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on 9 August 2001
As a keen cyclist (well, 50 miles a week) and a huge Tour de France fan, I was looking forward to this as a substitute for Channel 4's absent coverage of the race this year. What I didn't expect was that as well as being an informative, inspirational and - yes - moving account of a splendidly hopeless amateur's attempt to "do the Tour", French Revolutions would also turn out to be perhaps the funniest book I've ever read. My wife banned me from reading it in bed because I kept her awake with my helpless giggling, and reading it on a crowded train one morning was a BIG mistake.
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on 24 July 2014
I've just finished this whilst on holiday in France and watching The Tour de France on TV, and Tim Moore's book was the perfect accompaniment to all that. I much preferred French Revolutions to his later Spanish Steps - things happen faster on a bike than alongside a donkey, and the history of the Tour was (to me) much more interesting than the history of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, although the annual Gallic bike ride seems to engender just as much (if not more) reverential hysteria. The usual Moore preoccupations all line up with him at the start of his one-man circuit of France (self-deprecation, being generally out of his depth, unfriendly interchanges with the natives, problems with language, equipment, accommodation and family) but what sustains him most as he covers over 3,000 km (genuinely impressive) is his trade-mark wry bemusement and deep respect for the real riders who have gone before.
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on 20 May 2011
Make no mistake, Tim Moore is a funny guy. French Revolutions had me chortling out loud on every second page or so. Even if the chortles dried up, my enjoyment levels never dipped. This is an engaging and amusing read.

According to the blurb, Tim Moore is a London-based travel writer and journalist with six or more books to his name: by his own account he was anything but a fully seasoned cyclist before he undertook the challenge that provides the backbone for this book - to cycle the route of the 2000 Tour de France.

While he may not be the most accomplished cyclist, Moore's writing certainly communicates his love of the sport of cycling and his admiration for the greats of the past. French Revolutions is dedicated to Tom Simpson. The book is full of pithy, often rude, but always kindly references to the likes of Lemond, Boardman, Roche, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault and Indurain to name but a few of the book's passing stars. If like me, you are a plodding tourist, but with dreams, however misplaced, of future glories, French Revolutions will give you lots of inspiration and insights into racing cycling.

Obviously, this is not a book aimed at the world-tourer. Rather it is part-romp, part-homage to racing and part personal diary of a single trip. It is not where to go to find details of routes nor 'how tos'. It does have one core message for the would-be, but novice tourist: you can expect and hope to get better and fitter on the trip if you stick at it. Moore at the outset is unprepared and ill-equipted for long days and any significant inclines. By the end he is taking on some of the major cols of the route (and the occasional other cyclist) and seeing them off with them with some aplomb and a real relish. For that message alone, its worth a read, but its also funny and inspirational.
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on 29 June 2001
Again Tim Moore set out on a ridiculous quest, to follow in the tyre treads of the Tour de France. As someone with no interest in cycling (proffesional or otherwise) I dont think I would have read this had I not known the authors previous work, but this is for anyone who wants to embarass themselves with hysterical laughter in public places. Moore is so ill prepared its frightening but throughout his struggle with mountains, French hotel proprietors and large volumes of alcohol he will give you hope that maybe even you (yes you in front of the computer) could acheive something of such great athletic magnitude, if only really wanted to. Informative on the history of the Tour de France and very, very funny. Read it.
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on 4 January 2002
This is one of the most entertaining books I've read in a long time. Moore gives an account of his journey around the Tour de France route in a most witty and comical way, his style is fresh and personal. I loved his interesting anecdotes and oddments of information about the Tour and its riders, it a is very humbling book to read as the author has such as obvious respect for the Tour riders and I can't help but totally agree. I am neither a Tour de France fanatic or a great cyclist but I still enjoyed this book immensely, and from now on shall be watching 'le tour' in a very different light. I can't recommend 'French Revolutions' enough.
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on 12 October 2002
Having run out of books on holiday i picked up my father's copy of 'French Revolutions'. I expected any book my dad owned to be heavily detailed on group sets and bottom brackets, and of little intest to the casual cyclist. How wrong was I. You don't need to know anything about the tour, the book is laugh out loud funny, unputdownable. The acheivement of any man who can ride this incredable race is hammered home, there is no sporting acheivement on earth like this one. However what really makes the book good is the way it draws in the reader, everyone's had the 5year old in the park experience of riding, but few can express it as hilariously as Tim Moore. The book is packed with dry humour and an author people can relate to, 'French Revolutions' has to be in my top ten of books. Go out - Buy it!
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on 12 February 2006
Sometimes you read a book because it’s something you’re really interested in, sometimes you choose a book from an author you’ve read before.. but sometimes you just pick up a book and read it because you can’t quite figure what on earth the author is going to write about leaving you quite intrigued. Tim Moore’s guide to the Tour de France is a perfect example…
Moore is a cycling fan, but undergoing a little bit of a mid-life crisis whereby he suddenly announces to his wife that he’s going to cycle the Tour de France route one year, just before the Tour proper actually starts. Now to start with, that’s what this book is about; yet it is so much more… as a sports fan (though someone who has never followed the Tour de France) I had no idea just how much effort cyclists have to put in to this event (reading this I can understand why Lance Armstrong never really focussed on any other event, and why his achievements are so astounding). Moore’s own commitment to his efforts is equally something to behold.
Throughout, Moore details each leg of his journey, the challenges he faces both physically and mentally, often relating a famous piece of cycling history related to that, including where one or two died from sheer exhaustion.
All in all, an excellent intro to cycling and well worth reading.
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on 5 March 2015
Tim Moore is rapidly becoming one of my favourite writers. He takes the sport of cycling very seriously, but himself not at all. The result is one of the funniest and most sharply observed books I have read, on any sport. You will never look at Savlon in quite the same way again.
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on 15 July 2014
Bought this for my dad who used to love riding his bike but at 91 tends to limit himself to reading books and watching the Tour de France on television. He loved the book and said it made him laugh out loud several times. I have bought him two other Tim Moore books so hope they are all as enjoyable as this one!
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on 23 July 2014
I ordered this after watching the start of the Tour de France in York and realising that I know nothing of the rules, conventions or history of this sport. Also I knew it would be a light hearted look at the race and also a travel book which I like. This is a great read with humour, facts and is littered with opinions both good and not so good about our neighbours across the channel! You do not have to be a cycling fan to appreciate this book but it does help if you have been to France and have experience of a bit of French culture! However it was written some time ago so (for instance) references about the talents of Lance Armstrong are now a little out of date! I would recommend.
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