The Moment Collectors – twenty travellers’ tales from around the world, by Sam Manicom and friends
Review by Jill Boulton
WARNING: this is not really a book about motorcycling. Always entertaining, sometimes shocking and often philosophical, The Moment Collectors is a highly readable anthology of tales about motorcycle life on the road, which just happens to feature motorbikes in a supporting role. Penned by some admirable individuals who pursue and embrace international motorcycle travel and all that it offers, this book will delight, inspire, amaze and amuse.
The thought-provoking collection of adventures launches the reader into a motorcycle white knuckle ride with Claire Elsdon, as she opens the throttle on her Suzuki DRZ to escape a pack of mad hounds snapping at her heels on a dirt track near Khartoum… and, no sooner has she arrived at her destination with her flesh intact, we join her in a speeding car driven by a stranger on a supposed mission to find some bananas. What will become of our heroine? Claire recounts her story with descriptive prose so well written that the reader is the pillion on her bike and a passenger in that car … this is engaging, exciting writing.
Part of the magic of this book is that it combines so many different experiences and storytelling styles – an intoxicating mix for the reader.
Consider Christian Brix’s philosophy (“When I change what I see, it changes the way I see things”) and dark thoughts, and contrast with Geoff Hill’s humour (“we found a restaurant that fulfilled all three of our criteria: it was cheap, there were people inside, and they were alive”). Then throw in some of Sam Manicom’s quiet observations and Dan Byers’ graphic, exceptionally readable and highly descriptive tales. This would be enough to entertain and delight most readers, except that’s just a tiny morsel of this book, which has also been beautifully illustrated by Simon Roberts, with the addition of some of the authors’ dramatic photography. Devour it!
Sam Manicom is to be congratulated for this literary achievement in motorcycle travel writing, which I predict will become a classic – and no doubt the first in a series.
The Moment Collectors is published by Adventure Motorcycle Travel Books. It is available at £13.99 direct from the author: