Richard Moore – The Dirtiest Race in History

It’s a book by the sports journalist Richard Moore who predominantly writes about, what’s that, cycling, you don’t say.  But wait, what, this is about Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis, 1988 and all that.

To save my typing a run down, here’s one

Did I enjoy it.  yes I did.  I’m an avid listener of Richard Moore’s cycling podcast, to save you googling it, so read the book in Richard’s own voice which was not unpleasant.  The man has an engaging voice fit for radio.  Ben Johnson came across as a nice enough bloke who took a few steroids to get to the very top and lied consistently until made to confess.   Then tried to come back and took some more drugs.  My sympathies definitely sat with Johnson.  Lewis, and his mystery man in the dope room, come across as a bit of a  prat who got on the drugs to keep up and was caught anyway but couldn’t leave it at that.  Basically he was lucky and appeared to engineer a situation where Johnson was set up for a fall.  A solid 7.5 out of 10.

William Boyd – Solo A James Bond Novel

And before that this year was this James Bonder.  Having run through the whole Ian Flemming Bond catalogue a year or so ago (thank you kindle) I saw this in the library and thought I’d give it a spin.  It was a fine easy read, though Bond goes a bit ott when breaking a neck.  My advice to Bond, do not walk away you muppet.  Pretty sure even in those days you could have organised some protection for your close family even if it had to be on the quiet owing to your secret status.

Fine for the beach (or plane).

John Le Carre – The Honourable Schoolboy

Next up is the spy ‘thriller’ which follows Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which I read earlier this year.  What did I make of this one I hear you ask.  Well I think the answer is underwhelmed.  The first 400 pages or so are pretty engaging and leave you wondering how this could possibly resolve itself.  The end, not convinced.  Jerry deserts his post in an unconvincing manner and the actual ending feels like it was tacked on as John didn’t have a clear idea as to how he was to wrap things up.  It’s a 6 out of 10 from me.  Try harder next time (which I hope he does as I’ve just got Smiley’s People out of the library).

David Walsh – Seven Deadly Sins

David Walsh – Seven deadly Sims

Ok, catching up with the backlog of books read this year,  and it’s David Walsh’s Seven Deadly Sins.  Again no new information here (if you’ve read as many cycling books as…), but did I enjoy it.  Well no as much as I’d hoped.  This book feels like a cash in, brought out to coincide with Armstrong’s Oprah appearance, and summarises David’s history to date.  The new information of interest being personal insight’s into how David reacted to the events that played out before him.  For me perhaps the most revealing was how he reacted to the death of one of his children who he openly describes as his favourite child.  A 6 out of 10.

We also went to see to see the recent film ‘based’ on this book (though how you can clam that the film is based on this book when it basically is just a potted history of LA’s career is beyond me).  James Richardson nail’s it in his recent review

4 out of 10 is pushing it…

In other news car has pulled up outside the house playing some metal.  Dude needs to deal with that scratchy throat pronto…


Michael Barry – Shadows on the Road

A book cover
A book cover

For no reason other that I was having trouble remembering what books I’d read this year, here’s the first in an occasional review of the same.

Michael Barry – Shadows on the Road

Check out the cover.  Yes it’s a cycling book.  Enjoyed it.  No new information in here (if you’ve read as many cycling books as I have) apart from some nice insights into Michael’s early career and the emotion of injury and how it impacts on his livelihood, relationships and his family.  A nice easy, and uplifting, read.  Oh yeah he took drugs and lied about it yada yada etc.



I’ve had a subpac now for around a month and think that I’ve now just about got to a point where I understand how it responds / correlates to the mix / my ears.  I picked this up largely on the basis that I’ve moved the studio from an environment where I could virtually crank it out at any volume at any-time of the night to an urban setting where sound levels could get to be a problem.  That and who doesn’t want to feel a powerful accurate sub to mix with standard monitors.

This has definitely got me in the studio more.  On the downside, and this is 100% connected with mixing in the new environment, it’s got me in the studio more mixing with headphones.  The temptation is that you run the output fader hot as, as with non-headphone monitoring, the higher the volume the greater the bass sensation and I really don’t want to damage my hearing more than I already have.

And the subpac itself.  Really good.