Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £12.99

Buy Now for £12.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Bloomsbury presents Magic Spanner by Carlton Kirby, read by Carlton Kirby.  

Prepare to be entertained as legendary Eurosport cycling commentator Carlton Kirby shares his tales from the road, taking you behind the scenes of the world's greatest cycle races. 

With a candid authority that comes from over 25 years commentating on the world's biggest cycling races, legendary Eurosport commentator Carlton Kirby isn't afraid to tell it like it really is. Witty, outrageous and often outspoken, Magic Spanner is an insider's view of life on cycling's Grand Tours, including the Tour de France, Giro D'Italia, Vuelta a España and the classics, all delivered in the inimitable style for which Carlton has become globally famous.  

Peppered with hilarious anecdotes of life on the road with Tour legend Sean Kelly, Carlton gives us an expert, behind-the-scenes view - one that the average fan rarely gets to see or hear about. As well as sharing his various bugbears (including crazy spectators in mankinis to the more serious issues of rider safety), Carlton also lifts the lid on team strategies and delves into some of cycling's more questionable ethics.  

Delivering a mix of expert opinion and trademark wit, Carlton covers the funny, the serious and the more bizarre moments on the professional cycling caravan.

©2019 Carlton Kirby (P)2019 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"A genuine one-off with a ready wit and a killer anecdote to hand at all times." (Ian Cleverly, Rouleur)

"Carlton Kirby is no ordinary cycling commentator, so it is not surprising that this very entertaining book is no ordinary Grand Tour on a bicycle. A very enjoyable journey for everyone." (Phil Liggett MBE, NBC Tour de France commentator)

"Carlton Kirby's infectious enthusiasm, wine tips and Shakespearean joy for inventing words makes every stage of a bike race a must-watch event." (Matt Butler, i newspaper

What listeners say about Magic Spanner

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    126
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    129
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    110
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love it.

I love Carlton Kirby commentating. He adds colour, history, humour, an obvious deep and abiding love for the sport of cycling, respect for its practitioners, and sheer humanity to the business of talking endlessly while we watch skinny lycra-clad people peddle their bicycles for hours on end. Buy the book. You'll thoroughly enjoy his ramblings - listen to the audio book, if you can, for the full effect.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterful

Carlton’s familiar voice makes this a most enjoyable listen. In terms of the content itself - I ordered this audiobook on Saturday morning. It’s now Sunday and it’s finished. I kept myself finding more and more jobs to do just to listen. So thanks Carlton - for my tidy garage and clean winter bike!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great commentator

it's just like listening to a full day on the tour, lots of topics, lots of Carlton, nice insights, good listen!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hilarious and insightful

Carlton Kirby delivers an excellent and at times very funny look into his life as a cycling commentator. Lighthearted and fun it's well worth a listen!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • GJ
  • 20-05-20

Superb

Well I would say that being a cycling and Carlton Kirby fan, but this book was informative and funny. Lots of amusing anecdotes and some outrageous laugh out loud moments. Read as only Carlton can, this was an absolute pleasure to listen to

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

worthwhile

funny and anecdotal, made .e gigle out loud, the writers accents made the stories funnier because some of the interviews I'd actually zee . Great work

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Commentary

The writer luckily narrated the book which was delivered like an extended Eurosport Tour de France commentary. Very witty and enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sumptuous feast of cycling anecdotes!

After 35 years of watching Eurosport’s coverage of cycling from the classics to the grand tours the bar has duly been raised yet again! From Duffield and Roche, to Kirby and Kelly. Long live King Kirbs! Can’t stop smiling even though I finished reading yesterday 😂

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Super smashing great!

The book was funny and informative! Kirby rules! Performance was top notch. Please write another!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent and funny from the master cycling commentator

Hilarious deep dive into the world of competitive cycling and all the paraphernalia around it. Loved every minute 👍🏻😊

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark Salling
  • Mark Salling
  • 06-07-20

Outstanding!!

Hilarious, insightful, well-done! I've already recommended this book and would recommend it to you! Highly entertaining.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel Gapinski
  • Daniel Gapinski
  • 12-06-20

Satisfying journalist's perspective of cycling

So much fun! I loved the whole of it. Giving it another listen right now.