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3.8 out of 5 stars51
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2013
What can I say - I liked him but know I do not
He is a cheat and that is that - I would not recommend you buy this and line his pockets any more
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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on 17 May 2007
I remember the (scant British) TV coverage of some of the races described here... heart-pounding stuff! So I have a lot of admiration for any of the participants and nothing but awe for anyone who wins such a grueling race! Now I have been counting up those years because I can't quite believe anyone could win the Tour de France for seven years in a row! Added to this the fact that this man is a survivor of advanced-stage cancer!!

But what about the book? - it is very easy to read - I finished in two or three days and only tiredness forced my to turn out the light! Whatever the contribution of Sally Jenkins it sounds like the voice of Lance Armstrong throughout with no detectable seams. It is well structured too - even if you are familiar with the main events the story comes alive again through Lance's perspective and insights. It is not too technical, ie. you don't have to be a bike fanatics to enjoy!

Do we get to see the inner man? Are the secrets of his success revealed? This is not a "How to..." book, but there are signs: self-belief, preparation, concentration, demanding of self and others, acceptance of pain, prepared to take risks, not giving up, acknowledging and rewarding others, sharing success, developing talent in others..... all good lessons no matter what our goals in life.

But there is also an attempt to paint a balanced and honest picture of this life - we hear about fears of a return of cancer, frustration at the press and French judicial system promoting and exhaustively trying to prove drug abuse, almost despair at the idleness outside the training/race season, the pain at not preventing the break-up of a marriage, and even admission of failure to be as inspirational as expected!

It is hard to find fault - I did think it a little false that everyone he encounters appears to be a friend. And all that self-assurance - not sure I actually like the guy, or would want to be around him for too long... but the books is great!
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on 8 August 2009
Every Second Counts is built on the fascinating first book, It's Not About The Bike.
Although I found the first book more interesting than this one, it's certainly worth reading, to get a more in-depth analysis of Lance's life after cancer by Lance himself. As he has already told his story in It's Not About the Bike, Every Second Counts is not as heart-gripping, as there is not very much new that has happened when this book is written. He tells of his next two Tour de France victories, making it four at that time, the build up of the team (US Postal Service), and the success of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Definitely worth the read if you found It's Not About the Bike interesting!
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on 10 October 2003
I idolise the man, read his brilliant first book countless times, bought my copy of this as soon as it hit the shelves, read it straight through that evening.... and felt nothing.
A life story should be told once. The charm of 'It's not about the bike' was in Lance's description of his childhood, his diagnosis, his treatment and recovery and his marriage etc. An insight into the man that came straight from the horse's mouth (almost..) and served to give some idea of what makes him tick.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing terrible about this book, but there's also nothing raw. It might as well be a collection of exerpts from every magazine article he's given, bigging up all his team mates etc. in a way that really reflects his recent, more guarded nature.
Understandably the man wants more privacy, but that's a good enough reason not to write a second book at all.
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on 1 September 2004
I read this book on holiday whilst lazing by the pool in sunny Spain. I was once very athletic but middle age has taken a grip and now I am overweight and get out of breath just running up stairs. The lesson in this book is not to take life for granted. Lance Armstrong says he is happier to have had cancer (and recovered) than to have won the Tour de France. This is because it has given him perspective. He is obviously a driven singleminded character and we can't all have that trait. But inspired by the book I rose from my poolside lounger and swam fifty lengths of the pool. Since my holiday I have exercised everyday, changed my diet and am determined to make "every second count" The book also gives great detail about the workings of the Tour de France and the camaraderie in the team
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on 22 May 2007
This was written in 2004 after his record 6th consequetive win of the Tour de France. If you've read his first book, this is a very necessary follow up. There is some overlap in the telling of the cancer story but that is to be expected.

We get more details, in some cases very sad details of his personal life and relationship break ups. Through it all it seems as though Lance is starting to grow up a little bit. Perhaps seeming a little less arrogant but maybe that is easy now that he is an undisputed champion.

Never shy of controversy, Armstrong offers, with typical frankness, his thoughts on training, competing, winning and failure. He also tells of the work he does for the foundation he created following his dramatic recovery, addresses the daunting challenge of living in the aftermath of cancer and treatment, and shares further inspirational tales of survival.

A fresh outlook on the spirit of survivors everywhere, Every Second Counts is an awe-inspiring book by a man who strives every day to meet life's challenges - whether on his bike or off. There are more descriptions of his cycling and training strategies here too.
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on 19 August 2004
Having read "its not about the bike" I was compelled to obtain "every second counts" as quickly as possible. This book enables even the most ignorant spectator of cycle racing and the Tour de France in particular to appreciate how much more is involved in this sport than the pedalling of the routes of France we see on television. The details Lance Armstrong provides brings both the race and the figures in the peleton to life.
However, much deeper than the insight into this famous race, is the appreciation the reader is able to experience of a very human man with very human failings but incredible strength of purpose and character. He leaves you with the determination to make all your own seconds count.
These books had a profound impact on me and I feel grateful to have been able to read them.
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Every Second Counts brings us up-to-date on what happened to Lance Armstrong after he survived testicular cancer and went back to competitive cycling to win the Tour de France. If you have been away in another galaxy, he has since fathered three children (a son and twin daughters) using sperm saved from before his cancer treatments, won four more Tour de France races, become a world-renowned celebrity, been investigated for and cleared of "doping" his body, stayed clean from cancer, become a noted cancer advocate and developed a rocky patch in his marriage.
Every Second Counts is a rambling account of all this that sometimes comes across as having been dictated into a tape recorder during a long descent on a bicycle.
The book will be of most interest to those who want to know what it's like to recover from a potentially fatal cancer, live as a celebrity, try to balance a personal life with a demanding career and how Mr. Armstrong won all those Tour de France races.
Both his natural personality and his escape from death make Mr. Armstrong treasure every minute . . . and he likes to take life at full speed in demanding conditions. If he's not training endlessly, he's driving his car too fast or taking dangerous leaps into a rocky pool. At the same time, he's trying to temper that instinct with a desire to see his children grow up and have a good marriage. The book candidly explains how his retirement from racing will be required to help bring his life into a more helpful balance for his family. But he's not ready to do that just yet.
I enjoyed understanding more about why he likes helping those who have cancer, how he trains in ways that give him an edge over mere mortals (including sleeping in an "altitude" tent that simulates the thin air in the mountains), and the strategy he has used in the Tour de France. From watching the races on television, I couldn't figure out what was going on most of the time. These explanations were very interesting to me about his sports career.
I gave him one-star credit for candor in explaining his spiritual beliefs and how he relates them to his recovery from cancer. Most people would not be willing to share a set of beliefs that will not be popular with thosewho have a lot of religious faith.
I hope Mr. Armstrong finds peace to balance his life journey as he careens up and down the trying mountains ahead.
As I finished the book, I found myself wondering how hard I would try to save my own life if I had had his illness. I hope I have learned from both of his books that you must apply maximum determination (no matter what the pain and toil) and that . . . every second counts!
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VINE VOICEon 23 January 2004
A compulsive read- Lance comes across as direct, thoughtful, systematic,.... and human. His honesty and views will inspire you, and his frailty regarding his relationship with Kik and the children will inspire you.
A much better read than his first, highly recommeded.
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