When Frankie Hermans emerges from a coma after 200 days, he knows his life is never going to be the same again. For a start, he can't talk, he can't walk and it's a struggle even to wield a pen. And then there's Joe Speedboat - a boy who arrived in the sleepy village of Lomark like a blazing comet and who's been stirring things up ever since. Whether setting off bombs, racing mopeds or building a bi-plane, Joe has the touch of a magician and the spirit of a daredevil. He also sees a use for Frankie's good right arm beyond writing: as a champion arm-wrestler Frankie will be strong enough to impress his friends, and maybe even win the favour of the gorgeous, golden-haired girl who has them all in a spin. Full of vitality, verve and chutzpah, Joe Speedboat tells the fast-paced story of an unlikely friendship between two boys, and of their lightning dash towards adulthood.
Tommy Wieringa was born in 1967 and grew up partly in the Netherlands, and partly in the tropics. He began his writing career with travel stories and journalism, and is the author of four other novels. His fiction has been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Oxford/Weidenfeld Prize, and has won Holland's Libris Literature Prize. Sam Garrett has translated some forty novels and works of non-fiction. He has won prizes and appeared on shortlists for some of the world's most prestigious literary awards, and is the only translator to have twice won the British Society of Authors' Vondel Prize for Dutch-English translation.