“You should read this book. It is a wonderful tale of a bicycle journey…”
So says Tom Ivar Horvei in a review of Spain to Norway on a Bike Called Reggie in a review just published on Goodreads, the respected literary review site, where the book is currently rated 4.19 (out of 5); an increase – just – on the previous book, Along The Med… (4.17) and the first book, Crossing Europe… (3.89). The Goodreads reviewers are a discerning bunch so with an average of 3.99 after 277 reviews across all three books (Dickens has 3.86, Shakespeare – curiously – also 3.86 and Bill Bryson 4.01 so just 0.02 points needed to match the great man himself…), I’m happy.
Here’s a link to Tom’s full review by the way, via Twitter…
— Tom Ivar Horvei (@tomtomho) August 27, 2017
…but another snippet before moving on:
“This is Andrew’s best book so far. You must read it, trust me, it will be a great journey, you will feel that you take part, and there is nature being described wonderfully, but even more the Brit encountering many very un-British situations and conditions, providing some lovely comedy bits.”
Yes, I’m being selective, of course I am, but I encourage you to read Tom’s full review as he compares Spain to Norway… to its predecessors and talks interestingly about the impact of having a publisher – Summersdale – come on board and knock the manuscript into shape.
Paul Cheney, has also added his thoughts online via his website:
— Paul Cheney (@halfmanhalfb00k) August 18, 2017
“Sykes is not trying to set any records, this is riding for the hell of it, to venture out, meet people, see places and for the pure pleasure of being on a bike. And enjoy it he does, even though he battles through rain, relentless headwinds and some near misses with very large trucks. He meets various friends in certain towns and cities on the route as well as cycling with random cyclists who were sharing some of the same journeys. Sykes writes with infectious enthusiasm and it is a really enjoyable read. Hopefully, this will inspire some to make their own journeys of discovery.”
I hope so too.
Meanwhile, back on Amazon, Spain to Norway… maintains its healthy five full stars with an average rating of 4.8 /5.0 (Along The Med… 4.6, Crossing Europe… 4.5).
David Herdman is, however, not happy:
“An interesting read… I would have liked to have seen more maps and photos especially one of the author!”
Really? No… Better off keeping my mug shot out of it. As David points out in his full review, it’s not difficult to look online and find out what I look like and the lack a photograph didn’t prevent him from giving the book five stars. There are, incidentally, pictures and a map in the book…
…but I take on board that there could always be more. (All of the photos from the trip can be found, incidentally, on the CyclingEurope.org Facebook page.)
A few other comments from Amazon about Spain to Norway…:
“This is a great book of an epic journey, cycling from Southern Spain to Northern Norway. Written in an entertaining and informative way it also includes interesting historical and geographical info and a few interesting characters too. If you weren’t planning an epic journey or to take up cycling before reading this book, you will be afterwards!”
“Great follow-up to the previous two adventures, the style has matured and as ever, he makes you want to get on the bike and adventure… Inspiring indeed.”
Dr. David Sykes (no relation, I think)
“If you’re after a book which will entertain and inform, then look no further.”
“Great book, well written and witty travelogue. Well worth a read!”
Not that you can please all the people all of the time:
“Scandinavia ok. Rest of journey disappointing.”
Not a complete disaster. I cross the border from Germany into Denmark on page 190 of 348 so that’s 45% that is, at least, OK…
If you are one of the many people to so far add your thoughts online, many thanks. Spain to Norway on a Bike Called Reggie is, as they say, available in all good bookshops. And probably a few rubbish ones as well… Thanks for reading, and reviewing.