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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 Paperback – April 13, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
He has a wonderful writing style that rollicks along without being over the top. There are serious, compelling moments and others that are nothing short of hilarious, like the belly-pinch, the ass check and the Belgie woof-shrug. Now and again we encounter a perfect pearl of prose, as when an apparently emaciated Iban Mayo climbs onto a tiny bike and quickly melds with it into a magical, lissome and powerful thing that stuns spectators into a reverent silence.
For much of the book we get the idea that Armstrong's world is one in which nothing can go wrong and everything is above taint and suspicion. He is an all-seeing, all-knowing, implacable and virtuous master of the universe. Even the notorious Dr. Ferrari gets an exculpatory portrait. He makes an appearance, not with the mysterious super-dope that much of Europe believes he is giving Armstrong, but with a piece of cheese. And a very nice cheese at that. Nothing to worry about there.
As he approaches the finish, though, Coyle gives us something much more nuanced. He takes up the allegations of Walsh and Ballester, however unsubstantiated, as well as those of Mike Anderson, Armstrong's former personal assistant. He describes the bitter split with Floyd Landis and provides perhaps the only first-person account of Armstrong's on-bike intimidation of Fiippo Simeoni.Read more ›
Daniel Coyle has certainly captured the mad subculture of cycling in all its rich variation and humanity. His book "Lance Armstrong's War" is not so much a Lance Armstrong book as it is a psycho-sociologic essay on this beautifully insane sport. It is evident that Coyle did his homework as the details are convincing and relevant, and his characterizations of the key players, Armstrong, Hamilton, Ullrich, Landis et. al. ring true. Many such books are afraid to become fully immersed in the cycling world for fear of alienating the larger audience of the general population. Coyle, however, draws the reader into that world, explaining and defining the slang, the nuances, the tactics, the traditions, as needed. In so doing he has created a book that will be as entertaining and thought-provoking for the cycling aficionado as for the casual fan who only knows Lance's face from Subaru ads.
Finally, I consider this the best cycling book of its kind because of the author's apparent lack of an editorial agenda. This is written as a somewhat bibliographic narrative, just reporting the facts as perceived and experienced by the author. I contrast it with William Fotheringham's excellent book about Tom Simpson "Put Me Back On My Bike", which suffered from a need to draw some sort of moral or make conclusions for the reader. Daniel Coyle's book mirrors its subject in that it is what it is. You will either fall in love with it or be indifferent, you will either "get it" or you won't.Read more ›
The tells that were discussed in this book that I thought were the most fun were the tells that occurred on the first day of the European race, the Tour of Murcia. The belly pinch is one. Under the guise of a handshake, a rival or coach will grasp the target's hand, and tug them forward twisting their bodies lightly for access to their belly, to test for fat. The ass check is more of an art. You look from a distance. Riders in top form have asses that become small and vaguely feminine. After a while you have your rival memorized, what is big for them, small and somewhere in the middle.
These facts, these are the ones that make this book so valuable and so readable. I have been reading this book during the 2005 Le Tour. I now know the real Lance, his rivals and teammates, his loves, his mother, his step-fathers, his children, his friends, his likes and dislikes and so much information about the Le Tour 2004. This book has given credence to my love of Lance Armstrong as a Cancer Survivor, cyclist and all American hero.
Daniel Coyle, the author, has been able to find the right touch; to discuss what Lance Armstrong is all about. And, he has also allowed us into the inner world of the racing cyclist. Just what happens on tour? How do the cyclists prepare? What does it take to be a world class cyclist, and the best cyclist in the world? He has been given access into the inner workings of Le Tour teams.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An easy, entertaining read. I must say that given what we know now, I couldn't help but to balk at some of the egregious lies that were presented with regards to Lance's alleged... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Asahi_
Ok book - good in site into professional cycling.
Lacking in the PEDs
Very interesting look into the world of elite cyclists and the Tour de France. Even more interesting when you consider all that has come to light. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Minnesota Road n Trail
I picked up Lance Armstrong's War from the library on a whim, since it's Tour de France season, and I figured it would be amusing to see how things looked a few years ago. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Piaw Na
Lance's book is a good read regardless of what has recently come to light. I enjoyed reading this one and his other books as well. He is amazing with beating cancer. Read morePublished on February 20, 2014 by G8trzFan
Could an author possibly adore an athlete more than Coyle worshiped Armstrong?
Now the truth has been told, we see the "tells" of a man so in love with himself, he felt... Read more
Love how Daniel Coyle writes and makes this worth reading, after reading 5 books on the Tour and doping, this book kept my interest. Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Joe Stolfi