The Probably True Adventures of Sparky Malone – Michael Briggs


The adventures and mishaps of the spirited Mr Sparky.

Out now for teen and adult readers alike, Michael Briggs’ The Probably True Adventures of Sparky Malone is a brilliant part-autobiographical account of one man’s lifelong exploits around the world. This hugely entertaining book is a treat for the whole family, as the cheeky Sparky chronicles his fascinating life, inviting readers to join his journey from seaman to security guard with loads of adventures and action along the way. 

Review copies are available now.  Contact us here for details.

Born in 1941, during the second World War, Sparky starts life as he means to go on, finding his way in an exciting, post-war world with an innate spirit for adventure and an ever- increasing passion for the outdoors: “Sparky grew into a strong young lad, he always preferred to be outside exploring the world around him.”

With the boyish idea “to achieve his lifelong dream of going to sea” Sparky initially runs away from home before being ‘rescued’ by his Father.  Determinded not to be thwarted, Sparky works hard, passing his exams at Radio College before qualifying as a marine radio officer for the British Merchant Navy: “Sparky however was now about to start out on a completely new adventure, one which was to provide him with a life full of travel, excitement, danger, failure and success…This was finally it, Sparky was actually at sea, a junior radio officer, on his way to the start of his biggest adventure of his life so far…”

From page to page, Sparky’s travels and his hardworking yet mischievous nature shines through with humorous twists and turns as we share his stories, first as a seaman then as a salesman for the security industry. The adventures come thick and fast with endless new experiences, drama and hedonistic temptations flung at the sailor. One day, for instance, the young Sparky finds himself stranded in the Panama Canal: “With mounting panic, and a feeling of dread, he staggered to his feet, and looked around for his ship, it was nowhere to be seen.”

Sparky’s captivating anecdotes and amusing tales are endless, such as floating a car precariously in the English Channel, when: “the rusting blue body of the little Austin car, creaked, stuttered, then finally slid over the side of the ship…” to escaping from Saddam Hussein in a taxi across the Jordanian desert: “…but then Sparky put his hand up again and said,’ Well in that case I would like to inform you that I am leaving in the morning in a taxi for the Iraqi Jordanian border, and my friend here is coming with me.’ There was a stunned silence, then the Embassy man said, ‘That’s very interesting, but we would strongly advise against it, it could be a risky business once you leave the outskirts of the city, and reach the desert road. We have no intelligence regarding approval for such an action, and are unsure about Iraqi troop deployment at the moment,’ Sparky thanked him, and said,’ I accept it may be risky, but I would prefer to take my chances.'”

Sailing through 70 years of Sparky’s eventful life, the book is crammed with pages and pages of his escapades and continued lust for life, nature, travel and trouble as Sparky enthrals readers on his insatiable quest for adventure: “He loved mountains and the sea in equal measure, and found endless opportunities to enjoy himself, continuing to seek adventure wherever he was.”

From Sparky’s brush with bankruptcy to a memorable pair of M&S underpants, The Probably True Adventures of Sparky Malone is a non-stop flood of entertaining and lively stories and life is not always plain sailing for Sparky. The reader also shares his personal tragedies: “Sparky was now forty-one years old, and the traumatic events of those closing months, the loss of his mum, his downward spiral from a previously secure and affluent life, to near bankruptcy, all took a heavy toll on him.”

The author superbly submerges the reader into a historical context too, understanding the world Sparky inhabited alongside his unique personality and a zest for life during what was an evolving and opportunistic chapter of the 21st century: “The late 1960s and the 70s were made for people who went out to succeed, the economy of the whole world was booming. Sparky worked hard, and played hard. Despite his newfound responsibilities, he was still Sparky, mischievous, adventurous, sometimes outrageous, and occasionally risqué.”

The Probably True Adventures of Sparky Malone is a triumph on all fronts. Appealing to younger and older audiences alike, this book traverses the genres of travel, history, memoir and comedy and is a moral and inspiring story of one man’s desire and determination to explore, experience and achieve.

Review copies and interviews with the author are available on request.
Contact us here for details.

The Probably True Adventures of Sparky Malone is now available to order on Amazon.

Recent Reviews

“An incredible life, rip-roaring good. This book canters along and some of the scrapes and situations leave you wide eyed wide mouthed. It’s life-affirming stuff, gentle humour, perfect lock-down reading and to think it’s all true? he worked in a bygone age before GPS and electronics when all ships needed a radio operator and that enabled him to travel the world and have an adventure in every country. A joyful read.” – Ray Foley on Amazon

“Chronicle of his amazing life. An interesting and amusing read following one man’s life from childhood escapades, through his extensive travels in the navy and into the world of international big business. It also gives a real insight into how we have progressed from simple communication systems to the digital world we inhabit today in an easily readable and enjoyable format. There are many humorous anecdotes and it would appeal to all age groups.” – Amazon customer

“This book is perfect for lockdown! Light, enjoyable and interesting. The chapters detail a fascinating life. Highly recommended…” – Farmilo household

About the Author

Michael Briggs (AKA Sparky), author, storyteller and adventurer, was born in Aberdeen Scotland in 1941 when the second world war was beginning to escalate. His father was serving there in the British army.

From an early age, he was obsessed with ships and the sea, and ran away as a galley boy on an Icelandic fishing boat aged just fourteen.

In 1959, he qualified as a ships radio officer in the merchant navy spending eight years sailing round the world. Now approaching the twilight of his life, he lives happily and comfortably in Lancashire England, close to his beloved mountains and the sea.

Price: £12.99 (Paperback); £4.79 (Kindle Edition).
Pages: 327
ISBN: 978-19163779-3-6