- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Harper; First Editiion First Printing edition (June 14, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060734973
- ISBN-13: 978-0060734978
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 127 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,100,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lance Armstrong's War: One Man's Battle Against Fate, Fame, Love, Death, Scandal, and a Few Other Rivals on the Road to the Tour de France Hardcover – June 14, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
When an athlete is as celebrated as Lance Armstrong, journalists tend to approach either with staggering awe or malicious schadenfreude. Refreshingly, Coyle (Hardball) displays neither. The journalist moved to Armstrong's training base in Spain to cover the months leading up to the cyclist's sixth Tour de France victory in 2004, and the resulting comfort level of Coyle with his subject is palpable. Armstrong emerges from these pages as neither the cancer-surviving saint his American fans admire, nor the soulless, imperialist machine his European detractors hate. Instead, he comes across as a preternaturally gifted athlete barely removed from the death-defying hellion he was as a teenager, fanatically disciplined, gregarious and generous but with a legendarily icy temper. Coyle sweeps over the basics of Armstrong's Texas childhood and fight with cancer, concentrating on his obsessive training—this is a sport where results are measured in ounces and microseconds. He's sometimes too loose with his writing, digressing as though he had all the time in the world, but he tightens up for the grand finale: the Tour. This work is honest, personal and passionate, with plenty to chew on for fans and novices alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* "He seems so simple from a distance," one cyclist described teammate Lance Armstrong. "But the closer you get, the more you realize--this is one very, very complicated guy." If Linda Armstrong Kelly's No Mountain High Enough (2005) revealed the impetus for son Lance's drive to succeed (anger at absent dad, support from overachieving mom), and Lance's own It's Not about the Bike (2000) revealed the medical odds he has courageously overcome, Coyle's excellent portrait of the six-time (and counting) Tour de France winner places Armstrong fully in his own element: the road to his victory in the 2004 Tour. The world knows, perhaps ad nauseam, Armstrong's uncommon will to prevail--"Lance wishes to swallow the world," as his trainer put it--but Coyle's account also shows a laser-sharp managerial style, in the face of monumental distractions, that would be the envy of any Fortune 500 CEO. Coyle, a former senior editor of Outside magazine, also gives full coverage of Armstrong's extensive support team, his Tour competitors, his focused training regimen, the questions over his suspected use of performance-enhancing drugs, and the (legal) strategies he employs to stay ahead of both the field and his own body's inevitable breakdown. Fueled by superb reporting and the built-in suspense of the 2004 Tour, Lance Armstrong's War is the equal of its distinguished and very complicated subject. And it's just in time for Armstrong's final Tour de France this July. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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You know a good book when you should be doing other things and... you can't put the book down. Bills don't get paid. E-mails don't get answered. You spend too long in the bathroom. "WAR" is one of those books.
Naturally you need to have some passing fascination with the world of professional cycling. For me it was watching the Tour de France and wanting to know more about how it all worked. Daniel Coyle will lead any interested reader into a fascinating world...
An opera needs to be written about the Tour. The melodrama. The characters. The morality plays. The blood. The guts. The insanity. The money. The doping. The journey. The jeering crowds. The test. The human spirit. Victory and loss. It's all there, a nice thick juicy slice of Life! And a huge bite or two of that slice is in WAR.
On the cover of my copy Sports Illustrated has described WAS as a "literary tour de force." A bit of a snob when it comes to writing I noted to myself, (a) What would Sports Illustrated know about literature? and (b) Daniel Coyle's a SPORTS writer for God's sake!
And... the writing is wonderful. Great character sketches. You'll get all the ins and outs of race strategy, sponsorships, training. You'll see France. You'll get a great glimpse of what Bob (Bobke) Rolls calls Eurotrash. You'll love the wry humor and jaundiced eye. Just wait until you meet the Lance hangers-on, "The Dudes" and "The Bros." Be prepared to LOL.
So if you're at all curious about this fascinating world -- but, like me, are either too old or too wise not to join it (!) -- WAR is Highly Recommended. You're in for a good read.
Dr. Kirtland C Peterson
When I read Lance's Every Second Counts, I found myself wishing for the details of training, racing, and strategy that accompany Armstrong's amazing string of TdF laurels. LA's War comes through in spades. Here we learn about LA's sophisticated support apparatus - an intelligence, operations, and logistics enterprise that rivals any major corporation. Detailed accounts of previously mysterious elements in LA's band, like Dr. Michele Ferrari, add credence and interest to a very well written text.
Daniel Coyle starts the first chapter by describing his move to Girona, Spanish Mecca for U.S. riders in the European peloton - and key to writing this book. The reader can tell in every page that Coyle mixed it up elbow to elbow with the USPS team, LA's pals, and the cycling community (unlike some of Armstrong's detractors, who seem to thrive on publishing hearsay and innuendo in a shameless attempt to make money on someone else's success). Coyle addresses both sides of LA, the cancer survivor, daddy of three, and TdF icon, as well as the win at all costs mentality, the closed circle of trusted friends with numerous discards (mostly old teamates who went off in search of opportunities to win themselves), and of course the allegations of drug use (none of which have resulted in any convictions - and still no positives for LA!). On that note, Coyle did an outstanding job of describing Ferrari's role as LA "doctor", really a physician using the latest physiological research to make LA's training a science.
Whether you are a fan of Armstrong or not, you will enjoy Coyle's magnificent descriptions of bike racing, the peloton, and of course the riders. By the way, there's a lot in here about Tyler Hamilton, another famous U.S. rider accompanied by the baggage of international fame.
Get this book now - you won't put it down. A great gift for cycling fans.
What comes out is a balanced picture of Armstrong, who lords over the proceedings as a dominating force. By all accounts, this is a very, very complicated man, someone with this "huge life" (aptly put by close observers) who not only doesn't get steamrolled by this swirling mass around him but, rather, directs it, pushes it and elevates it. The essence of the Armstrong persona is captured perfectly by an early training partner who - once on the outs like so many others - says (talking of the relationship between Armstrong and mother) "It's the anger they have, that's the bad thing and the good thing, because it's what created the whole package." That's the theme Coyle adroitly mines over and over: you can't be Lance Armstrong and have a soft-edge, can't we all get along personality. You're going to break some crockery. Or, in Armstrong's case, a lot of crockery.
If you've got even a casual interest in what made and drives Lance Armstrong, Daniel Coyle's book is something you cannot skip.
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