Category Archives: books

The Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort

Did I enjoy the WoWS film, yes, what did that say about me, who knows.  Did I enjoy the book, immensely.  Belfort is of course a truly grotesque character who appeared to be able to create and live a cartoon life of instant mega success, drugs and beautiful women in which the joke was always on someone else.  The story unfolds in much the same manner as presented in the film.  Snappy and zippy.  Whether it’s entirely believable is another matter but it’s page turning stuff.  Very to easy to read and recommended on that basis alone.  Anyone who has worked in an office will be able to relate to his inner monologue about his co-workers and employees.

101 Damnations, dispatches from the 101st Tour de France – Ned Boulting

This has been another disrupted year but here’s an update on what I’ve read to date this year.  I read this at the turn of the year and can only report that it follows in the footsteps of the other books written by Ned.  No pretensions other than to be what it is, just more Ned (who appears to have morphed into an anchor commentator (Ned and David Millar may be cheaper than Phil and Paul, who knows)).  From what I can recall it was an enjoyable enough easy read.  My main memory is his description of the portaloos at the tour.

Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood

OK,  and this is the book I read before the Froome-doggery. Here’s an article from entertainment weekly entertainingly enough

http://www.ew.com/article/1996/06/07/hit-run-how-jon-peters-and-peter-guber-took-sony-ride-hollywood

about this. I was looking at a Don Simpson biography but went with this on the recommendation of the Internet.

The recounting of how the two players reached the top is all too believable, it’s the sums of money involved which aren’t. This is however a bit of a chore to read at points and enviably dissolves into a review of dysfunctional boardroom dynamics. Which anyone who works in an office will reluctantly recognise.

Chris Froome – The Climb

The latest book read. For a real review see the excellent inrng

http://inrng.com/2014/06/book-review-the-climb-chris-froome/

which comprehensively covers how the book develops. It does run out of steam by the time we get to the 100th tour which is dealt with via a daily run down of each day. What struck a chord with me is that he is aware that he wouldn’t have got to where he was if he hadn’t taken a chance in his life.

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

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/aug/03/dirtiest-race-in-history-richard-moore-review

Did I enjoy it.  yes I did.  I’m an avid listener of Richard Moore’s cycling podcast, http://thecyclingpodcast.com/ 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).

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.