Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Review: The Chainbreaker Bike Book by Shelley Lynn Jackson and Ethan Clark

Today, in January Magazine’s art & culture section, contributing editor Aaron Blanton reviews The Chainbreaker Bike Book by Shelley Lynn Jackson and Ethan Clark. Says Blanton:
The first glance brought me nothing but confusion. The cover illustration -- of a bike shop goin’ hard -- reminds one of the soft competence of the very best of Robert Crumb’s work. Here it is reproduced in black and the shade of pink I can never think of as anything besides “bubblegum.”

The title adds another clue: The Chainbreaker Bike Book: A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance. This combination -- title, well and garishly drawn cover plus a certain devil-may-care attitude in the execution put one in mind of another famous book that concerned itself with maintaining a two wheeled conveyance.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig’s monumental 1974 work, had little to do with motorcycles, let alone their maintenance, philosophically delving into the metaphysics of quality. Put another way: very few among the millions who bought that book actually made the purchase to help them fix their bike.
The full review is here.

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