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What Goes Around By Emily Chappell,

  • Title: What Goes Around
  • Author: Emily Chappell
  • ISBN: 9781783350537
  • Page: 462
  • Format: Paperback
  • Emily Chappell never meant to be a cycle courier She planned to earn her living using her mind rather than her legs She thought it d be a useful stopgap while searching for a real job Today, six years on, she s still pedalling It s my most enduring love affair the career that s shaped my life, made me what I am, and entirely derailed any hope of a normal existence.Emily Chappell never meant to be a cycle courier She planned to earn her living using her mind rather than her legs She thought it d be a useful stopgap while searching for a real job Today, six years on, she s still pedalling It s my most enduring love affair the career that s shaped my life, made me what I am, and entirely derailed any hope of a normal existence As she flies through the streets of the capital, dancing with the traffic, Chappell records the pain and pleasure both mental and physical of life on wheels the hurtling, dangerous missions the ebb and flow of seasonal work the moments of fear and freedom, anger and exhaustion the camaraderie of the courier tribe and its idiosyncratic characters the conflict and harmony between bicycle and road, body and mind.At the same time it is a hymn to London its changing skyline, its chaos and interconnectedness the unlikeliest street corners will have some tattered threads of memory fluttering from them like a flagIt s almost as if the memories have overflowed from my head and scattered themselves about the city Some parts of my life I can recall simply by thinking of them others I think I d remember better if I went back to a certain part of London and plucked them up from the tree I d hung them from, or retraced them from the park bench I d scratched them on, or snatched them up as they blew around in circles in an alleyway like a discarded carrier bag This is a book about discovery and belonging, connection and memory, choosing life s uncharted course and the delicious sensation of just riding.
    What Goes Around Emily Chappell never meant to be a cycle courier She planned to earn her living using her mind rather than her legs She thought it d be a useful stopgap while searching for a real job Today six years

    One thought on “What Goes Around”

    1. Emily Chappell paints a fabulous picture of the mythology of the life of a cycle courier in London Starting the job herself in part because she was seduced by the idea of cool couriers flying around town, their freedom, the outdoor lifestyle, the camaraderie, the social life, the counter culture community Instead, she finds out that the reality is both nothing as she imagined, and everything she had imagined The camaraderie, the outdoor lifestyle and the freedom are all there, but it s also freq [...]

    2. This review first appeared on our blog, where we also chat to the author tripfiction cycle courMemoir of a cycle courier set in London swerve, brake or die Ever wondered what it is like to be a cycle courier in London And a female one at that Emily gives up her predetermined life in academia to work initially as one of two females in a courier company in the capital As anyone can imagine, it is a hard job through all the seasons, from the biting winds and rain of the Winter months, through the i [...]

    3. Like all personal memoirs, this book is best approached with the fewest possible expectations, for it is primarily about the author s inner life, rather than its advertised subject of cycle couriering which, though skilfully depicted, often serves only as a backdrop In that sense, What Goes Around is a resounding success Hinting at the events that precede and succeed these years of cycle couriering in enough detail to frame her story, but without becoming laborious, this retrospective and pleasa [...]

    4. In no way did this book make me want to give up my job and become a cycle courier as seems to happen for a number of people in Emily s story But it did give me a new appreciation of what goes on in London day in day out, that you just don t notice unless you really look I m going to be trying to spot cycle couriers from now on Entertaining book.

    5. A good insight into the world of cycle couriers I ride regularly in London and could relate to a lot of her descriptions on the city and its streets Mostly a good 4 star read, which drops a star as for some reason I became a little disengaged with it about 3 4 of the way through.

    6. Wonderful bildungsroman Well, so very nearly Chappell just misses the bulls eye She writes very well, and has that inspiring ability to make a life she wants rather than the one that she seemed destined for academia or a post academic conventional career She comes across as a hugely sympathetic character and, like many readers, I suspect, I couldn t help falling half in love with her but I m 61 and twice her age, and oh, she s gay, of course.It only felt like a stitched together collection of bl [...]

    7. If you have any kind of relationship with London, I think you ll enjoy this book If you ride a bike, I think you ll enjoy this book If you like books in which someone takes you into a world you don t normally inhabit, I think you ll enjoy this book And, at the risk of clich , if you re interested in a dyke s perspective on a world most commonly associated with men, I think you ll enjoy this book Also, the writing is fantastic.

    8. Similar to other 3 star reviews here, I enjoyed the book at the start also being a London cyclist, however, despite being well written, I was unable to keep engaged possibly a fault of mine than Emily s but I think some aggressive editing and could have made it punchier It was much longer than I expected I kept looking at my progress on my Kindle and was always surprised how far I still had to go I usually find that a bad sign is if I m wishing the book would accelerate, it usually means I m l [...]

    9. I bought this book, mainly because of my interest in cycling, but it delivered so much than excepted Chappell is an excellent storyteller and has a real gift for writing I see cycle couriers in a new light now

    10. A very good and well written book Chappell, writing is clear, vivid and gives an excellent account of life asxs London cycle courier.

    11. The beginning of the book was great, but after about 20% it started to get repetitive, and I had less and less wish to read At about 60%, it lost me totally As a cycle courrier life, it would have been better to keep 20% of the text, and add great street photographs to it Because who would read it I think only those who are interested to see the life of a messenger from inside As a biography, there are way much better books out there to read.

    12. Emily Chappell took up cycle couriering in London as a stopgap while trying to figure out what real job she wants to peruse 6 years later and Emily is still cycling What Goes Around is part memoir, part day in the life of a courier and part ode to London Chappell tells us what it s like to be a cycle courier, the pain, the exhaustion, being subjected to the elements, how reckless drivers and pedestrians are towards cyclists We get a sense of the community of cyclists and especially couriers in L [...]

    13. I think Emily is a really great writer and manages to capture the spirit of what she s talking about really well I also like the way she intertwines personal stories with general cycle courier stories I feel I can identify with her as well as being impressed that she can do what she does it doesn t sound easy I think that one problem is that with a book like this is is hard to create a coherent enough thread to really push the narrative through it is essentially a bundle of anecdotes and this s [...]

    14. I defy anyone to read this and not feel compelled to cycle immediately.Without taking away from the poignant and beautifully written personal recollections from the author s life, this memoir of a bike courier covers psychogeography, life in the city, finding your way in life after college, making your way in an unusual career, a tight community which has been gentrified and stolen by hipsters and London s regeneration It s a travelogue of London, speaks of the delightfully gritty details of bik [...]

    15. My favorite messenger book by far I suspect the author is at least 10 years younger than I am but there are some huge parallels in our courier careers, not the least of which is that she came back around It was great to read a well written memoir about someone else not who s not straight and the separate worlds that involves, who struggled with early insecurities in the industry, found their place and grew into their self The details like the joy of working with a talented dispatcher, the automa [...]

    16. This was an interesting book which took you through the life of a cycle courier Not being too familiar with London I got a little lost in the detail about cycling routes, etc but I found the book to be entertaining and engaging to read.

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