The Rider

The Rider


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780747559412
Publisher: Gardners Books
Publication date: 06/03/2002

About the Author

Tim Krabbé is one of Holland's leading writers, and his novels are published all over the world. His many books include The Vanishing, which was made into a successful film, and The Cave. He lives in Amsterdam.

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Rider 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
clfisha on LibraryThing 8 months ago
You don't even need to like cycling to find this novella constantly interesting and nail biting (quite literally in my case) description of one mans amateur endurance race. I usually prefer watching paint dry to the Tour de France but I couldn't put this book down for anything.Tim Krabbe uses the superb device of breaking the race, and it's description, into kilometres, swathes of flat country pass by in a flash but crawling up mountains slows to mere metres and then to millometeres as he fights for his position. Although don't be put of it's not a mere description, we ride with Krabbe, in his head; his thoughts and feelings, his constant planning, his reminisemces, his hatred of losing, his psychological dismissal of competitors, his wildy meandering sudden thoughts. It all builds a vivid picture, one that seems to play out in real time, you can almost feel the mental and phsyical toll, taste his sheer force of will to win.Of course it helps that Krabbe doesn't come accross as a single minded, arrogant sportsman. He is a funny, engaging and dryly passionate author that writes prose that is so tight a crow bar couldnt find purchase. He pacing is masterful he knows when to break away to tell an amusing remenencse of his early sporting encounters, drop in a fact or two and then back in to the race. I cannot recommended it enough, if you want something different, quick and forceful go get a copy right now. I for one am going to track down the rest of the books forthwith.
booknivorous on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is the best cycling book you can read in an afternoon. It¿s the story of one man¿s effort in a one-day race. Here you see the chess game that happens beneath the surface of a cycling race. The text is classic in its description of the interactions of the peloton with it¿s opportunistic alliances, feints, and poker faces. The language translates well in the story of one rider¿s will to win. This book is high on my list for both cyclists and armchair sports fans.
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
The best way to describe this fictional story of a cyclist is that it tells what can go on in a cyclist’s head while he is racing down the mountain, trying to break away from the pack, or working on being the best sprinter he can be. The author, Tim Krabbe, took up the sport at age 30 as an amateur, giving credibility to the context of the protagonist’s thoughts and actions as he attempts to win a grueling tour race. The story takes place in 1977 as the rider is competing in a race in southern France. Throughout the race, broken down into stretches of a few kilometers at a time, the reader will learn about the intricacies of cycling, the various stages of a race and the wandering of a cyclist’s mind as he describes everything from his past to women he meets along the course. That made the story a bit hard for me to follow until the next segment where he let the reader know how far along the course he had progressed. While the story was enjoyable, the narration was even better as Mark Meadows read the translated text (the book was originally published in Dutch, Krabbe’s native language) in an easy to understand manner. His voice came across as soothing during the down time and the competitive nature of the main character was also evident when he was sprinting to attempt to win a stage. Overall, this is a book recommended for cyclists and hard-core fans as they will best understand the nuances of the sport. It is still an enjoyable story for people who have an interest even if they don’t follow the sport closely.
GDJ More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago