From Publishers Weekly
Lance Armstrong has shown the world what tremendous athleticism it takes to be a champion cyclist. Now Magnuson weighs in on the sport, from the point of view of a regular guy. The author of Lummox: The Evolution of a Man
is a 255-pound, pack-a-day 40-year-old who's desperate to get his life back into shape. And he chooses the challenge of cycling to achieve that, largely because of its total lack of mercy. "I needed the crap beaten out of me," Magnuson explains. So he launches into his own journey, one where he succeeds in spades, drops pounds and quits smoking to become a true road warrior. It's a compelling premise, made all too real by the cover image of a mostly nude, overweight man on a bike. Magnuson approaches the book with that kind of humor, and a rapid pace that mirrors the sport he's fallen in love with. The downfall is that the colloquial fun often drifts into silly superficiality (on reading Samuel Beckett: "I'm like totally wow, blown aw?y, this stuff rocks!"). And although Magnuson, a university creative writing professor, occasionally tries to inject a bit of intellectual heft, dropping in Kafka and Camus references alongside his racing stories, it just never works as a thrilling narrative. This life makeover is an admirable achievement, but doesn't make for great reading.
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“Mike's one of the only writers in the world who makes reading about cycling so much fun you're nearly tempted to skip your next ride and keep turning the pages.” —Bill Strickland, executive editor, Bicycling
“Forget Dr. Phil and the South Beach Diet. Forget Atkins and scary pills. Mike Magnuson found another, much more enjoyable way to shed pounds and get healthy: cycling.” —Chicago Sun-Times