Books by Rob Godfrey

Links for the titles shown on this page will take you to Apple iTunes and to Amazon and its paperback publishing division. These titles can also be found in just about all online stores, including Barnes & Noble and Sony Reader Store, and are available in a wide variety of e-book formats.

The Yukon Queen

One Englishman, one Dutch woman and two clapped-out Citroen 2CVs set out on an incredible journey of do-daring and fortitude and other very macho things...         je ne regrette rien

In July 1999 the good ship Marie Anne sailed from Rotterdam, bound for the USA. On board this creaking cargo ship were Rob Godfrey and two Citroen 2CVs. This voyage was the first leg of an epic journey to Prudhoe Bay, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, a journey that took Rob Godfrey and Jose Oostveen 8000 road miles across North America.

The 2CV Alaska Challenge was not only the first time a 2CV had been driven up to the Arctic Ocean in Alaska, it was also the first time that charity fundraising had been attempted entirely via the internet, and also the first time that an ongoing travelogue had been posted as 'almost live' reportage - the only things that weren't cutting edge about the 2CV Alaska Challenge were the cars... delay, deviation and danger while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, breakdowns, bust-ups and bacchanalia during the road journey to Alaska, and lots and lots of pissed-off grizzly bears were all part of what beforehand had seemed like a good idea. The book also relates what happened to Rob after the 2CV Alaska Challenge, which was a case of being 'down and out in the Wild West with a Citroen 2CV'.

The Yukon Queen is not only an account of Rob's travels, it's also a quirky history of Canada and the Pacific Northwest, including the Yukon gold rush, the Alaskan gold rush, the building of the Alaska Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The book runs to approx. 105,000 words.

The Yukon Queen is available as a paperback or an e-book which also contains 38 photos and 2 maps: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


The Iberian Job, a mad business scheme designed by Rob Godfrey to get the 30,000 he needed to build Commuter, an installation piece. Commuter is a 50 foot long coffin with toy trains running up and down it, and also a serious attempt to create consciousness within a machine.This isn't 'artificial intelligence', but non-biological intelligence: a real mind outside of a messy biological structure like the brain.

The Gods were angry, though, and while attempting to get Commuter built, Rob went through incredible hardship and misfortune, including serious injury, and on a number of occasions he ended-up homeless and penniless. The Iberian Job got Rob into a whole heap of trouble and left his reputation in tatters. This almost unbelievable tale spans the UK, France, Spain and Portugal.

The Iberian Job is a journey into one man's quest to answer the most fundamental question of them all: what is the 'mind'? It's also a journey across western Europe and gives a rich insight into what it's like to live in places such as France and Portugal, particularly when you're down and out. After reading this book you'll never be afraid again.

The Iberian Job is available as a paperback or an e-book which also contains 15 photos: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


Cranial Capacity 1400cc: rural France and a house renovation, a radio station and holiday rentals. Rob Godfrey's fourth memoir covers the years 2007 to 2017. The previous memoirs are When I Went Out One Summer's Morn, The Yukon Queen and The Iberian Job. These previous books all involved travel to weird and wonderful places. This fourth memoir is quite static in that respect, taking place entirely in France. The latest episode of Rob Godfrey's life is set against the backdrop of momentous historical events which had a direct impact on him: the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Cranial Capacity 1400cc is available as a paperback or an e-book.


Mr Jolly's Journey

In early 1990 the author travelled by train from Paris to Beijing, stopping off along the way and taking three weeks to make the journey. This was during the final days of the break-up of the Soviet Union and just as China was opening up to the rest of the world. It was a fascinating time to travel through these regions. However, having written a number of travel books, and because there's a plethora of non-fiction about the Trans-Siberian Railway, the author decided instead to do Paris to Beijing as a surreal novel.

Some of what's recounted in Mr Jolly's Journey is based on events that did really happen, such as the fight in a Moscow restaurant, or the Red Army soldier pulling a knife on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Likewise, the author was quite seriously ill in Mongolia, but survived to write this book, which runs to approx. 40,000 words and contains adult content.

Mr Jolly's Journey is available as a paperback or an e-book: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


When I Went Out One Summer's Morn
From California to communist eastern Europe, from Alaska to Arabia, from Paris to Peking, these travel tales span the globe and contain both high drama and small moments: a Red Army soldier pulls a knife on the Trans-Siberian Railway; a foggy evening in San Francisco and an argument about what the word 'penultimate' means; a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship; a girl met on a train while crossing the Iron Curtain; a record-breaking drive up to the Arctic Ocean in Alaska; bicycling in Beijing; arrest and interrogation by the Stasi in East Berlin; a Polish princess hitchhiking in the south of France. All this and more is recounted in When I Went Out One Summer's Morn, Rob Godfrey's memoir of 20 years of travels.

When I Went Out One Summer's Morn is available as a paperback or an e-book: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


Fukushima: The First Five Years

This book is a compilation of my blog posts about Fukushima, starting on March 11th 2011, the day of the Tohoku earthquake, and covers the first five years of something quite unique in human history: there's never before been three nuclear reactors in complete and ongoing meltdown.

Some of the blog posts are brief, some are quite lengthy. Some are lighthearted, some are quite grave. The posts contain a wealth of links - to news items, scientific reports, seminars, etc - and tell the real story of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the position we're now in five years down the line. This book is published against the backdrop of an ongoing news media blackout of all things Fukushima. Many of my posts touch upon this censorship, and in particular the politics and corruption behind it. The book also contains links to lots of interviews, everything from high profile people such as Naoto Kan, who was Prime Minister of Japan when the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck (and who is now a fervent anti-nuclear campaigner), to anti-nuke activists like Kevin Blanch and Dana Durnford, who are unknown to most people (both Blanch and Durnford have amazing stories behind them).

I suppose you can read Fukushima: The First Five Years from start to finish, as a chronology of the disaster; or you can dip into it using the table of contents; or you can search it for key words. Whatever way you approach this book, if you're not overly familiar with the Fukushima disaster you will probably discover things that will make you both very surprised and very angry. Fukushima is a game-changing moment in the human story, and this book is a historic record of it.

Fukushima: The First Five Years is available as an e-book: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


The poetry of Robert Herrick - who was Julia?

Robert Herrick was born in London in 1591 and died in 1674 at the age of 83, which is quite remarkable considering that he lived through a war with the French, the English Civil War and outbreaks of the Black Death. These were very troubled times and in 1648, when Herrick was in his late fifties, he published his life's work in a volume of poetry called Hesperides: Or, The Works Both Humane & Divine. Over the centuries, Herrick has often been dismissed as a 'minor poet' yet Hesperides contains some of the best known lines in English poetry, amongst which are these from To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

There are just over 1,400 poems in Hesperides: Or, The Works Both Humane & Divine. Seventy four of them mention a woman called Julia. There are many other poems in the collection that don't actually name Julia yet are obviously about her.

Herrick's obsession with this woman accounts for about 10% of the poetry in Hesperides, which prompts an oft asked question: who was Julia? Nothing is known about her. There is no historical record. This essay examines Herrick's life and his poetry and the Julia poems in an attempt to discover the real Julia, and comes to a somewhat startling conclusion.

The poetry of Robert Herrick - who was Julia? is available as an e-book: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


Sex and other kinds of poems
In 1996 I wrote a collection of poetry called Sex, which consisted of 69 poems that covered every aspect of sex you could imagine, and probably quite a lot you couldn't imagine (doing the research was interesting). Sex never got published. This collection contains many of the Sex poems, along with other pieces I've written over the years, including some of my London Sonnets.

The earliest poem in this collection, a free verse piece called The Miami, dates from 1987, when I was 23 years old. The most recent poem, a Spenserian sonnet called Perihelion, was written in 2009. I dislike the divide between free verse and formal poetry and you'll find that reflected here. I'm also no fan of the seriousness which inhabits much of the poetry world. Sex and other kinds of poems contains both humorous and serious poetry. I can only hope that the reader finds this collection interesting; and needless to say, many of these poems are not suitable for children.

Sex and other kinds of poems is available as an e-book: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


Dishwash Theory and other deviations

These twenty essays have been written over the last decade. They cover a mix of subjects across the arts, politics, science and history, everything from 17th century poets to vice and disease in the Victorian age to the assassination of a Russian spy, with Tintin thrown in for good measure.

By far the longest essay in this collection is Dishwash Theory - an explanation of the mind, which is a somewhat unique take on the nature of consciousness.

The collection runs to approx. 34,000 words and also contains a number of diagrams and photographs.

Dishwash Theory and other deviations is available as an e-book: Amazon or Apple iTunes and all other retailers.


Rob Godfrey was born in London on March 21st 1964. After travelling the world and having various adventures he is now pausing in a quiet part of south west France.

Rob's website can be found at: