Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
Great motivational read
on 30 November 2004
Why did I buy this book? Well I guess because as I live in France I have come to appreciate the Tour de France. Living in the UK I used to think bike racing was dull as a television experience, I mean watching a load of blokes cycle what's the interest in that? What you come to appreciate about the Tour is that its a chess game on wheels, a test of one man's will over another, its about tactics and its about slogging your guts up, white your legs are aching up a very steep hill. Now if you watch the Tour de France you can't help but notice Lance Armstrong, to start with, he keeps winning it. So when I saw this book at the airport I bought it, because I wanted to understand more about the person who the French have a real love/hate relationship with. I mean why would they boo a guy who has survived cancer and moreover created a foundation to help other people.
What I learnt was that this is not an easy guy to deal with, he is so obsessive about winning the tour he studies how to take milliseconds off time and takes enjoyment from cycling up mountains twice. I also learnt a bit around the cancer story (which I was not really aware of) and how some of the self determination and will to win comes from that experience.
The writing style is odd, it reads like a blog or if Lance is reading into a tape thoughts on his mind, so I wonder what the relationship is between him and the co-author. In fact the writing style and the short length of the book were the negative points for me. I somehow felt there might be more he could share but then again I guess this is his style, so if you are looking for a great piece of writing you've come to the wrong place. Its also not really an explanation of the cancer experience (I guess thats in the first volume). What it is a description of a man's life, what bothers him, what choices he has made and is making apres cancer, his relationship to the disease and the sufferers he actively makes a point of meeting, how he manages to train every day of the year and have a family life (guess what he doesn't very sucessfully), and his views on lots of things like religion and even the Iraq war. There is also quite a lot of material which in summary are a dummies guide to how Lance keeps on winning the tour de france, as well as personal feedback on specific races or incidents such as the fall up the mountain in 2003. As a result I think if you are not a cycling or Tour de France fan you would be better off reading the cancer story. However if like me you wanted to get an insight into a sporting and personnal enigma then this is a good read and I couldn't put it down once I'd started.
Lastly I have one piece of advice, if you have a project you are wavering with buy this book, I was on a 3 day de-tox diet at the time of reading and I kept to it to the letter because each time I picked up the book I knew that I couldn't look Lance in the eye and say but its only a chocolate biscuit after all hes been through both in the cancer ward and in the unforgiving mountains and for that alone he gets my four stars.