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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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jan 2013 19:43:19 GMT
Couldn't agree more with everything you've written. A totally fine book but such a missed opportunity, and like you, I felt there were financial considerations behind the rush job rather than journalistic.
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