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The Beautiful Machine: A Life in Cycling, from Tour de France to Cinder Hill Paperback – 1 May 2008
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"A zen-like paean to the joy of cycling . . . sings of the sheer bloody-mindedness and humour of a true enthusiast" (Metro)
"[Graeme Fife] is a cheerfully opinionated and funny chronicler of his own failings" (Daily Telegraph)
"An excellent read, not only for cyclists, but for anyone looking for an inspiring perspective on life, love, travel, history and other spiritual and worldly things" (The London Cyclist)
"Even if you don't share his passion for bicycles, reminiscences of his time as a full-time writer are entertaining" (The Herald)
"Wise, honest and funny, The Beautiful Machine isn't just a paean to cycling but to life" (Stewart O'Nan, author)
An entertaining book that explains what makes cyclists tick and why cycling inspires such passionSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The author takes perhaps my favourite subject and distorts it out of enjoyable recognition. Instead of the inspiring book artfully describing the sport I love so much I found myself reading an autobiography of a very tedious show off who happens to like bikes.
Despite his faux modesty of never paying attention to the distances he cycles - you know because he's like a force of nature or something - we're then treated to exactly these distances, clearly so you know just what a terrific force of nature Mr Fife is.
Whenever he rides with friends, his young daughter or more or less anyone come to that, he always makes sure he arrives first.
He points this out again and again just in case you are ever in any confusion as to who is the fastest and obviously therefore best rider. So, he wins EVERY ride he goes on to the point where I began wondering why he goes cycling with anyone else at all as he seems to spend 50% of every ride waiting for the puny mortals to catch him up.
Mr Fife's hardships and misfortunes seems to be almost manufactured as a device purely show that whatever curveballs life throws at him, he can rise above it. He would mention being fatally mauled by a crocodile only to point out with studied nonchalance that he went on to conquer Mt Ventoux later that afternoon no handed.Read more ›
its not the best book ive ever read but not as bad as all that.Its more an autobiography of the author,for whom bikes have played a big part in his life.He conveys his love for them,cycling and its cameraderie reasonably well.some of his experiences and stories are interesting,some less so.
to make out hes some namedropping egomaniac,as some reviewers have done,is unfair and just plain wrong.
Ive read better books that have cycling at their heart but ive read much,much worse also-not a ringing endorsement,i realise,but i feel some of the other reviews have been real hatchet jobs
I personally found it inspiring with regards to getting on my bike and his ability to describe the highs and lows of tacking the mountains makes you want to be there.
If you're tempted by a cycling holiday then read this...it shows you how and why people who love the sport do everything to keep the wheels turning....escapism without the saddle sores
In summary, an uninteresting biography of an unremarkable person.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought this book was a riot. Engaging, witty (sarcastic, if you like), honest, passionate, and at times touching but never sentimental. Read morePublished on 15 May 2012 by SaMurray
I bought this book on the spur of the moment whilst away from home. IT STARTED well then became a paean to Fife's own self indulgence. Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2012 by M. Foster
It's a good read, for those who have been on a long ride to those far off places & for those who haven't, Fife is adept at taking you there. I like it!Published on 24 Aug. 2011 by Lionel Beckford
I bought this in a local book shop yesterday, the jacket review made it sound interesting. But I couldnt engage with it. Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2010 by rustynail
I was about to dash down a scathing a review. Then I read the reveiw below by Dave Noble. Agree 100%.Published on 25 Aug. 2010 by iliketowatch