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French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour De France Hardcover – Jun 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Large Print Bks.; Large print e. edition (Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753152258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753152256
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 766,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Moore's writing has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, The Sunday Times and Esquire. He is the author of French Revolutions, Do Not Pass Go, Spanish Steps, Nul Points and I Believe In Yesterday. He lives in London.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Comic writer Tim Moore trades his ailing Rolls Royce for a bicycle, a map and a water bottle in French Revolutions. This is a quest to pedal the route of the Tour de France, no mean feat for the fit, let alone a self-described suburban slouch. The resulting 2,256-haphazard-mile journey transforms Moore into an incredibly fit and passionately proud cyclist. Initially, Moore takes the "I will do it and it probably will kill me" approach. His normal perspective, as a stooge to life's misfortunes, plays well as he prepares to ride the route of the 2000 Tour de France. Moore is the everyman who pedalled in youth and now wouldn't ride a bike to the corner store. But unlike a traveller by car, train or plane, Moore has to navigate France under his own steam. Somewhere around the Ventoux, the world's windiest place, Moore starts to change. He becomes enraptured by the feat itself as mile by mile he realises he is no longer an accidental cyclist but a lean, mean cycling machine. Gradually, the narrative turns from travel to a personal quest. Along the route, Moore's details of the heroes of the Tour make an excellent primer on this gruelling race and helps the uninitiated understand the frenzy that grips France each July as the races meanders through incidental villages, over mountains and, finally, into Paris. It is worth reading for that alone. Having survived mountains of pain, a disgusting diet and motels of dubious value, a new, muscular Moore concludes that "I might never leave my mark on the Tour, but that didn't matter. It has left its mark on me". To follow Moore's path of perspiration is certainly not a vacation. Yet, this curmudgeonly clever and inspirational book makes one want to do just that. "Old Father Time was catching up with Old Father Tim. If I didn't do it this year, I wouldn't because maybe next year I couldn't," he says before starting out. And that, as Tim Moore so surely points out, is what pushes any true traveller out the door. --Kathleen Buckley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

...this makes for one of the funniest books about sport ever written... his self-justifications are comic works of art. -- The Sunday Times, 8 July 2001

Moore is a talented and funny writer who... gives us something to laugh at on almost every page. -- The Daily Telegraph 21 July, 2001

Moore skilfully interweaves laugh-out-loud set pieces with anecdotes from the Tour's history... a great summer read. Very, very funny. -- Scotland on Sunday, 1 July, 2001

The book's comic effect should not be underestimated: it is embarrassingly laugh-out-loud. -- Daily Express, 23 June, 2001

This hilarious account is laden with anecdotes, all conveyed in joyous style... -- Literary Review, August, 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
As a keen cyclist (well, 50 miles a week) and a huge Tour de France fan, I was looking forward to this as a substitute for Channel 4's absent coverage of the race this year. What I didn't expect was that as well as being an informative, inspirational and - yes - moving account of a splendidly hopeless amateur's attempt to "do the Tour", French Revolutions would also turn out to be perhaps the funniest book I've ever read. My wife banned me from reading it in bed because I kept her awake with my helpless giggling, and reading it on a crowded train one morning was a BIG mistake.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roger Risborough on 24 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've just finished this whilst on holiday in France and watching The Tour de France on TV, and Tim Moore's book was the perfect accompaniment to all that. I much preferred French Revolutions to his later Spanish Steps - things happen faster on a bike than alongside a donkey, and the history of the Tour was (to me) much more interesting than the history of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, although the annual Gallic bike ride seems to engender just as much (if not more) reverential hysteria. The usual Moore preoccupations all line up with him at the start of his one-man circuit of France (self-deprecation, being generally out of his depth, unfriendly interchanges with the natives, problems with language, equipment, accommodation and family) but what sustains him most as he covers over 3,000 km (genuinely impressive) is his trade-mark wry bemusement and deep respect for the real riders who have gone before.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Milemuncher on 20 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Make no mistake, Tim Moore is a funny guy. French Revolutions had me chortling out loud on every second page or so. Even if the chortles dried up, my enjoyment levels never dipped. This is an engaging and amusing read.

According to the blurb, Tim Moore is a London-based travel writer and journalist with six or more books to his name: by his own account he was anything but a fully seasoned cyclist before he undertook the challenge that provides the backbone for this book - to cycle the route of the 2000 Tour de France.

While he may not be the most accomplished cyclist, Moore's writing certainly communicates his love of the sport of cycling and his admiration for the greats of the past. French Revolutions is dedicated to Tom Simpson. The book is full of pithy, often rude, but always kindly references to the likes of Lemond, Boardman, Roche, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault and Indurain to name but a few of the book's passing stars. If like me, you are a plodding tourist, but with dreams, however misplaced, of future glories, French Revolutions will give you lots of inspiration and insights into racing cycling.

Obviously, this is not a book aimed at the world-tourer. Rather it is part-romp, part-homage to racing and part personal diary of a single trip. It is not where to go to find details of routes nor 'how tos'. It does have one core message for the would-be, but novice tourist: you can expect and hope to get better and fitter on the trip if you stick at it. Moore at the outset is unprepared and ill-equipted for long days and any significant inclines. By the end he is taking on some of the major cols of the route (and the occasional other cyclist) and seeing them off with them with some aplomb and a real relish. For that message alone, its worth a read, but its also funny and inspirational.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
'Travel writer’ Tim Moore’s account of his epic attempt (as an amateur) to cycle the route of the 2000 Tour De France (weeks in advance of the actual race) provokes in this reader a mix of awe-struck admiration for the physical demands required and guffaws at the frustrations and idiosyncrasies Moore encounters along the way. Comparisons with Bill Bryson’s writing are perhaps inevitable (they share a dry sense of humour), but Moore has a distinct, frequently more profane, style – as well (of course) as confronting tasks requiring great feats of athleticism.

I read Moore’s 2014 account of his attempting the Italian equivalent (the Giro d’Italia) on a 'period bicycle’ before French Revolutions and I have a slight preference for Gironimo – I found Moore’s parallel account of the professional riders trials and tribulations in the 1914 Giro even more compelling than Moore’s Merckx, Hinault, etc –related anecdotes in French Revolutions. That said, the account here of Tom Simpson’s tragic 1967 Tour is truly gut-wrenching and Moore’s frequent references to Lance Armstrong’s Tour exploits (unsurprisingly) provide a stark contrast to the same rider’s 'achievements’ as referenced in the later book. Taken together Revolutions and Gironimo should be essential reading for anyone interested in tales of sporting achievement (and, for that matter, anyone who isn’t).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
Again Tim Moore set out on a ridiculous quest, to follow in the tyre treads of the Tour de France. As someone with no interest in cycling (proffesional or otherwise) I dont think I would have read this had I not known the authors previous work, but this is for anyone who wants to embarass themselves with hysterical laughter in public places. Moore is so ill prepared its frightening but throughout his struggle with mountains, French hotel proprietors and large volumes of alcohol he will give you hope that maybe even you (yes you in front of the computer) could acheive something of such great athletic magnitude, if only really wanted to. Informative on the history of the Tour de France and very, very funny. Read it.
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