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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional insight into a class athlete
I have been following Victoria's journey since her World Championship win in 2005. I have been awaiting this book with much anticipation to see the journey from the inside. I don't review books normally, but I found this an engaging personal story that I would whole-heartedly recommend.

It offers a close up and personal insight of the personalities behind the...
Published on 15 Sep 2012 by J.M.B.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars book
I bought this book for the club library , some members have borrowed it and said it was good .
Published 9 months ago by Vanessa Allen-johnson


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional insight into a class athlete, 15 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
I have been following Victoria's journey since her World Championship win in 2005. I have been awaiting this book with much anticipation to see the journey from the inside. I don't review books normally, but I found this an engaging personal story that I would whole-heartedly recommend.

It offers a close up and personal insight of the personalities behind the scenes both at British Cycling and in her personal relationships. Chapter 3 `Lost in the mountains' is aptly titled, and for me was the turning point that spearheaded her career forward as a world-class athlete.

An essential companion to this book is Dr Steve Peters: The Chimp Paradox. It offers an understanding of the psychological support that helped her manage this emotional roller coaster.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Miss Victoria......i,m going to find you very annoying "., 7 Oct 2012
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
Caught up , like a great deal of the populous , by the summer Olympics I watched as much as I could and came to be particularly riveted by events in the velodrome . I came to a conclusion that the cycling authorities, vexed at the domination of the British cycling team were looking at any excuse to deny us a medal , especially gold's. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the final of the sprint between Victoria Pendleton and her arch-nemesis, the uncompromising Aussie Anna Meares, where Pendleton was disqualified and the bullying Meares allowed to indulge in her usual boisterous antics unhindered.
Victoria Pendleton's reaction to that defeat was one of sportsmanship and relief . The first because ...well she is a great sportswoman , the second because she was just so glad it was finally all over.
Which comes as no surprise once you read this excellent book and realise what she had to go through to get where she did. As a child she would go out cycling every Sunday with her father , a gifted amateur cyclist who would uncompromisingly drag her after him, never relenting in his own pace or checking on how she was doing . Just towing her along and expecting her to keep up. Once her abundant talent became obvious and she made her way through the cycling levels she was often disparaged and discouraged by coaches who thought her too skinny , not tough enough ......in short too girly. One pompous official in British Cycling told her "Miss Victoria....I'm going to find you very annoying ".
Victoria Pendleton is a complex sportswoman , beset by self doubt and nerves and often finding the whole rigmarole of professional sport so stressful and painful that she resorted to self harm . Then came the time she more or less ostracised herself from the rest of the British cycling team by falling in love with Scott Gardner , a sprint specialist co-opted into the team who was forced out when his relationship with Victoria became public, to the annoyance of much of the squad who blamed her for his departure. She also talks candidly of the sexism rife in the sport, which is backed by her getting the grief for their relationship but him getting none. Her point about the disqualification of herself and Jess Varnish and the lack of support for her junior partner afterwards are most poignant,.
In the end Victoria Pendleton had fallen out of love with the sport that defined her and had to be persuaded to stay on for an extra two years in order to compete in London 2012 after deciding to quit in 2010 .Here she of course won gold in the Keirin and was robbed of at least a silver in the team sprint by yet another officious unfair ruling before her eventual silver in the sprint .
An unflinching resolutely honest book, excellently written by Donald McRae , Between The Lines has everything you want from a sports biography. Triumph, disaster, a searing rivalry, pain , joy, insecurity , multifaceted interactions and an insight into the incredible will and resolution you need to compete at a top level sport. Many are better equipped for it mentally ( it of course transpired that physically she was more than equipped ) than Victoria Pendleton but she got through it and walked away with her head held high . Just hope she does the same on Strictly Come Dancing .
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victory For Peserverance, 12 Oct 2012
By 
ACB(swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
Victoria Pendleton has opened her heart. What she has achieved is remarkable considering the motivational and psychological turmoil she has been through. The front cover picture is one of determination and don't mess with me. Victoria has been given physical attributes. Attractive, intelligent, yes, but they don't make an Olympic or world Champion, nor do they make up to a personality who can overcome the lack of self-confidence and self-belief that goes back to her childhood. Her career is explained with different coaches and her frowned-on relationship with Scott Gardener. The snide asides regarding this appear to have driven Victoria to despair. The sacrifices and self-punishment she has endured in pursuit of winning shine through. Her reflections of 'why and what for' are overtaken by her striving to be top of her profession. Victoria's descriptions of her emotions at reaching her goals, defeating the best, particularly the arrogant Australian Anna Meares, and standing on the podium to the National Anthem bring tears to the eyes.

Ostracised and exluded by her fellow cyclists, with Scott and Steve Peter's inspirational support, she has achieved world renown with more to come. There is a message here, even if a cliche, if you have the ability, keep going even in times of adversity. Victoria's father Max seems to have been interested in her development but not in an overtly emotional way. His attitude was important - drive and keep driving. Victoria's mother kept her feet off the pedals with a homely motherly approach. This is a remarkably open story of a remarkable woman who has pinnacled even higher in the publics' eyes since publication. An athlete who quit cycling in 2010 and cajoled to return for the London Olympics, has had a balanced objective to legendary success through many participants, coaches, fiancee, family, colleagues etc. It is Victoria herself, however, who can stand tall and proud of her historical achievements. An exceptional woman and athlete. A role model for any aspiring sports person. She has given so much to herself and her public. Brilliant. Nothing but the highest respect and recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little girl on the the hill to the Queen of the hill., 15 April 2013
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This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
This is a great autobiography, open and honest. I enjoyed the book a lot more because of Victoria's honesty. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I have read a lot of autobiographies from the male cyclists and have to say aside form a couple of mentions I did not know a great deal about Victoria Pendleton (VP). So I can see and understand how she can feel slightly undervalued despite her great and many accomplishments. The thing that separates this book is that it is VP's whole career and more importantly life to this point. This allow VP to spotlight some problems other athletes could be facing today, and let them know they are not alone and can get help.

The books starts at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and VP getting ready for her for the Olympic final. She mentions the people are around her and the mental preparation she need to ride and win at the elite level. From here on I was hooked into this book. The book then goes back and follows a more chronological order with VP being the little girl riding after her dad up the hill, trying to keep pace with him. She credits these rides as the foundation for all her future success.

The book is very emotional, (which I prefer to an author just throwing facts at me), and allows a reader to be part of VP journey, and understand how she is feeling in the moment. It does not just cover the gruelling physical training needed to become an athlete, the mental aspects, the sacrifices, the rewards and the emotions toils and highs. Probably as this book is written after VP's career has ended she is able to talk about issues and people she might now have been able to speak about if she was still competing.

Bradley Wiggins (BW) said writing his first book In Pursuit of Glory: The Autobiography was very therapeutic for him as it allowed to him to put some ghosts to rest and getting his thought on paper allowed him to reflect on aspects of his career. I certainly hope this book allow VP to do the same. There were many emotional low for her. Probably because of her honest and open writing I was drawn even deeper into the book and was really rooting for her to break out of them. As she puts when problem like these arise it is not a simple matter of saying I have a job to do I am going to get on with it. They need to be worked through and in some case harnessed for fuel or motivation. I would like to say being emotional does not mean VP is in any way whinny FAR FROM IT!!!! She is a tough fighter of a girl who is not shy about the issues she faced, but used them to become the athlete/person she is now. She gives full credit to all the people who helped her in anyway. I don't think she is overly critical on people who treated her a bit rough. She even acknowledges the help these people had given her in the past.

VP like BW did also find herself the focal point about certain issues in the sport. In BW's case his anti-doping views, and in VP's the discrepancy between the number of event for women and man. BW did also mention this in his second book Bradley Wiggins: My Time: An Autobiography.

Sometimes I get annoyed when top athletes and over the top personalities say how shy and insecure they are then in the next minute are back in "character". This does not happen in this book. VP's writing makes me feel that she is someone quite insecure who found the mental aspects of elite cycling harder than the physical aspect and her journey, (trials and tribulations), of overcoming this. This is a great book by a great athlete, the only thing missing I think from this book that was in other athletes book is there is no glossary/summary of achievement or results at the end of the book, the racing passages of this book are so gripping it make me feel like I was there watching. Great book buy it you will not regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really makes me sad to know we'll never see Vicky race again :(, 21 Mar 2013
By 
Eric Holford "WalstonEric" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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A well written, well set out tale of a supremely talented, but fragile sportswoman. One of the most sublime cyclists ever to grace the track. It is so sad to think, not only that we'll never see her race again, but also that her last days were marred by ridiculous decisions at London 2012. Speed should decide races not judges!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 22 Dec 2012
By 
Mr. I. S. Broadhead (Lincoln, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
The blurb on the inside sleeve promises us an insight into the life of the track cyclist Victoria Pendleton. It says it will delve into the deep and dark parts of her story and it delivers exactly what it promises.
We learn how upset she is when let down by her coaches over her relationship with her former coach Scott Gardener and surprisingly just how close she came to quitting her sport in 2010.
Excellent book, delivers just what it promised and much more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic insight into the real lives of elite women cyclists, 3 Dec 2012
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An in depth and truthful warts and all account of Vic's life. It shows a different side to the image that Brailsford and co like to portray and that winning is all that matters to them irrespective of the human cost. Victoria is an inspiration to women and shows that you can be a succesful sports woman and be feminine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing autobiography, 2 Dec 2012
By 
Mr. P. Datta "Pritthijit" (Stockton on Tees, Teesside) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
The golden girl of British Cycling bowed out of the sport, following a memorable 2012 London Olympics. The events at the Veledrom created a lively atmosphere as millions of us tuned to our screens or were fortunate enough to watch it live. We observed British domination and a few controversies along the way. These moments are relieved in the book. Victoria's career is filled with despair, jubilation, triumphs and disappointments. It is a well crafted autobiography of a truly world class cyclist. I found the autobiography interesting, fascinating and insightful. We learn a great deal about Victoria surfacing on different levels.

She opens her heart out to readers, by expressing feelings and views throughout each chapter. She is opened minded and honest. The autobiography is a reflection on a career to be proud and cherish for a lifetime. It covers important aspects of what any autobiography should do to arouse reader's interest. She is hailed as a World and Olympic Champion, but the route to success was a stormy patch. She experienced turbulent years. Her mental state was fragile.The gruelling train regime's were physically draining. There is a detailed insight about the relationship with various coaches. At times, she experienced increased isolation and disillusion and these are exposed, as we gain a behind the scenes look. These emotions burst out in the book. Her fierce rivalry with Aussie Anna Meares was one of the pivotal moments of her career, as she had always had a point to prove when beating a worthy opponent. Although the professionals career is centre of attention, we do gain some insights about the family background. Her family life draws attention. Her father was a cyclist and played a pivotal role in building Victoria as a professional cyclist.

The autobiography paints a detailed picture of the cyclist. Victoria is a different kettle of fish compared to fellow successful British female sportspersons. I have read a book about another British female sportperson to back the point. Victoria comes as insecure, lacks confidence and belief. She struggled to handle pressure at times and took things personally. Overall, she comes across as a nice person. It is great achievement for her to reach the heights of prominence and excellence. Just like any sportpersons, she had to make sacrifices.This has been contributed by resilent and a test of character. I found the autobiography engaging and well written. It is written in a chronological order which adds coherently and easy to follow for readers. I would recommend to read "Between The Lines" if you express interest in sports, particularly knowing about Olympic stars route to success. Behind the scenes, things do not turn smoothly as the emotionally drained cyclist experienced. This makes Between The Lines an intriguing piece of reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Against the odds, 24 Sep 2012
By 
JWA Drennan (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
When you watch the Olympics, you have little idea of the person behind the visor. You have no idea that despite their superhuman ability they're fallible. When you read this book it's incredible that Pendleton achieved everything she did.

Crippled by a need to please people, crippled by a sense of lack of worth and intense anxiety, confused at how the person she fell in love with was forbidden by her coaches.

I came out of this book inspired. It's beautifully written by Donald McRae who more than anyone knows how to get to the heart of an athlete. A brilliant collaboration.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional tale of rivalry and need to please, 29 Sep 2012
By 
P. Windridge - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Between the Lines: My Autobiography (Hardcover)
Elite track cyclist Pendleton is a national heroine and this autobiography is an inspiring read. Here's a summary. The book begins with her early days, chasing her competitive father up hills and feeling a desperate need to earn his respect. Then there is university at Northumbria and spending more time at the velodrome in Manchester. Next up is a training camp in the alps. This seems to have been a tough time, with Pendleton challenging the idea that sprinters should be stocky macho people. Eventually medication comes in form of self harm and then, more constructively, with a therapist. Many references to Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and more grunge assure us that there's nothing too messed up. Things are up and down but soon medals come thick and fast. An illicit relationship with a member of training staff puts a big strain on things. Pendleton resolves to retire from cycling, laughing at the pointlessness of pumping your legs to go round in circles on a track. However, Team Pendleton (trainers, therapist, bike mechanic) persuade her to stick it out for the 2012 London Olympics and beat arch rival Meares in front of the home crowd. With all the hysteria and blanket coverage, you probably know how that turned out.

Reviews for the book have been glowing. There's no point in repeating what they say. On the other hand, seeing no need for reverence I'll just go ahead and say: some parts dragged on for me- there's lots of hugging, holding people close, elation, despair, and thinking "this one's for you, Dad". Also, the blow by blow accounts of the various sprint matches dragged on a bit. They do add to the tension though and probably give a clearer picture about Pendleton's journey, achievements and need to please.

One typo I liked was "Downtown Abbey" for the TV series "Downton Abbey" (this is in the Kindle version).

Overall- not a great work of literature but an interesting read.
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