What the Reviewers are Saying

“A Penguin in a Sparrow’s Nest”, the first part of Frank Melling’s autobiography was brilliant.

The second part is even better. The stories are incredible – funny, sad and unique all told by someone who really knows how to write.

And there’s a lot about me in it too which is great!

Jim Redman MBE – Six Times World Champion


Frank Melling tells a mean tall story. You’d seek him out on Friday night, pint in hand, to hear ripping yarns about being black-flagged on Sammy Miller’s Norton Kneeler, or staring down the wrong end of a Colt 45 barrel in backwoods Missouri.

The twist to this second collection of postcards from a riding life is that Frank’s tall stories turn out to be true. Spanning three decades, Frank beguiles the reader with traumatic near-death experiences, the emotional upheaval of discovering your soulmate, and the story behind the immensely successful Thundersprint – and why it eventually ended.

Broken bones, broken bikes, broken relationships – all precariously balanced on the knife-edge of a freelance journalist’s permanent state of financial insecurity.

Out of the occasionally all too real fires of experience emerges if not a phoenix then certainly a Flying Penguin…

Rowena Hoseason – Editor “Real Classic Magazine”


I couldn’t name anyone I revere as a hero, but I’m always inspired by the quiet dignity and tales of a life well fought that emerge from those who glide just below the surface of personal fame – and who hold their values and family far dearer than money or stardom.

This is one of those stories, enhanced by a narrative interwoven with motorcycles, racing, the turbulent founding and success of one of Europe’s largest biking events and the passion to succeed against others’ expectations.

“The Flying Penguin” continues where “A Penguin in a Sparrow’s Nest” left off, charting the rise, fall, rise, fall, and rise again of Frank Melling. But it’s much more than that. The book is as much a social narrative on recent British history, teaching, troubled youth and the determination to transform nascent ideas into well executed success as it is about the people who have helped, hindered, supported and sacrificed as they move in and out of one man’s life story.

Few of the famous names that grace best-seller charts have had such an interesting life, and almost none could write their own story with the engaging warmth, honesty, and generosity that Frank has. He should have called it ‘To Be Frank: the honest story of a more than ordinary man.’”

Richard Newland – Deputy Editor MCN