Staying friends should be easy. But then, so should growing up, and George, Harry, and Ian have never really got the hang of that either. They spent their twenties in a state of permanent childish abandon. Now, adulthood is catching up with them and the icy blast of work, commitments and relationships is beginning to take its toll.
In one last ditch attempt to keep responsibility from eroding their friendship entirely, the trio decide to take a cycling holiday across the breadth of the country. Which would be fine if they’d ever cycled before. Or if George’s idea of modern cycling wear wasn’t tweed, long socks and cycling clips.
Harry, George, and Ian, three best friends decide to take a 170-mile cycling expedition. The main ‘agenda’ of this cycling trip is to try to save their friendship. Along their way, they meet a lot of people. There’s Howard and Vera, the husband-wife pair on a tandem; Kath and Jenny, school teachers; Pete, Finn, and Colonel, who have been participating in the cycling expedition for ages now.
The story is a mixture of loads of fun with a wee-bit of philosophy. Harry, the arrogant, the one who always thinks that anything and everything in the world is a competition (his cycling competition with Finn is a good proof of it). Then there is Ian, the narrator of the story, the one who easily gives up and is overly loyal to his friends. Then comes George, the one who has planned this trip as the last resort to save their friendship. We all have at least one such friend in the group, don’t we?
The book fits the genre of General Fiction and Humor. The author’s writing style is informal. Although slightly British, the language is simple and easy to understand. And, I really liked the author’s writing style. The conversations between the characters and the ‘mental chitter-chatter’ was Hilarious! Silly, but funny.
I loved the ‘conversation’ that the three had on the train. Ian and Harry play the alphabet game while George discusses their plan. Nobody was listening to him and yet he went on and on, yapping about the plan. One should read the book to understand the hilarious part of it.
Excerpt from the book
“I’ll tell you what impresses them down the dance floor,” said Harry, red-faced with exertion.”I used to be great at this.”
Then, without warning, he turned upside down and attempted to spin on his head. Legs flew everywhere, as did Harry’s arms, his keys and wallet, his dignity and, inevitably, the small side table and the delicate vase placed upon it. Harry, meanwhile, was discovering that a balancing act that may have been easy when he was young, fit and, let’s face it, less weighty, was now an experiment in how many ways it is possible to put your back out. He collapsed in an uncomfortable looking heap, while the vase smashed against the wall and water began to drip down to the carpet. George and I rushed forward, attempting to pull Harry out of his knotted position and to his feet without causing more harm. Shouts, grunts, and pained cries flew from all sides.
The part where the trio came across scarecrows was hilarious. They see scarecrows that look like Boris Johnson, Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan, Nigel Farage, Theresa May and Donald Trump! These scarecrows were part of a festival, where, local villagers compete to make the most lifelike scarecrows that one can find. And not to forget, the ‘encounter’ with a bull, which turned out to be a friendly cow!
The book is a delightful read. If you are looking for some serious action sequence where a killer jumps out of the bush from nowhere or the villain paraglides and lands on the cycle, well, there’s nothing of that sort in this book!
If you are looking for a light and funny read, I recommend Three Men on their Bikes.
My Rating: 5/5
Title: Three Men On Their Bikes
Author: Richard Mapes
Publication Date: 20th September 2018
Genre: General Fiction, Humor
Thank you NetGalley and Thistle Publishing for the ARC.
Featured Image Credits: Thistle Publishing