Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bikes in Literature: Boy's Life...

So, I walked into the local Borders, it was like their last day of business and there were maybe a couple hundred books left in the whole place. One of these was Boy's Life. It has a bike on the cover, and at twenty-five cents, I figured I could afford the chance. It has turned out to be well worth the quarter, in fact knowing what I now know, I would pay full price for it. It is a compelling story, along the lines of Stand By Me. It is about a family, a group of friends, there is a murder mystery, there are childhood fantasies, and realities of growing up. And, there are bikes.

"My bike, old in the ways of a boy's life long before it had reached my hands by merit of a flea market, was no longer a living thing... Whatever it is that gives a soul to an object made by the tools of man, it had cracked open and flown to the watery heavens... I almost cried at the sight of such carnage... I was not its first owner, and maybe that made a difference, too. Maybe a bike, once discarded, pines away year after year for the first hand that steered it, and as it grows old it dreams, in its bike way, of the young roads. It was never really mine, then; it travelled with me, but its pedals and handlebars held the memory of another master."

McCammon, Robert  Boy's Life  NY: McCammon Corporation, 1991

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