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Olympic Gangster: The Legend of José Beyaert - Cycling Champion, Fortune Hunter and Outlaw: The Legend of Jose Beyaert - Cycling Champion, Fortune Hunter and Outlaw Paperback – 2 Jul 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; 1st Edition edition (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845963989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845963989
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 644,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A riveting tale that would be unbelievable were it not for [Rendell's] impeccable research" Independent on Sunday "Separating myth from reality ... and bringing it together with the sure-handedness we've come to expect is award-winning author Matt Rendell" The Bookseller

Book Description

The remarkable biography of a 1948 Olympic cycling champion who became a swashbuckling fortune-hunter in Columbia

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating story about an enigmatic character who lived life on his own terms and for better or worse, suffered the consequences. The narrative is quite detailed and requires some concentration to follow. This, however, I feel gives more depth to the book and a better understanding of the world in the 1940's and 50's. Matt Rendell is an academic and his writing style is very detailed as was apparent in his book on Marco Pantani. There is a lot of detail about the many characters and places in Beyaerts life and this is sometimes difficult to follow, especially when they are re introduced into the narrative at a later period. It is nonetheless worth persevering with. Once you adjust to his literary style it's a hard book to put down
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Format: Paperback
Having really enjoyed his book about Colombian cycling I thought this looke interesting. It is, but somehow I didn't really warm to Beyaert, and the whole thing feels rushed by comparison. With "Kings of the Mountains" the narrative was driven by the love he has for Colombia and its cyclists. Here it feels mechanical by comparison, like a book he had to write as opposed to wanted to write.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good easy read.
Any cyclist interested in that period of cycling & the characters it produced will enjoy this
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By Scoobie on 21 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Olympic gangster is a compelling read. The trials and tribulations of Jose Beyaert and the other riders in a bygone era makes todays performances seem like a walk in the park.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another Amazing Title by Matt Rendell that would be Unbelievable were it not True! 5 Jun 2012
By Joseph M. Papp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The publisher initially classified this wonderful book by famed cycling author and journalist Matt Rendell as "True Crime/Sport", but critic Redfern was right when he wrote (in The Independent) that, "Even that eye-catching combination [True Crime/Sport] doesn't begin to do justice to the many lives of Jose Beyeart."

Redfern continued, "His Olympic significance is his victory for France, aged 23, in the cycling road race in Windsor Great Park at the 1948 Games, but by the time he died at the age of 79 he had racked up an almost incredible tally of adventures. Always restless, always pugnacious - his first love had been boxing, and he was a keen barroom brawler throughout his life - he chafed at the servile life of a professional cyclist in Europe, and when offered the chance to cash in on his Olympic fame by opening a velodrome in Colombia he leapt at the chance.

Falling in love with the country and its people, he stayed, winning the inaugural Tour of Colombia in 1952, and over the next 50 years worked variously as national coach, bar owner, factory manager, treasure hunter, emerald miner, logger in the rainforest, drug runner (he was involved with the cocaine smugglers known as The French Connection) and, he hinted, at least once as a paid assassin.

Matt Rendell, who knows Colombia intimately, spent many hours interviewing Beyeart before his death, and has brilliantly pieced together a riveting tale that would be unbelievable were it not for his impeccable research."

There's little point to trying to reinvent the wheel here and surpass Redfern's review, which is spot-on and 100% accurate in the praise it heaps upon Matt Rendell's "Olympic Gangster." You simply can't go wrong with this book, and the surprise appearance of jade in Beyaert's life makes for a captivating tale.

Highly recommended!
Interesting.... 23 April 2013
By pandah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting and an unexpected read. More people should check out this book. It reminds you to life your life to its fullest.
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