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The Srampagmano Tales Paperback – 18 Oct 2012

32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 54 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (18 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1291127828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1291127829
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,178,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Biggs on 19 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If, like me, you thought that a dissection of different types of cyclist in a Chaucarian style might not be your thing, don't be put off!

Parker's power lies in his acute observation: this is clearly the work of a seasoned cyclist, yet the portrayal of the various cyclists never becomes condescending or partial. From the Lycra clad 'roadie' to the long distance randonneur, the characteurs cannily address each in turn; their motivations and foibles, their eccentricities and fears.

While we may not like to be typecast, it's only natural to wonder which of the featured cyclists most resemble ourselves. At his best best Parker is highly poetic, really hitting the nub of what makes each cyclist do what they do.

I love these lines from 'The Randonneur's Tale':

"There is a certain place I like to ride
To get there I spend many hours outside
Beyond the pressing walls of time and space
Without the agitation of a race"

In short I really enjoyed this: it made me want to go out and ride!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Rolfe Johnson on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A kilometre apart from the usual cycling book - Scarlett Parker takes us on a journey through the myriad worlds of the road cyclist to the tune of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

The delicately constructed pentameter is crafted with attention and care, meaning you are entirely wrapped around the storyteller's finger for the duration. Parker skilfully manipulates the verse to make the rhyme and structure surface in time for a few lines of brilliance, yet manages to make it almost invisible at other times. The book flows beautifully from character to character; slowly building a cast of road cyclists ranging from The Tester (timetrailist), to the Courier. The case for each cyclist is made, without snobbery or bias, and told with extreme care and humour - I enjoyed every minute of the book.

The writing is full of wit and won't fail to raise a smile from anyone with a connection to road cycling - especially in the UK. I found myself sitting down to read for 15 minutes, and being so utterly absorbed that I read the whole book in one afternoon.

I should also mention the illustrations by Faith Buck, which are beautifully drawn and produced, each one telling you something about the character and their environs. Buck has avoided being too 'cycling specific', and as such the drawings stand alone as wonderful work.

Having enjoyed the book so thoroughly myself, I have since far given it to two people as early Christmas gifts - both of whom have gone out of their way to thank me and tell me how much they enjoyed the writing and illustrations. I'll be ordering a few more before Christmas!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By OMW on 24 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Cycling literature has experienced a boon recently, perhaps in accordance with its well-documented rise in popularity. Not all cycling books are worth reading, though.

The Srampagmano Tales is certainly a niche affair. Fifty pages of 'Chaucerian' verse littered with detailed cycling references, depicting numerous cyling tribes, and accompanied by simple but charming illustrations. If there is a dedicated collection of cycling poetry, it certainly isn't circulated widely. The Srampagmano Tales certainly fills this void, and does so with style.

It's not a long, or particularly innaccesible read - not for any cyclist who's dabbled in various aspects of the sport - but after a few pages I was left thinking: why hasn't someone thought of all this before? I feel like I've read all this before in numerous articles, spread across countless turgid cycling publications, and passed over it with a sigh. Yet this rendition brings together all those cliches and boring generalisations into a coherent narrative, with genuine, comical insight into the life of the cyclist, and in the form of poetry, to boot.

In short, it's brilliant, and hopefully it will take its place as one of cycling's 'must-read' books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BigDaddyWayne on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Scarletts beautifully observed characterisiations of the many reasons we cycle is both poignant and insightful.

This lovely little book bears repeated reading as they rhythms of the verse are evocative of many a cycle ride.

This book is not merely for cyclists as Scarletts wry and witty language is a pleasure to read and contemplate.

Special mention should also be made for the illustrations by Faith that complement the book superbly
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Wildgoose on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Once in a while there comes a book that stretches a genre so far it breaks into an entirely new field of experience. This is one such book. Indeed, to borrow Mr Parker's own words "The threshold crossed, [he's] slicing through the void"

A cleverly crafted collection of stories that is such a refreshing alternative to the usual turgid book about cycling. Even David Byrne's efforts (let alone the burgeoning stock of autobiographies from racers, dopers and whistle-blowers) cannot get close to the aesthetic high this lovely little book delivers. Probably the most perfect piece of cycling related writing I've had the pleasure of experiencing, and one I know will qualify for repeated visits.

Anyone looking for the perfect gift for either an avid cyclist or a devotee of verse, then look no further, but by two like I did, because you'll not be able to part from one of them.

Sublime.
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