- Hardcover: 156 pages
- Publisher: Buonpane Pubns; Subsequent edition (December 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0964983508
- ISBN-13: 978-0964983502
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.8 x 12 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Intimate Portrait of the Tour De France: Masters and Slaves of the Road Hardcover – December 1, 1996
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
We thought we knew everything about the Tour and its apostles; the racers, organizers, sporting directors and reporters. We never saw these champions as they appear here: candidly stripped down in broad daylight, their bodies being loosened by a masseur's hands, avowed enemies sharing a bath, letting themselves go at last. We see them living in the poignant glow of the stages' evenings, as if through a two-way mirror. They show themselves rid of their star status, as simple family men, just regular guys. They are ordinary, sublime and at times pathetic all at once. These photographs, snatched from oblivion, show an intimate and unknown Tour de France. This then, is the Tour of lost moments.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Its greatest asset is undoubtedly the extraordinary and historic photographs, some of which have become famous in their own right and are now available as poster-sized reproductions. They alone make the book a treasure. By "intimate" the author means just that: Coppi soaking his tired feet in a bidet; Anquetil getting a haircut; Pingeon in his bath. Sometimes the photos tell a story on their own: Charly Gaul looking through a glass, darkly; Hinault and LeMond as passionate friends.
What the book lacks-frustratingly and sometimes maddeningly-is any sort of organization. It is a more or less chronological series of portraits beginning with Bottecchia and ending with Indurain, but there are no headings or chapters and there is no table of contents. So, while you can safely assume that Thevenet precedes Hinault, you might never guess that Dietrich Thurau appears in between, let alone that a single photograph of a sleeping Luis Ocana is also sandwiched in.
A far more serious fault is the simply abysmal quality of the writing. It is at best idiosyncratic, always prone to purple and sometimes all but incomprehensible. On Merckx: "Annihilated by the controversies of life, he was very disconcerted by the brutal disappearance of his manager ... This sphinx was an ecumenical and taciturn human being that destiny refused to spare." Forensic analysis places the blame on a translator armed with little more than a French-English dictionary.
Nevertheless, if you love the Tour and its history, buy the book. Soon, before it goes out of print. Don't expect biography, though, or try to look up your favorite rider. Just turn the pages, look at the wonderful pictures, and use the essays as a point of departure for thoughts of your own.
tradition as 'lives of the saints'.
The saints in this case are the legends of the Tour, especially those
legends from countries steeped in the culture of the Tour, France, Italy,
Spain and Belgium. In one case, Gino Bartali, it is suggested that he might
indeed be a saint. The ultimate indicator of sainthood is perhaps the statement
that 'he inspired only the best thoughts amongst the top journalists of
But the English speaking world may be disappointed that none of their
heroes have been honoured. While only two English speakers, Greg LeMond
(USA) and Stephen Roche (Ireland) have ever won the race, many others have
tried and failed gallantly.
But the culture of the bicycle is inherently Continental. Anglophones
can comprehend a little of this from Brunel's purple prose, translated
with all the reverence due to a great religious spectacle.
sport of cycling. It covers the early men of le Tour as
well as more recent stars, and it can be amusing to see what
was considered to be good back then (such as smoking
cigarettes to "open up the lungs") and compare it with
In short, the photos are amazing, and it can give even a
newcomer a feel for the greatest cycling event in the world.