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17 September, 2010

Book Review: It's Not about the Bike

Author: Sally Jenkins, Lance Armstrong Genre: Auto Biography, biography, Motivational, sports

Do you think you have faced hardships? The hardest of hardest? Want to be successful? Do you want to know what it takes to be a star, a true-blue star? Do you want to read a self help book which is as good as any fiction novel? Then Read It’s not about the bike – the story of Lance Armstrong, written by Sally Jenkins.

This book is the autobiography of Lance Armstrong. It talks about his life growing up in Texas. His upbringing by his single mom, the bike and his passion for riding. The hardships he overcomes to become a famous world-class athlete; the threat to end his career in a single stroke - his testicular cancer that spreads across to other body parts and his fight and sheer determination to live and win the most coveted title of the cycling word –Tour de France Championship.

Sally Jenkins is an accomplished sports writer and her prowess is displayed in the way she has portrayed Lance’s life. Not for a minute would one feel bored but turn pages anxiously as the story unfolds. The reader will connect with Lance when he goes through hardships in relationships and his life overall.

One would empathize with Lance when he learns that he will die and would support him all through his struggle there on and cheer him and celebrate with him when he wins the tour. Vicarious feelings exemplified. Kudos to Sally Jenkins for a book wonderfully written.

I will cherish having read this book and would keep visiting this autobiography time and again.

Trivia: Quotes from the book

"The one thing the illness has convinced me of beyond all doubt - more than any experience I've had as an athlete - is that we are much better than we know. We have unrealized capacities that sometime only emerge in crisis. So, if there is a purpose to the suffering that is cancer, I think it must be this: it's meant to improve us."

"The truth is, if you ask me to choose between winning the Tour de France and cancer, I would choose cancer. Odd as it sounds, I would rather have the title of cancer survivor than winner of the Tour, because of what it has done for me as a human being, a man, a husband, a son, and a father."

"You'll have to convince me you know what you're doing," I said.
"Look, I've done a large number of these,"Shapiro said."I've never had anyone die, and I've never made anyone worse."
"Yeah, but why should you be the person who operates on my head?"
"Because as good as you are at cycling"-he paused-"I'm a lot better at brain surgery."
-NeuroSurgeon to Lance Armstong


Nalini Hebbar said...

I have a sports person in my house, my son, and have experienced the dedication that has to go in...nice review

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

Yeah Nailini,
Thanks for the kind words

Pooja said...

I loved this book. I read it a few years back, and was completely inspired!
Good review, you've done it justice.

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

Thanks much Pooja :)

Usha said...

Another book to add to my reading list :)


Md. Muddassir Shah said...

I strongly suggest you add it to your list

Sadiya said...

i totally loved the last quote. n u hav such a shrap knack at ruining the best things :D

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

* confused *
What have I ruined ?? :S

Sadiya said...

hehe see now ur not concentrating thiiik se!
i meant the last quote was the best n u ruined it by messing up the spello- surgery* ??

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

Oh crap. I searched the whole post for the word surgery and it is hidden here in the last quote.
I'm correcting it right now :)

Reema Sahay said...

Fabulous review. I'm certainly ordering it right away. Everyone needs to read an inspiring story once in a while.

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

Reema, thanks for such encouraging words

Mirza Ghalib said...

Truly inspirational book. Bought this book for my aunt who is battling with cancer. Irrespective of the doping allegations, Armstrong still remains a hero for his battle with cancer and his grit to get back to living.

Muddassir Shah said...

I agree with you when you say he will remain a hero for fighting the cancer. he epitomizes hope here and I love it.