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Paul STONELL (Bristol, Avon United Kingdom)

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The Escape Artist: Life from the Saddle
The Escape Artist: Life from the Saddle
by Matt Seaton
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pedalling Thoughts..., 23 Sep 2002
This is a book that has more to offer than detailed accounts of the author's rides out of London and into the Kent countryside. Seaton also writes about his arrival at a harsher world where cycling no longer seems to offer him the 'escape' or the palliative to the stresses of modern life that the title imbues with such promise. By the end of the book, Seaton becomes an Escape Artist for very different reasons.
Thankfully, what this book has in abundance are some keenly wrought observations on cycle racing and its sub-culture. The sport of cycling deserves and in this book has got some wonderful descriptions of the agony and the ecstasy that cycling brings that I think will appeal to the roadie and non-roadie alike. Seaton's desire to subscribe to a sport as uncompromising as cycling is described with a passion and grittiness that reminded me of the opening of Tim Krabbe's book 'The Rider'whose central character expresses disdain for those who prefer not to subscribe to the (more agony!)of cycle racing.
It is Seaton's determination to succeed and rise to the challenge of cycle racing that provides such a compelling read even if he does dwell a little too long on the matter of leg shaving! But it is also his ability to weave into the narrative the challenges facing him in his personal life that bring a respectful sobriety to the text. This is a book that manages to balance serious life issues with the simple pleasures of bike riding.


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