeks and months went on and as I read, changed, added and subtracted words, sentences and paragraphs, it became increasingly difficult for me to give a judgement on the book as I had read it so many times. I knew what was coming next and I had no problem following the thread of the journey as not only had I cycled it, I had also relived it many times over. Was it really any good?
Well the first reviews are in and I’m delighted to see that people have enjoyed what they have read. You can read all of the reviews posted to Amazon.co.uk by following this link but of the 9 so far posted, all have judged the book worthy of 5 stars and here are a few highlights of those reviews;
“A very entertaining read. Would highly recommend.”
“Another cracking read… Once again Sykes relays the journey in the same easy, informative and humorous style… a Bryson-like commentary…”
“A must for all cycling fans… Like Andrew Sykes’ previous books this is no different – if anything even better. Written in clear prose with a fantastic sense of humour. An excellent travelogue.”
“I was not disappointed, in fact it is apparent how much Andrew is improving and maturing as a writer with every volume that emerges… I couldn’t put the book down and went through it in one sitting. The humour and writing style drew me along all the way from Tarifa to the Nordkapp…”
“Excellent travelogue… If you’ve read Andrew’s previous books you won’t be disappointed.”
“Proceed with caution you may come out the other side of this book with a serious case of wanderlust. Funny, inspiring and informative.”