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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very personal account
The subtitle says it all really. Bordering if not actually attaining obsession, David Walsh, with others duly credited, has made it his goal over the past decade and more to expose Lance Armstrong and other cyclists as the dopers they have subsequently turned out to be. With the recent revelations now out in the open it would be easy for Walsh to adopt an "I told you so"...
Published on 14 Dec 2012 by Big Jim

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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Similar but not the same!
Having been reading cycling books for some years, I have already read David Walsh's book "From Lance to Landis" and it was this that really made me doubt that Lance had ridden clean.
With the recent revelations and Tyler Hamilton's book - which I consider to be a GREAT read - I was expecting the new book by David Walsh to be something bigger and better than I had...
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very personal account, 14 Dec 2012
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Seven Deadly Sins (Kindle Edition)
The subtitle says it all really. Bordering if not actually attaining obsession, David Walsh, with others duly credited, has made it his goal over the past decade and more to expose Lance Armstrong and other cyclists as the dopers they have subsequently turned out to be. With the recent revelations now out in the open it would be easy for Walsh to adopt an "I told you so" attitude which to be fair I don't think he does in this book. Sure there is a great sense of vindication throughout but the story is told in a refreshingly candid way, personal foibles are reported there are lots of conversations described, good humour abounds, even amongst the frustration and anger, and all in all it is a very engaging read. It's not all about the bike either (sorry couldn't resist) It would appear that Irish swimmer Michele Smith amongst others being exposed as a drugs cheat played a large part in driving Walsh to expose other dopers and he has had a mixed reception amongst the cycling community in Ireland because of his work. There are numerous auto-biographical details as well, from personal tragedies to how his investigations affected his family and friends. This aspect does add a good dose of reality away from the peleton and makes the book more personal rather than an outright piece of journalism. One caveat I have to report is that I haven't actually read "From Lance to Landis" so can't say if there is a lot of repetition or not, there are some bits of journalism which are familiar to me though but it is not a straight regurgitation of these. Even so this is a fine piece of work, an incredible story excellently told.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cancer of the Spirit, 28 Aug 2014
Perhaps more than any other journalist David Walsh pursued the investigation to uncover evidence that Lance Armstrong was cheating by taking illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Before his cancer treatment Armstrong had competed in the Tour de France four times, finishing 36th once and withdrawing the other three times. When he came back from his treatment to lead it in 1999 – in the first of an unparalleled seven successive wins of the Tour - supposedly drug-free Walsh regarded this as “all about as logical as the Tour being led by a lobster on a bike. A lobster complete with helmet and a moving backstory about a last-minute escape from a pot of boiling water.”
Such a view wasn’t entirely popular, especially as it was directed as a man whose story was an inspiration to millions. One letter writer to Walsh’s newspaper wrote that “Sometimes people get a cancer of the spirit. And maybe that says a lot about them.” The writer was half-right. There was a cancer of the spirit but not in the spirits of those who queried the integrity of the sport and of many of its stars but a cancer in the spirit of those who cheated and – to my mind – more so in the ranks of the officials and administrators who facilitated them. (When Armstrong failed a test in ’99 he was allowed to present a back-dated doctor’s cert to allow the pretence that he wasn’t taking a banned substance but rather had been using an approved ointment).
In journalistic style Walsh recounts “the case for the prosecution” as it were and the story of those brave people who stuck their heads above the parapet to tell the truth.
Some reviews have criticized Walsh for obsessing with Armstrong rather than tackling the wider topic of doping in cycling. I think this is unfair. One person or a small group of people can only do so much and if you can expose the one cyclist whose name was known to the average non-cycling fan this is far more effective in highlighting the problem than exposing a larger number of people whose names mean nothing to the average person in the street.
Another criticism is that the latter part of the book has a different feel to what went before and may have been rushed to cash in on the story. I think there is some truth in this criticism but, if anyone was entitled to cash in, whom more so than David Walsh?
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Similar but not the same!, 19 Jan 2013
Having been reading cycling books for some years, I have already read David Walsh's book "From Lance to Landis" and it was this that really made me doubt that Lance had ridden clean.
With the recent revelations and Tyler Hamilton's book - which I consider to be a GREAT read - I was expecting the new book by David Walsh to be something bigger and better than I had read by him before
Unfortunately having just re-read his other book recently I was almost questioning as to whether I had accidentally picked it up again instead of "7 Deadly Sins". It goes over almost all of the points in the other book in about the same sort of length and then when I was getting near the end of the book wondering what the difference was, I found out. There are a few brief notes about recent disclosures, work by the USADA and that's about it.
If you haven't read "From Lance to Landis" save your money and buy this one
It IS well written, it gives a GREAT insight into the people who were affected by Lance throughout his career and I think that anyone interested in that era of cycling will love it
The only reason I marked it down was that so much of it was a rehash - admittedly with a few bits added - of his previous book I felt a bit cheated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ruined by poor editing, 20 April 2014
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What should have been a great book by a journalist so central to the entire affair was sadly a botched job on all counts. The story rambled at best and seemed incoherent - I was only saved having read Tyler Hamiltons book prior to this. If you wish to see for yourself view the final chapter of the book which is simply a fly through of some dates and a woefully edited account of their events...

Save some time and instead read Tyler Hamiltons The Secret Race
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fallen Hero, 1 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Seven Deadly Sins (Kindle Edition)
I have avoided reading David Walsh's book until now with the misguided and faint hope that maybe, just maybe, LA was clean and the fairy tale was true.

Nope. Fabulous journalism. DW is one amongst a few, and a credit to his profession.

His family ought to be incredibly proud of him. Thank you for not giving up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book ; but what's changed ?, 23 Aug 2014
By 
R. Bruce - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong (Kindle Edition)
Until reading this book, I thought that the Author, David Walsh had played a bigger part in bringing down the reputation of Lance Armstrong, due to the articles published in the Sunday Times. It is now clear from Mr Walsh's book that Lance Armstrong's actual downfall was instigated by the Federal Investigations carried out in the U.S.A plus the damning evidence provided at a late stage by Armstrong's fellow teammate, Floyd Landis.
Mr Walsh descibes how disconsolate he was after thinking that all his years of hard work in investigating Professional Cycling's drug culture were coming to nothing and that in particular , Lance Armstrong was being "let off the hook". However, because of the ongoing investigations, that was not the case and as we all know the disgraced Lance Armstrong did receive his punishment.
The unanswered question contained in this book is "what is being done about the criminal activities of the Cycling Team Doctors, Managers and Coaches etc? To me, these people are the criminal instigators of the doping culture, trying to gain unfair and financial advantage.
In this book, I found the description of how the use of drugs, particularly the performance drug E.P.O, worked on the human
body and how it made experienced cycle race watchers somewhat suspicious, due to the ever increasing speed and the better
hill climbing ability of the riders . But five year on, we are seeing exactly the same high level of perfomance by professional bike-riders . So what's changed?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 23 Dec 2014
By 
Mr. Peter Steward "petersteward" (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I have to agree with many of the other reviewers who have marked this book down.

It's rambling and at times a mess. I also agree that it softens the impact of Armstrong being labelled a drugs cheat because the first part of the book goes at length into stating that virtually all the riders taking part in the Tour were drung cheats.

In the early parts of the book it seems that the author cannot make up his mind whether he wants it to be a book about the sport of cycling in general, a book about the Tour, a book about sporting cheats or a book about his life with other journalists and cyclists. As a result it falls somewhere in the middle of all of the various strands..

I got the distinct impression in certain chapters that Walsh needed to mention Lance Armstrong in order to justify the title of the book. So for page after page Armstrong is ignored, but then brought to the fore. So this isn't really a book solely about the American rider. That's disappointing because I should imagine that's what most people will expect. The writing style is also cramped and awkward as if Walsh has to get ideas down as they occur to him. In other words it could have done with some serious and skilful editing.

Overall a very disappointing book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story just not written very well, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong (Kindle Edition)
A great story which just seemed to have been not very well written. Do people not proof read these days? Also a little bit disorganised for the non cycling reader jumping backwards and forwards all the time. All in all though a mesmerising book and couldn't put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kimmage is your man, not Walsh, 9 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong (Kindle Edition)
I understood, along with many others, that Armstrong's amazing recovery from testicular cancer did not have a fairy tale element but rather a twisted, phantasmagoric essence, which would eventually find its way into our lives and consciousness. As to the full horror and depth, I confess that even my cynicism couldn't quite plumb the depths and actual depravity involved here. But and there is a but here: is Walsh completely honest as to his reasons for uncovering and exposing Armstrong's shoal of lies? Given his recent near hagiographical accounts of Team Sky and its current strong man, Chris Froome, I have real doubts. Could it simply be wounded hubris at being snubbed by his former golden boy, Armstrong, that eventually led to evisceration of this viscious, little guy? I hope not because I began to see the false piety in this book the more I considered who the real instigator and defender of truth was: Paul Kimmage. It is to him that I give credence to and Walsh's book, well documented and at time, acerbically funny, is important because it points you towards Kimmage.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of short stories, rather than a story., 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Seven Deadly Sins (Kindle Edition)
I think its fair to say I'd been looking forward to this one. Now, I have read all of David's work, all his articles, Lance to Landis, LA Confidentiel, watched most of his interviews, the Late Late Show with Stephen Roche, etc, so I wasnt expecting anything new from 7ds. What I was expecting was an organised, chronological account of his time investigating Lance, updated, reworded, with perhaps a few personal reflections thrown in.

Unfortunately, I got none of those. What we ended up with was, at best, a cut and paste hatchet job, at worst a cynical attempt to cash in with the minimal of work.

Seven Deadly Sins isnt a story, its a collection of short stories, botched together with seemingly little thought. After 200 pages we get onto a section about Stephen Swart, half way through it he says

"On the team with Swart was a young American by the name of Lance Armstrong"

By 200 pages, we know who Armstrong is, and the fact that Walsh hasnt taken the time to revise the text and make it flow, add some sort of continuity simply highlights the cut and paste job he has employed.

I do admit to skipping large sections of the book. I didnt really need to read virtually the entire transcript of the SCA deposition, or all of Floyds emails to USADA, or entire chapters lifted directly from LA Confidentiel.

As I say, I wasnt expecting anything new, and to those who have read Walsh books and articles, watched the videos of the SCA case, followed the Armstrong case closely, or seen interviews with Walsh there will be nothing new. For those new to the story, who havnt followed it closely, it will no doubt be an interesting read, but for those of us that have Walsh needed to do more than simply collate various writings into one vaguely readable form.

In doing this, and my biggest annoyance was the somewhat haphazard timeline. One minute Times of London have settled with Armstrongs Lawyers, the next minute we are back pre release of the Times article, then suddenly we are post settlement again, then back in time to the court case. A chapter later as we move to discuss the 2005 retested epo samples suddenly we whizz back pre LA Confidentiel again. With each fresh short story we are re-acquainted with the background to the story, and after a while it becomes not only frustrating, but annoying.

A little over two thirds of the way in you hit upon the section about Floyd. Some of the information regarding Kyle Leogrande is interesting, and new, he touches on Joe Papp and offers interesting background (this was probably the best bit of the book), but then he lets it all down by referring to Floyds book incorrectly as "False Positive" which rather shatters your opinion of the entire section.

7DS is an interesting enough read. Those not familiar with the story will no doubt find it fascinating. Those close to the story will find it frustrating as it becomes more and more obvious through the book that this is a quick hatchet job put together to be released at a relevant time.

7DS is an ok book, but it could have been an excellent book. David had one shot at putting together his masterprice. A couple of months spent editing, revising, correcting, updating could have turned it into Walsh's finest piece of writing. Instead we are left questioning his financial motives rather than his journalistic ones.

In short, if youve not read Lance to Landis, or La Confidential buy it, its a decent enough read even with its obvious flaws. if you have, then its largely up to you. Buy it, support Walsh, or dont buy it and you wont really have missed anything.
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