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Posted July 17, 2005
Not as Good as I expected
I had to read It's Not About the Bike for my senior year english class. I thought it was a good book, but I didn't find it especially inspiring. I love Lance Armstrong, he's a great athlete, role model, and hero, but I can't help but say that he's not the best author. I also thought some of his descriptions were graphic and disturbing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2005
He's right, it isn't about the bike, it's about him
I am an avid cyclist and picked up this book with anticipation. I found the style to be acceptable but not exemplary, similar to other works by famous folk who narrate events. It is little more than a chronology of what happened next, and next and next. What I found disappointing was an element that I find in some other works by famous people who have undergone personal crisis experienced by less public people as well, but without the notoriety. Mr. Armstrong's treatment, struggle and his recovery experiences were illuminating, painful and uplifting. What got boring was his judgmentalness and condemnation of people by what they may say or do in a weakened moment. Lost on him was he was guilty of that same behavior. Those close to him, those who help him, are 'angels'; those not making the cut are 'ex-communicated'. There was a lack of understanding for those with similar problems not blessed with his fortunate circumstances. Struggling to deal with and to overcome cancer is a monumental task for anyone but my concern for the chronicler isn't enhanced by his worrying about losing his million dollar home while living on a six figure disability policy. How about the uninsured cancer patient who is the sole support for his family of five living in their $75,000 tract home who is unable to fly to Indianapolis for the best cancer treatment? Life is what life is and we must all cope with it on life's terms, but I was turned off by Mr. Armstrong's judgmental character, spoiled perception of his own importance in the cancer fight, and his 'with me or against me' attitude which I found pervaded this book. I really wanted to like this book, and there were parts that I did. But my overall perception was one of reading about the concerns and tribulations of a great athlete, not a great human being. He was strong in his recovery, demonstrating the strength that countless unnamed others exhibit everyday in even more trying circumstances. But my overall conclusion was the book should have been titled 'Hey World, Its All About Me'. In the travails he went through a lot of it was about him, as it should be with any cancer patient. He was courageous, strong and durable. What I found missing, even in the depths of his struggle, was the humility felt by a human being when forced to stare death in the face. Rich, poor, erudite, stuttering, diplomatic, excruciating honest, handsome or ugly, in the end we are all people with human frailties and strengths. A woman married to a truck driver is still a human being, whether she is an oncology nurse helping the author or a stay at home mother who makes a critical comment at the wrong time. One shouldn't be granted the passage to heaven because she helped the author and the other condemned to hell for making an ill advised comment. My conclusion was that as represented by this book I like Mr. Armstrong better as a cyclist. Sorry.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.