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The Hour Paperback – 22 Jun 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey (22 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224075195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224075190
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 631,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`constantly absorbing...frequently very funny'
-- The Saturday Telegraph. Rev by Toby Clements.

Book Description

Wonderful new addition to the Yellow Jersey cycling list, the story of the only cycling record that matters.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
70% of all books written by sportsman are fairly dull unless you're a huge fan of that person (they didn't become famous by being a great writer did they?); 20% break into the "quite enjoyable" category; just 10% are capable of breaking the mould and appealing to the generalist reader because they are so entertaining and so well written - this is well into the 10% category. You need know nothing of cycling and Michael will entertain you whilst making you feel the pain he went through by such hugely real descriptions... am I using too many superlatives? I don't think you can for this book... I defy anyone with even a vague interest in sport not to enjoy this book
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Format: Paperback
Fantastically funny. Lots on the history of the Hour record, the unlimitable anal retentiveness of the 'Blazers and Shoes' of the UCI, about how he prepared (and failed to prepare) for his attempt, ever decreasing circles of the organising of the attempt, enough self-deprecating humour to lighten it, but not so much that it becomes obvious.

A thoroughly entertaining read about a subject I didn't know too much about.
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Format: Paperback
A fair few people of a certain age people would remember the media coverage of Obree and Boardman riding round a cycle track for ages, breaking some sort of record and thinking how well they had down for their country. I have no active interest in cycling but that doesn't stop this book from being very informative on 'The Hour' record itself as well as being very funny indeed.

Once you are into Hutch's endeavours the book is difficult to put down as you will him to succeed. A great holiday read.
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Format: Paperback
Introduced to the book last week before the author was due to appear at Darlington library , I thought it may be worthwhile to read a little before attending the presentation and then found that I couldn't put the book down and finished it in 4 days !!Wonderfully witty and readable , he manages to frame the challenge of riding the "athlete's hour" within an intersting and informative history of "The Hour" - the 60 minutes that riders have to cover the furthest distance - no gears , no brakes , just man and machine - allowing the reader a glimpse of some of the real character's of the cycling world : Roger Riviere , Merckx , Boardman , Obree , Oscar egg (!) and the "technically incestuous " Jacques Anquetil ! That the "fear of failure" rather than the quest for success which often drove him and others stars to greater efforts ( and sadly , in Obree's case , to attempted suicide )was interesting and thought provoking . Interestingly Hutchinson regards dealing with pain in cycling like dealing with boredom - just put it to one side and think about something else - is something which defines the good from the great in my opinion . Watch out for his next book on sailing , this man has a great future in writing ahead of him . Recommended
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book delivering what it says on the tin with a history of the hour record and an insight into Hutchinson's preparations.

While I cycled in the late 80's and kept up with news through the 90's, for me cycling in the new millennium has probably been restricted to the Tour. As a result I wasn't aware of Hutchinson or his attempt and the tale of his preparation had me equally gripped and aghast at the logistics and how it was pretty much on a wing and a prayer.

Somewhat perversely I found myself almost hoping the attempt failed as a result of the comedy of errors masquerading as preparations. Having got to the end I can only apologise to the author for ever having entertained such thoughts and not providing wholehearted support. He certainly deserves it for his application despite the numerous obstacles placed in his way and more so his ability to tell a story.

Read and enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of books about cycling - this is definitely one of the better ones. The book will obviously appeal to cycling enthusiasts but is also written in a style that can be enjoyed by non-cyclists.

Michael Hutchinson charts his sometimes erratic progress in pursuit of the ultimate cycling record - "How far can you ride in one hour?". He also takes us back to examine the lives of previous holders of this blue riband event of the cycling world - often with a wry smile at the unusual characters that have been involved.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. A great read!
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Format: Paperback
It is difficult to identify The Hour's greatest strength - its funny, interesting, informative and, unusual amongst sports books, will appeal to sports fans and non-sports fans alike.

The Hour is several books in one - Hutchinson intertwines the tale of the obsession and effort involved in preparing for his attempt on the hour record with a witty and interesting history of professional cycling, particularly past hour record attempts.

Hutchinson vividly brings to life characters from professional cycling past and present, including Coppi, Anquetil, Mercx and Obree. Perhaps as interesting as any of the old pros, however, are the characters involved in Hutchinson's own record attempt, not least his partner Louisa who comes to the fore as the book progresses.

The Hour is as interesting as either volume of Lance Armstrong's autobiography, its infinitely funnier than Tim Moore's French Revolutions and is as insightful as Paul Kimmage's Rough Ride - if you only read one non fiction book this year it should be The Hour.
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