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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    Any serious rider will appreciate this book

    I really enjoyed this book. It's an easy read, I read it in 3 sittings. It's a great account of a difficult bicycle road race in France. The style is a narrative of the race kilo by kilo interspersed with anecdotes about famous pro racers from the past, as well as fantastical musings about the riders mental state. I suspect some of the anecdotes are true and some made up. I suspect the story made matter.

    PS The overview associated with this book is clearly an error, it has nothing to do with the story of this book.

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  • Posted June 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    More fun than intervals

    I absolutely love this book. Most of the reviews concentrate on the story, which is actually pretty basic and certainly not the reason to read this book. The Rider, plain and simple, is literature, that just happens to be about a bike race. It reminds me of Flaubert or Kafka; every word measured and chosen as if it cost a fortune. I'm not into romance novels, but Madame Bovary transcends plot with its sheer, sparse beauty. The Rider does the same, although I'll admit that a love for biking undoubtedly adds to the experience.

    I wish I read Dutch to compare, but Garrett's translation is amazing. Anyone who rides will enjoy this book. Anyone who enjoys great literature will surely enjoy it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2006

    Great Book, If You're a Cyclist

    I always find that half of the enjoyment that I get from reading any book is being able to get lost in it's twists and turns. This book allowed me that pleasure. However, I'm an advid cyclist, have raced locally, and could easily identify with and relate to much of what took place in the book. The authors viewpoints, obsessions, fears, and other scenarios seem to speak directly to my cycling frame of reference. This is not a sports/cycling book. Rather, it is a book about a character engaged in sports/cycling. The author does a great job of maintaining a distiction. Yet, almost all of the activity takes place while the character is on his bike. The best way to describe this book is: A journey into the mind of a highly competitive cyclist as he goes through the process of training and racing. I thoroghly enjoyed it, but wonder if someone who did not have interest in cycling would miss the many nuances contained within, or simply not be able to identify with the author's perspective. However, if you're a cycling fan or a fan of individual sports, you should be able to relate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    Life is the metaphor for the race

    You needn't be a racer, nor for that matter a cyclist, to revel in this gem of a book: The exhiliration - 'I was in the lead group for one sweep of the cranks, then ... the blind wall of wind was there again for me alone. 'What kind of nonsense is this ?' I thought, then the lights went out.' The profoundness - 'Nothing is better for a firm and solid faith than being in the wrong.' And the humor - 'You can tell good riders by their faces, bad riders by their faces too - but that only goes for riders you already know.' What I can't figure out is why it took over 20 years for this European classic to finally get translated into English.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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