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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shadows of the road
Wrote with considerable thought and insight into hopefully the end of a dark era in cycling. Unlike some cycling auto's this is interesting and full of real depth all the way though. Brilliant.
Published 1 month ago by MR M E WILLIAMS

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glimpses of insight but unfocused
The book is an account of MBs life as an amateur and professional cyclist depicting various scenes and periods from his professional and personal life in a non-chronological order. The book is not co-authored by a professional writer which has its' advantages and disadvantages.
MB writes quite fluently and at times almost poeticly. The book is a good account of the...
Published 2 months ago by Martin Hojgaard


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glimpses of insight but unfocused, 5 May 2014
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This review is from: Shadows on the Road: Life at the Heart of the Peloton, from US Postal to Team Sky (Kindle Edition)
The book is an account of MBs life as an amateur and professional cyclist depicting various scenes and periods from his professional and personal life in a non-chronological order. The book is not co-authored by a professional writer which has its' advantages and disadvantages.
MB writes quite fluently and at times almost poeticly. The book is a good account of the everyday life of a pro cyclist adeptly describing the mindset of the pro athlete. MB doesn't spare himself but he rarely gets close to other athletes so don't expect too many juicy details on doping, other pros or detiled race descriptions. The most 'interesting' disclosurez (the Ronde van Vllandern incident of 2006) have already been leaked.
The non-chronological timeline works out most of the time but makes the story stand out a bot unfocused at times.
Buy the bolk if you want an account of a non-controversial, well mannered and likeable cyclist, and a Rough Ride light. If you're looking for juicy revelations a la Massacre a la chaine or The Secret Race, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shadows of the road, 9 Jun 2014
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Wrote with considerable thought and insight into hopefully the end of a dark era in cycling. Unlike some cycling auto's this is interesting and full of real depth all the way though. Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superbly written and v sad, 7 May 2014
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Michael Barry's book is a great insider's account of what lies behind the cycling headlines. He was there and here he tries to come to terms with everything that happened in his long career, good and bad. One of the best sports memoirs i've ever read, up there with Cascarino's FULL TIME in terms of how much it reveals about the complex psychology of actually being a pro sportsman. Very good indeed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sports book with emotion, 13 May 2014
This is not a book about doping - it's a story of a man's deeply ingrained love for a sport and how his beliefs were repeatedly tested throughout his career, and the rarely-seen emotional tolls of competitive cycling.

It's unfortunate that cycling fans can't be satisfied with the content - either he's said too much or he hasn't said enough, especially when the book is not intended to be an expose of doping culture. No doubt that cycling of this generation is inextricably linked to PEDs, but that doesn't mean every book written by a former pro has to focus on the topic.

Mr. Barry reveals a lot about himself in this book and I can imagine it must have been difficult for him to re-live many of the memories he writes about. It is abundantly clear that his passion for the sport is so deeply bred in the bone that it must have been unbearably heartbreaking to have gone through what he did. As one other reviewer notes, this is a sad book: a child with a dream grows up to be disillusioned with the one thing he's been pursuing his whole life.

On a more practical note, Mr. Barry does draw attention to an important issue - how the athletes have become commodities and how their safety and well-being are being compromised for the interests of the teams, sponsors, and governing bodies. It's unfortunate that, in all the commotion surrounding the release of the book, most people have missed this message. It applies not only to cycling, but to many professional sports.

In summary, the real test is how easy the book was to put down at night, which it wasn't. I stayed up too late on too many nights just reading one more passage.
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4.0 out of 5 stars frank and personal review of a tough life on the bike, 28 July 2014
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This review is from: Shadows on the Road: Life at the Heart of the Peloton, from US Postal to Team Sky (Kindle Edition)
Thoughtful and well written autobiography of Michaels life on the bike. Not just another doping revelation, but personal insight and perspective on life inside the peloton during the dark years. How he continued to ride after so many horrific crashes is a small miracle on its own. A good read as always from Mr Barry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Shadows on the Road: Life at the Heart of the Peloton, from US Postal to Team Sky (Kindle Edition)
Excellent read+++++
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... father in law and he thought it was an excellent book. He's a big fan of the Tour ..., 8 July 2014
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Bought this for my father in law and he thought it was an excellent book. He's a big fan of the Tour de France and loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than David Millar's and Tyler's book in my opinion, 1 July 2014
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Miss L. R. Pope "Popey" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadows on the Road: Life at the Heart of the Peloton, from US Postal to Team Sky (Kindle Edition)
Incredibly well written. Better than David Millar's and Tyler's book in my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 22 Jun 2014
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I bought this book as a present for my husband - he reads a lot of books on cycling, and found this to be an interesting and enjoyable read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed - not quite sure what the book was trying to achieve, 9 Jun 2014
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Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadows on the Road: Life at the Heart of the Peloton, from US Postal to Team Sky (Kindle Edition)
Some of this book is excellent. The author conveys well the passion that he has for cycling and gives us a flavour of the pressures and the atmosphere of life in the peloton as a "domestique". I thought that the writing throughout the book was excellent and that the bits when he concentrates on his emotions about cycling and his feelings about the life conveyed to me, as an enthusiastic observer, what drives people like him to devote themselves to the sport.

Where the book came unstuck for me was in the way in which he is very vague about the facts. Michael Barry mentions a number of teams that he rode for in this book but because his story is curiously nonlinear and often devoid of dates I didn't get an idea of how long he rode for which team or even in what order they came. I also didn't always follow who his fellow riders were in each team. This shouldn't matter if what the author is doing is to convey his impressions about the cycling life but he then spends some time talking about the doping situation in US Postal when he rode alongside Lance Armstrong and explains how he came to take performance enhancing drugs himself - all sorts of details are absent here including how long he took them, who provided them, who else took them with him, what exactly he took, how they made him feel, etc. etc. I can understand that he may not be in a position to share some of this but he doesn't explain that this is the case.

I am not sure why this book was written. If it is to explain why he felt driven to dope and ask forgiveness then it is partially successful - certainly his writing conveys repentance. If it is to be another revelation of what happened during those dark years in cycling then it needed a lot more detail as there is nothing new here. If it is to give us a glimpse into the cycling world and what cycling meant to him then it is more successful. I didn't learn any more about the doping scandal after reading this book and nor did I get a factual overview of Michael Barry's career but I did get a feel for his life as a professional cyclist - sadly that was not enough to make this book totally successful.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley.
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