The Rider

The Rider

Paperback(First Paperback Edition)

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The instant cult classic about biking, road racing, and the bicyclists who love their sport.

Originally published in Holland in 1978, The Rider went on to sell more than 100,000 copies. Brilliantly conceived and written at a break-neck pace, it is a loving, imaginative, and, above all, passionate tribute to the art of bicycle road racing.

Tim Krabbé begins this story at the very start of the Tour de Mont Aigoual, ready to race his rivals through the mountains of Central France. Over the course of the 150 pages that follows, Krabbé takes his bike 150 kilometers, and pulls his readers into the life of the sport he loves.

The Rider is beloved as a bicycle odyssey, a literary masterpiece, and the ultimate book for bike lovers as well as the arm-chair sports enthusiast.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582342900
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/12/2003
Edition description: First Paperback Edition
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 130,047
Product dimensions: 5.17(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.41(d)

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 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
clfisha on LibraryThing More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kuruman More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.