A while back I received a very nice note from Christopher Blunt wherein he thanked us for our long-standing on-line tandem cycling advocacy and information sharing vis-a-via our websites, blog and participation in various tandem cycling discussion forums. Moreover, as a token of his appreciation, he wanted to send me a copy of his most recent novel, Full Cycle. It goes without saying, we were humbled by the kind words and willingly excepted the offer of his novel.
It took me a while to find a large enough block of free time when I could read the novel as a novel should be read which, at least for me, is front to back in just a few readings over a few days. That opportunity finally arrived a couple weeks ago when Debbie and I flew up to visit my parents in Pennsylvania.
While I’m not usually one to pick up a novel — biographies and history are more my taste — Full Cycle struck me as being a very compelling, life’s lessons story of believable proportions. In other words, all of the characters seemed very credible and real. I suspect the latter may be because there’s apparently a lot of Christopher Blunt’s life experiences captured in the story and its characters.
For tandem enthusiasts, yes… a tandem bicycle is very central to the story and the account of the main characters introduction to and riding experiences on the tandem was something that will resonate with all tandem riders, large and small. And, small is the key to this story: it’s ultimately about a father and 12-year old son pairing up and taking on the annual Seattle to Portland (STP) ride. The story offers a great perspective on how a tandem can build on strong family relationships between parents and their children as well as how cycling can play an important role in the modern family.
In many respects, the novel could easily be converted into a screenplay for a made-for-tv movie. In fact, as I read it I was reminded of the weekly anthology Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color as the story would have fit nicely in that format as a week-over-week mini-series. Or, even a feature-length Disney movie back in the 60’s or perhaps even into the 70’s. It’s just a great story that moves quickly through time and only tries to capture a little over a year’s time with this family, albeit with a few flashbacks to help with the backstory.
Definitely worth a read IMHO. Our thanks to Christopher once again for his kind words and sharing the novel.