Customer Reviews


43 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (7)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, disturbing, and quite sad
After a slow start this book becomes "can't put it down" material. Rendell's research is exceptionally detailed and you really get to understand how doping benefits cyclists. Delving into Pantani's personal life is where the book excels, rivets, and upsets though. Reading about his decline and cocaine problems was extremely moving, and even after putting the book down for...
Published on 24 May 2007 by Mark

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed review
A good insight into the great man although if you consider a drug using cheat "great" is a matter for personal opinion. Obviously deeply troubled and nuerotic individual who had real talent but let the downside of his success take him to a darker world that money and fame give you access to. Yes this book gives you a great insight into him and his life but i did find it...
Published 23 months ago by Kitersteve


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, disturbing, and quite sad, 24 May 2007
This review is from: The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography (Hardcover)
After a slow start this book becomes "can't put it down" material. Rendell's research is exceptionally detailed and you really get to understand how doping benefits cyclists. Delving into Pantani's personal life is where the book excels, rivets, and upsets though. Reading about his decline and cocaine problems was extremely moving, and even after putting the book down for an evening my mind would still be going over the content. Well worth reading, whether you're a cycling fan or not. The fine line between genius and madness is well revealed here, showing how the gifted Pantani slipped onto the wrong side of the line.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 30 July 2007
By 
S. Dawson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A fantastic exploration of the this amazing cyclist, the allegations of doping, the court battles and his last few days in the hotel room where he was eventually found dead. Rendell has a unique insight to the case, from his interviews and knowledge of this sport and his writing is thrilling, especially as he describes Pantani's various victories. He draws some interesting conclusions concerning whether or not Pantani had a mental illness (I believe as someone suggested that he was bipolar), and asks questions about his ultimate downfall. Highly recommended if you are into cycling or even just want an excellent sports biography.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant with Feet of Clay., 20 Nov 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just because I gave a less than stellar review to Matt's more recent book on the Tour de France, I thought it only fair to contribute my thoughts on this one as well - because it's superb.
Meticulously researched, beautifully written, detailed, moving and horrifying by turns, this book is both a grisly account of the disintegration of a personality, and the story of one of the greatest cycling talents ever. Marco Pantani, Il Pirata as he is known from the piratical headscarf he sometimes wore, was a doper, a cheater and an addict - and one of the most amazing cycling mountain-climbers of all time; a mass of contradictions who still provokes awe and deprecation in equal amounts. Matt Rendell brings out the many sides of this complex personality in his disturbing and sometimes cold-bloodedly factual account.
If anyone should dispute the figures Matt quotes, by the way, there's one small but telling piece of evidence of their authenticity: namely the writer's puzzlement at the .wdb suffix to the filenames of the doping records. Apparently this unfamiliar format made them very difficult to recover! However any old-skool PC user will recognise this as the suffix of an antiquated MS Works Database format, for the simple-minded cut-down database which was supplied with the (surprisingly useful IMO :) ) MS Works suite for pre Win '98 versions of Windows. That Matt was genuinely puzzled by this says volumes for his integrity if you think about it. You couldn't make it up!
But seriously: this is a biography of Il Pirata, from his earliest involvement in cycling to his ignominious death from cocaine overdose in Hotel Residence le Rose, Rimini, in 2004. But the book's title is The *Death* of Marco Pantani; not 'The Life'. If you read this book, you will understand why; Marco, as Matt says, 'had been dying a long time'. This book is immensely sad; it is also a must read for any cycling fan. Highest possible recommendation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed review, 1 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A good insight into the great man although if you consider a drug using cheat "great" is a matter for personal opinion. Obviously deeply troubled and nuerotic individual who had real talent but let the downside of his success take him to a darker world that money and fame give you access to. Yes this book gives you a great insight into him and his life but i did find it a challenging read with basically boring passages interspersed with the interesting bits. condense this book down to about a third of its length and i would have built as good a picture of the man and enjoyed doing so at the same time
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, even for outsiders, 16 Aug 2006
This review is from: The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography (Hardcover)
I am no cyclist, but found the book extremely interesting. I came to the subject with an open mind, but was convinced by the author's arguments - we are talking about doping in the milieu of cycling.

The book takes us from Marco Pantani's youth right up to his death, and beyond.

Unlike one of the previous critics, I do not consider the volume to be a hatchet job. All allegations are examined in detail, and medical concepts are explained very clearly - I know more about blood chemistry than I'll never need!

The evidence is overwhelming. Marco Pantani was doped, and probably from the beginning of his career. The evidence is the blood samples. The modes of defence are shown to make no medical sense, and the asides are also quite damning (why would cyclists want to set up bikes in their hotel room, during a Tour? it only makes any sense if their blood is thick and they need to get the heart pumping during the night. And it is thick because they take r-EPO).

I felt the book is very fair. It is certainly well researched and thorough. No hatchet job, this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unfortunate must read, 30 July 2007
By 
Michael Kilbride (New Brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have a framed picture of Marco Pantani hanging in my stairwell. This obviouse admiration has been badly soured by Matt Rendell's book. It was not the revelation of drug taking, like most cycling fans I knew that already, it was Rendell's cliam that Marco was little without the drugs. Rendell's central point is that Pantani was unique more for the way his body fed of EPO, it was this that made him great- he was the best at benefitting from this cheating. Drug use did not create a level playing field of abuse but simply allowed those with access to the most systematic programmes to cheat. The glory of the great climbers is their ability to suffer, it is this that I admired and still do, not their physiological metabolism of EPO.

This is a must read for all cycling fans. Rendell's research is of academic level and integrity and he has to be congratulated for his diligence in getting some very complex biochemistry spot on. He has changed my view of drug use in cycling, they are not all at it and no mater how romantic the charecter Pantani may have been he was a cheat and like Tom Simpson before we should not admire this sort. We should admire those who fight and suffer clean, no matter what their level of success they are the true heros.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Earnest but not engaging, 15 Feb 2012
Matt Rendell was an academic and it shows.
Yes, the research is painstaking, and he cannot be faulted for effort, but the narrative reads more like a phD thesis - too detailed, too intense and too complex.
To be fair, the first half of the book zips along nicely, but like Pantani's career, the second half falls into an abyss of drug tests, cocaine and blood results. At times it feels more like an A-Level Biology text book.
This is not to say that biographies shouldn't be expertly researched. They should. But the skill of the biographer is use the information to create a compelling narrative that makes the pages turn. Rendell doesn't possess that particular gift.
Robert Moore (In Search of Robert Millar), William Fotheringham (Fallen Angel), David Walsh (Kelly) and Daniel Coyle (Lance Armstrong)earned their stripes in journalism and it shows in their writing. For great books that are meticulously researched with narratives that rips along like a peloton with a tailwind, I would recommend the aforementioned books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pirate of the Alps, 22 Nov 2007
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a big cycling fan (well to be more precise, Tour de France fan) and Pantani was always one of those characters who fascinated me, more so than the more successful but colourless Indurain, Armstrong et al. For the football fans amongst you, think Maradonna compared with Shearer.

Flawed genius, fallen hero...pick your cliche for the little man with the big grudge - against life, cycling, his team, himself...just about everything. This book is very well written, extremely detailed, and while Matt Rendell writes in a detached, factual style, this does not make Pantani's sad and inevitable cocaine-fuelled demise any less harrowing. Rendell delivers the facts with authority and great attention to detail. This is not feel-good stuff and can be difficult but so was the Pirate's too short time on this planet.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive account of Pantani's life, 22 Jun 2006
By 
Mr. D. Cornyn "David Cornyn" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography (Hardcover)
I had been apprehensive. Matt Rendell had excused Santi Botero's abnormal testosterone levels in his, otherwise excellent, Kings of the Mountains as being natural to the athlete (Operation Puerto, Matt?). I had also read him defending Lance Armstrong against doping charges (L'Equipe allegations?).

I wondered, then, if Rendell might take the easy option and circumvent the entire doping issue. I was shocked, and suspect that the author was too, by the conclusion of this excellent, deeply insightful biography: Pantani's entire professional career was fraudulent. All of his victories were achieved through massive doses of r-EPO and probably growth hormone. His haematocrit levels fluctuated wildly over the course of a season from what would seem to be a natural level of 43% (off-season) to 58% and higher when competing.

However, Rendell doesn't stop with Pantani - there is a strong suggestion of state-sponsored doping within Italy, covered-up at the highest levels. Other athletes are also named as being part of a huge doping network, including Roche, Chiapucci and Cipo. While I felt sure most of the champions of the 90s and beyond must have used EPO, I never thought I would see a writer express this so candidly and, more importantly, provide substantial proof that this was the case.

Rendell has not taken the easy option. This is a definitive account of Pantani's life and the deepest analysis yet of EPO doping within the peloton.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling lifting of the lid on professional cycling, 1 Feb 2007
By 
This review is from: The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography (Hardcover)
I found this book moving, stunning, exciting and ultimately tragic.

I love professional cycling but in the English speaking media we rarely get much detail beyond the headlines. This book gives you the excitement that makes the sport so fantastic but shows how clear it was Pantani and most of the rest of the Italian peleton doped there way to dominance. We thought they had, but Matt brings the threads together in a well written account.

Even for non cyclists Pantani's rise and fall into addiction is a compelling and salutory tale.

Recommended.

Cheers Matt.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb5bfd234)

This product

The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography
The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography by Matt Rendell (Hardcover - 22 Jun 2006)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews