Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review: French Revolutions by Tim Moore

French Revolutions is the true and humorous tale of Tim Moore's attempt to cycle around France following the route of the 2000 Tour De France. Whilst this attempt is largely successful, the author does resort to cheating on a number of occasions, something he justifies by outlining the history (tradition?) of cheating in the real Tour. This interesting take on the race is interspersed with a wide variety of factual anecdotes about the Tour De France which gives the book another dimension and making it more than just a jokey travelogue.

This is a well-written and interesting story which takes the reader through the French countryside and the superhuman effort it takes to complete the Tour even at a slow pace, imparting something of the author's emotional journey as he becomes a more accomplished cyclist.

Whilst the details of French Revolutions are interesting the humour falls short of anything but mildly amusing, although it is sufficient to add an element to the book. However, I found myself turning the pages wanting to know the progress of Tim Moore as he, bit by bit, improves as a cyclist and manages ever-increasing feats of bicycling endurance while comparing these to the efforts of famous cyclists.

This is a very enjoyable book but I didn't really understand why the author resorted to cutting out parts of the route - if he wanted to cycle the route of the Tour De France why didn't he do just that rather than truncate the journey? For me, this slightly detracted from the tale.

For readers who enjoy travel literature this is a good choice with an engaging story, amusing anecdotes and fun facts about the Tour De France. If you are one of the ever-increasing number of MAMILs you will love this book and may be inspired by it. I recommend this book to a wide range of readers.

Score: 9/10

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