Monday, December 17, 2012
Conversations, A Book Review
Jack Riepe impresses me all the time with the quality of his writing. I remember laughing very hard at one the first stories I ever read by him. If you've ever read much of his blog , "Twisted Roads", then I'm sure you know what I am talking about.
I was lucky to get an early copy (#117 of 200) of his book, "Conversations With A Motorcycle". It arrived in a brown paper wrapper, the intention of which was most likely to protect the innocent. Probably a good idea.
I opened the package with a little bit of trepidation, wondering what I would find inside. Because Jack wrote it, I expected it to be good.
And it was! Very Good!
Now, because of the name, you might assume that the book is about a person, possibly a little bit crazy, engaged in oral discourse with his motorcycle, an inanimate object not actually capable of the spoken word. And there's some of that in there. Turns out that the Kawasaki might just be the smartest character in the book.
And you might assume that the book is about motorcycles. And it is, in part.
And since Jack wrote it, it would be pretty safe to conclude that there might be a lot of references to pillion riders, hot women, cigars, adolescent male fantasies and various forms of debauchery that we all know that Jack can be capable of. And you'd be right about that too.
But you might not expect to see Pirsig-like statements of motorcycle philosophy. And yet it's there, and it's accurate and thoughtful and poignant and, yes, even romantic.
Jack is a master at description. At one point he is describing a ride in some fog, then stopping the Kawasaki and shutting off the engine. I could picture in my mind exactly what he was describing. I was right there with him experiencing the same sensations of silence in the fog only interrupted by the ticking noise of the metal in the engine as it cooled.
Then there was the description of emotions of being jilted by a woman, accidentally running into her and her new boyfriend a few days later, wanting to beat the crap out of him, all the while knowing that an altercation could only end badly. Again, the reader is right there, sucked into the moment.
But I don't think I need to say a lot more. I just want to say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to anybody, particularly those people of a motorcycle type of persuasion.
You need to get yourself a copy. Look for what I described in this review. In particular, I suggest you find "Riepe's 1st and 2nd Principles of Moto Aggravation".
This book did not disappoint!
I give it 5 Stars out of 5!