The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power

The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power

by Travis Culley
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The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power by Travis Culley

Travis Hugh Culley came to Chicago to work and live as an artist. He knew he'd have to struggle, but he found that his struggle meant more than hard work and a taste for poverty. In becoming a bike messenger, he found a sense of community and fulfillment -- and a brotherhood of like-minded individualists. He rode like a postmodern cowboy across the city's landscape; he passed like a shadow through its soaring office towers; he soared like a falcon through the roaring chaos of the multilayered streets of Chicago. He became an invisible man in society, yet at the same time its most intimate observer. In one of the most dangerous jobs on dry land, he found freedom.

In The Immortal Class, Culley takes us inside the heart and soul of an urban icon -- the bicycle messenger. In describing his own history and those of his peers, he evokes a classic American maverick, deeply woven into the fabric of society -- from the pits of squalor to the highest reaches of power and privilege -- yet always resolutely, exuberantly outside. And he celebrates a culture that eschews the motorized vehicle: the cult of human power.

The Immortal Class, Culley's vivid evocation of a bicycle messenger's experience and philosophy, sheds a compelling light on the way human beings relate to one another and to the cities we inhabit. Travis Hugh Culley's voice is at once earthy and soaringly poetic -- a Gen-X Tom Joad at hyperspeed. The Immortal Class is a unique personal and political narrative of a cyclist's life on the street.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375504280
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/20/2001
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.81(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.15(d)

About the Author

Travis Hugh Culley, a director and playwright, has worked as a bike messenger in Philadelphia and Chicago, where he currently lives.

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Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Travis Hugh Culley moved to Chicago to be apart of theatre, but he quickly realized that success through art is more challenging than it seemed. Scratching more than just the surface of poverty he finds himself through becoming a bike messenger. He grows a love for the city and bicycling through the experience because of brother like friendships built with other bike messengers and living in the deep urban Chicago area. A major message of this book is to build a better place to live with simple a simple choice. There always is a clash and a little bit of hatred between automobiles and their owners from Culley. Trying to improve the city he revolts against the lethargic ways of the automobile users and tries to convert everyone into using bicycling as the main way of transportation. He says that it would improve the roads, creating less damage to the streets and less repair,it would make it more welcome to children, and the economy would improve because of the pollution produced would decrease drastically. I liked how smooth the reading was, and how easy it was to understand. Culley creates a vivid image on every page that is fast paced and energetic. Culley lives life on the edge, not with cliff diving or bungee jumping, but zooming through the city of Chicago on a bicycle dodging cars and trying to predict traffic lights. But also struggling to survive by living on a low paying job. The point of view is interesting coming from a person with an art/ theoretical background. I disliked the length of it because after 300+ pages about bicycling it can get somewhat boring. There were also parts of the book that didn’t really seem that important. I recommend this book to anyone who loves fast paced adventure, slight rebellion, and bicycling! Over all I give the book a 4 stars out of 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is fast paced,with adrenalin on every page. Travis describes life in the fast lane- but not in a car- no, mounted on the seat of his bike, swinging out into traffic, and defying death. His philosophical approach to life, mixed with his poetry in motion descriptions, make for a very enjoyable read. well worth the $16 youre gonna shell out to get this peice of work. who might just alter your look on the world a little.
Guest More than 1 year ago
puck may be the stereotypical bike messenger but to compare puck and trav is like britney and madonna...puck is a 30 year boy who needs a hug, and for someone to say, like in good will hunting, its not your fault... t.h.c. is so much more intelligent than that...his observation of the city and the job itself are very thought provoking. this book is extremely good for what it is. it is not the average intro body conclusion that you get w/most books...this book is character driven observation at its best...trav you did a nice job on this one...i really enjoyed this book, it is exciting, thought provoking, very intelligent, and well written. it does for bike messengers what top gun did for fighter pilots. and it has made me take public transport and ride my bike...i highly recommend reading this book