The Queen of Tarts Review of Talking Derby

Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight WheelsQueen of Tarts Review of

Talking Derby:

Stories from a life on eight wheels

by Kate Hargreaves

                                          aka Pain Eyre

I love Talking Derby! I felt it. I breathed it. It’s a visceral, emotional, funny and smart love letter to roller derby and it made me fall in love too. I really enjoyed Kate Hargreaves way with words, she conveys action, blood, sweat, pain and joy in a lyrical and compelling fashion.  I want to strap on a pair of skates myself… But I don’t know that I’m tough enough.

court of reviews poster + queen

I got a kick out of the style of this book. It’s a fictional take on the author’s personal experience with roller derby and the chapters are short and easily devoured in quick gulps. The titles made me grin. Titles like Snot Rag, Give Blood, Play Derby and Ode to Old Knee Pads. I felt the thrill, exhilaration, camaraderie and yes, the pain of the sport and loved my arm chair crash course in learning about zebras, jammers, panties and friendship.

A few of my fav lines:

Watching myself skate on camera is like hearing my voice on the radio. Do I really say um and like, like, that often and is my voice that scratchy? That high-pitched? do I really skate that slowly, and are my arms quite that prone to flailing in the middle of the pack?


All cupboard doors swing open. The fridge loses cold air into the room. Crumb countertops. Jam smears. Drops of milk. A break-in. A loose dog. A rampaging bear. A sweat-stink derby girl rummaging in the freezer with one hand and sliding a sweaty sock off her food with the other. Must. eat. Must. eat. now. Must. eat. all . the. food.


I tug on the chinstrap. Snug. How many skulls can you buy for a hundred and thirty dollars? I tug the helmet off and run a hand through my hair, over my scalp. No splits. No stitches. No concussions, yet. I pull out my credit card.

This is your brain on roller derby.


I raced through Talking Derby and recommend it even if you are unfamiliar with the sport… maybe especially if you are. I was grinning like a loon and just happy to be reading about bouts, aches, bruises and skates from Kate’s poetic and relatable voice…. I think the town next door has a derby team.  I’m inspired to check it out and at the least watch a few games and support the team.


((hugs))) Kat

The Queen of Tarts

PS. Kate is on my virtual couch celebrating the release of Talking Derby! Click HERE


♦ ebook provided for review for my honest opinion.

Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels

Talking Derby:

Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels

Release date: Apr. 1, 2013 |
ISBN: 0887535178 |
ISBN-13: 9780887535178 |
Format: Paperback


Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheel is Kate “Pain Eyre” Hargreaves’ love letter to the sport of roller derby. A derby skater since 2010, Hargreaves takes readers behind the scenes, both on and off the track, into the world of women’s flat-track roller derby. Her vignettes play with language and humour, incorporating the sport’s unique terminology and culture, as well as a glimpse into the very real athleticism and powerful friendships of its players. With a full glossary of derby terms, including “jammer,” “goat,” and “cougaring,” this book is perfect for derby fans, fresh meat, or those who are looking for their first introduction to the sport. Talking Derby thrusts smelly gear under its readers’ noses and proudly displays its bruises.

♥ Buy this paperback from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million | Chapters | IndieBound

Buy this ebook from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble*

*will be updated as soon as available

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *