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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2010
Jacques Anquetil is a great subject for a biography - unfortunately, this isn't it.

The prose is wooden, clunky and uninspired. The chapters on his racing capture none of the verve, drama or poetics of Anquetil's achievements: they are reduced to bland, colourless sentences; direct expositions that fail to take the reader into the action.

The insights are skin-deep and fail to uncover much about the viscera of this complex man. The punning book- and chapter- titles begin to grate; trivializing the subject matter.

Compare this with Fotheringham's work on Coppi or Rendell's work on Pantani, and this begins to seem like a literary travesty. A great cyclist with his story still untold by a poor biographer.
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on 29 August 2014
Great story if you are into cycling
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on 28 June 2015
Good,thanks
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on 18 September 2014
Good read..
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2010
I'd agree with other critics that the descriptions of the races don't really do the subject justice. There's no context given to his first tour victory, for instance: no real attempt to communicate what riding the Tour might actually have been like.

And there are huge great omissions. For instance, Anquetil was born in 1934 and between his sixth and tenth years lived in German-occupied France. Rouen, the nearest town, was 45% destroyed by bombing. There's no mention of this. How can it not have affected him?

To counterbalance this, I'd say that the analysis of Anquetil's later - and very strange - family life is very thoroughly researched and well presented. Just a pity that the same level of sensitivity and detail wasn't applied to the rest of the story, and a shame that the author's prose style isn't very exciting.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2014
The Kindle edition earns a one-star rating from me because it contains no photographs whatsoever. I haven't seen the printed edition of the book, but the author mentions in the Acknowledgements that he has been allowed to use photographs supplied by his interviewees, by a press agency, and also made some himself. So where are they? Not one has made it into the Kindle edition! The publisher hasn't even included the front cover photograph of Anquetil signing that nice young lady's thigh. This is appalling behaviour by the publisher.

I've only read the first few chapters so far, so I can't really comment on the book as a work of biographical history. However I'm finding the author's (Paul Howard, a man of whom I have not read any previous works), long (and many-bracketed, and comma-bestrewn) sentences to be hard going at times. I haven't yet come across a sentence that spans an entire paragraph, but I feel it's only a matter of time.

I shall continue to read the book, though without the photographs that should have been present, it's going to be a poorer experience than I'd get from the printed edition. And I wouldn't recommend it to anyone - if you feel the need to buy this book, get the paper edition.

Someone at the publisher needs to get their act together. This is exactly the sort of behaviour that puts people off buying eBooks.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2014
brought for someone else
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2014
All arrived as expected
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2015
book as described
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2013
Amateurish book that read like a series of poor newspaper articles pasted together. Threw little light on what made Anquetil such a deplorable human being regardless of his many cycling successes.
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