Ray Cross reviews a first-time novel from a hilarious and articulate author, Steve Male.
It’s one of the things I say I’ll do more of — no, not eat more fibre, reading. I must confess I usually do it when I’m on holiday. Still, with thanks to COVID-19, the lack of holidays – and just about everything else – I’ve found myself sitting in a somewhat sunny garden reading what’s turned out to be one of the only positives things to come from this year.
The book in question, titled Sylvie and Me, is about Steve’s journey following a midlife crisis [his words, not mine] to become an amateur motorcycle racer at his local racing club. The club in question is the British Motorcycle Racing Club or ‘Bemsee’ as it’s more commonly known.
The beginning offers an insight into Steve’s introduction to motorcycles; and where the seed was planted to have a go at racing itself. Documenting his sometimes incredibly funny, or unbelievably sad experiences, I found myself sitting for hours on end totally engrossed in his journey that spans over three years.
Steve does a fantastic job at explaining all the intricacies and nuances that come from racing and shows great wit and humour throughout; especially when pointing out his own shortcomings. With each track, or ‘round’, written, I felt more and more immersed by Steve’s writing style.
He offers detailed descriptions of the corners, layout and maintenance required to keep his steed running while not discarding the frankly eye-watering high costs incurred. His book is an excellent read for all audiences; especially those thinking about following in his footsteps and racing themselves.
One part in particular really hit home, and probably a lot of riders alike, as Steve explained a devastatingly sad incident claiming a fellow rider and friend’s life — a part of the book resonating with me, it had me gripped and emotionally invested.
I think Steve’s genuine, honest and entertaining character really shines through in this read. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone on two wheels or otherwise. Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to the man himself for allowing me to read it.
The book is available on Amazon.