Book Review: A Penguin in a Sparrow's Nest by Frank Melling

Author: Ian Kerr MBE Posted: 09 Dec 2015

Book Review: A Penguin in a Sparrow's Nest by Frank MellingA Penguin in a Sparrow’s Nest

Frank Melling has been riding and writing about motorcycles for over 45 years and has contributed to may major publications all over the world as well as writing the odd book –well 11 to be precise. Now he has decided to tell his own story of a sixteen year old who left his Council House to become a shelf painter amongst other things before becoming a motorcycle journalist.

As you read through nearly 200 pages in this self-published paperback you learn that Frank was fortunate to enjoy a good night’s sleep in a brothel; learn about the dangers of asking for breakfast on his first day at the Isle of Man TT races; discover the delights of skiing on a motorcycle and appreciate the benefits of not listening to paramedics discussing his imminent death.

From that brief synopsis you can gather that this is not solely confined to motorcycling and there is a lot of warmth, humour contained amongst the stories that were part of Franks life growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. But, in addition to learning about Franks’ life you also end up with something of an insight to machines and riders he came across in his working life as a freelancer writing stories on both in the relevant period making it a sound historical investment.

While the title might seem strange initially as you read through his story you understand its meaning and relevance to the life of a man who has clearly been driven by passion, determination and boundless optimism, showing that with these traits we can all succeed. The book though is not the end, another is already planned to bring things up to date under the title dent to ‘The Flying Penguin’ so it seems prudent to get a copy of the first as soon as possible for the very reasonable sum of £11.99 for a good read.

ISBN 978-0-9527-9871-2

Available directly from Frank at for £11.99 (UK)