"Although this is his first novel, Jonathan Clements's long practice writing the personal-finance column for The Wall Street Journal shows in a quickly paced story with a plot that moves right along, with enough detail that every middle-aged cyclist can relate to," writes Richard Masoner, Cyclelicio.us. "It's a quick, enjoyable read."
"An entertaining story," says Ray Niekamp, BikeNoob.com.
48 and Counting is, as the novel's subtitle suggests, A Story of Money, Love and Bicycling. It traces amateur cyclist Max Whitfield through three eventful seasons as his marriage collapses and he loses control of his business. Unemployed and unsure what to do next, he throws himself into training for a 40-mile bicycle race.
- Clare saw Max rise out of the seat. He was her 48-year-old father and yet, at that moment, he was somebody else entirely. The muscles in his arms were taut. His face and legs glistened with perspiration. As the bike leapt forward and gathered speed, he sat down, shifted into an easier gear and spun the pedals with a controlled fury. For a few brief seconds, the beauty was unmistakable.
- Max's bike hurtled past the other two riders. A yawning gap immediately opened up. Max had his chance. He had broken free of the other two, who were now belatedly trying to respond, their suddenly feverish motion signaling how surprised they were. Max was 80 excruciating seconds from the finish line.
Jonathan Clements is the former personal-finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He was born in London, England, graduated from Cambridge University and now lives in New York City. This is Clements's fifth book and his first novel.