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Ten Points Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 27, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is not really about bike racing, but the accounts of the Thursday night races are wonderful in their detail and drama. The other racers-with nicknames like the Animal, Speed, Bird, Steak and Purple Jersey, are talented and dedicated but they seem to operate at a totally different level than even well-trained hobby athletes. The author learns with each session out on the road, but all too often he lacks the physical ability to keep pace. The description of amateur bike racing, and what goes on in your mind as you try to work the pack, is exceptional.Read more ›
But you have to have a strong constitution just to READ this book. I cannot imagine what a strong constitution Mr. Strickland mus have to have been so unflinchingly honest with the horrific (there is no other word that comes close to being adequate) details of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. I had to put the book down, multiple times, just because I could not read another word. My heart ached for young Bill Strickland, & for his quest to try to assure that he would not be a part of the continuing cycle of abuse.
I will not even give an example of the abuse Mr. Strickland had to put up with as a child, as it is frankly hard for me to even reflect on them having completed the book.
This is a very good book, very well written - but it is a TOUGH read, even as it is a good read, as you see this man lay bare the horrific (forgive me for not coming up with another adjective, but I can think of no other that is remotely adequeate).
If you have the stomach for it, and would otherwise be interested in cycling & a personal saga of growth & surviving, this is a great book. But I can't really think of anyone I know who I would say, "hey, you would really LOVE this book."
TEN POINTS is on one level bicycle narrative, but it transcends that. Strickland's cycling endeavors alternate with flashbacks of a deeply troubled childhood overshadowed by an abusive father. Strickland's father could be considered a poster child for White Trash, except that would probably give undue insult to those who are White Trash. It's people like Strickland's father who make us wish that you had to be licensed in order to sire children. The vignettes of abuse recounted by Strickland are at times difficult to read. I marvel at the courage Strickland has in self-revelation and sharing these memories with the readers. Throughout his adult life the baggage haunted him and impacted his dealings with his friends, his children, and even led him to an extramarital affair which jeopardized his marriage.
Rather than letting this psychic baggage derail his life or marriage, Strickland redoubles his efforts and infuses "the quest for 10 points" with an almost mythic sense of mission. His prose on bike racing cracks and crackles with authenticity, putting you in the middle of the straining peloton. This alone is worth the price of admission...
It would be nice to wrap this up with a tidy Tiffany's bow and relate a story where Bill Strickland ultimately wins his 10 points, transcending his athletic limitations and his past.
Alas, life is rarely so neatly packaged. As one famous bicycle racer has stated, "It's not about the bike.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful words and awful life experiences. This book is fantastic.Published 4 months ago by Thomas S.
Bill retells the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and how it's fueled him both on the bike and off. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Sarn
Poignant, gripping, touching, exciting. Superbly written. Definitely recommended, though includes some disturbing sections detailing child abuse he suffered growing up.Published on June 3, 2014 by Colin
Excellent and inspirational read. A book that makes you want to get out and cycle at any level. As long as the pedals are turning.Published on January 22, 2014 by Vince H
A good, painful story, well told. Feels a bit maudlin at times. A good freshman outing. Not just for cyclists.Published on January 14, 2014 by Sky Mckinley
This book is amazing! The author, Bill, faces huge challenges very bravely, and in an inspiring way. Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by Greg M Knight
He is one of my favorite writers and he doesn't disappoint here. Many passages inspire me and remind me of the beauty of cycling. Everyone should read it.Published on January 16, 2012 by Jab Jr
I am a road biker, and I also love reading memoirs. This book was so good, that I had to pace myself to not read it all in one sitting. Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by Renee A. Cuffe