I had just finished "It's Not About The Bike" when my wife -- a keen cyclist -- turned to me and said, "That's only half the story." She handed me "Lance Armstrong's War." "Here's the other half of the story."
You know a good book when you should be doing other things and... you can't put the book down. Bills don't get paid. E-mails don't get answered. You spend too long in the loo. "WAR" is one of those books.
Naturally you need to have some passing fascination with the world of professional cycling. For me it was watching the Tour de France and wanting to know more about how it all worked. Daniel Coyle will lead any interested reader into a fascinating world...
An opera needs to be written about the Tour. The melodrama. The characters. The morality plays. The blood. The guts. The insanity. The money. The doping. The journey. The jeering crowds. The test. The human spirit. Victory and loss. It's all there, a nice thick juicy slice of Life! And a huge bite or two of that slice is in WAR.
On the cover of my copy Sports Illustrated has described WAS as a "literary tour de force." A bit of a snob when it comes to writing I noted to myself, (a) What would Sports Illustrated know about literature? and (b) Daniel Coyle's a SPORTS writer for God's sake!
And... the writing is wonderful. Great character sketches. You'll get all the ins and outs of race strategy, sponsorships, training. You'll see France. You'll get a great glimpse of what Bob (Bobke) Rolls calls Eurotrash. You'll love the wry humor and jaundiced eye. Just wait until you meet the Lance hangers-on, "The Dudes" and "The Bros." Be prepared to LOL.
So if you're at all curious about this fascinating world -- but, like me, are either too old or too wise not to join it (!) -- WAR is Highly Recommended. You're in for a good read.
Dr. Kirtland C Peterson