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It's Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life. (Includes New Chapter on Tour de France 2000 and the Olympics) Paperback – 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 545 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425179613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425179611
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.2 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 349 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 545 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Aug. 23 2003
Format: Hardcover
Having never really been interested in cycling I bought this book since I wanted to know about Lance's fight with testicular cancer which killed my best friend three years ago in his early 30s. I was not just positively surprised but literally stunned and finished the book in two days.
Lance's life from his upbringing to early achievements, his fight with cancer to becoming the King of the Tour de France are written honestly and interestingly. Reading the book took me along the entire emotional spectrum and I enjoyed every minute of it. With a less than 3% chance to survive I am convinced that contrary to the title, his survival is about the bike. It tought him to fight, to personalize the challenge and to give it everything he has got.
Being German, I wanted Jan Ullrich to win the tour this year but having read what Lance has overcome and seeing him on the crucial day after falling due to spectator involvement, I now hope that he will win his sixth (and final?) Tour in 2004 to take his rightful place as the best rider who ever lived.
I felt compelled to write this review since I read some of the other reviews. While I understand some of the comments about him being egoistic, that is part of him too. He is not claiming to be perfect, far from it, and I do not judge the man but simply recommend his book as an uplifting and interesting read.
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Format: Paperback
I am a beginner runner. I picked up this book because I wanted to know more about Lance Armstrong. This book has taught me how much mental and physical training are required to be the best, consistently. I have enjoyed reading this book because of the humor, the clear and direct expression of ideas, and Lance's candor in his failures and triumphs. I am sure I will pick it up and read it again periodically.
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By Buggy TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 21 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this, a fascinating and inspirational read even if you're not a cycling fan or into sports biographies. As the title states this is "not about the bike" well not completely anyways, of course the bike is always present (even on Lance's sickest days when he could barely stand from the chemo treatments he still managed to go for a wobbly ride around the block) but I would say more than half of this story deals with Lance's brutal battle with cancer and his miraculous recovery. We also learn about his childhood and growing up kinda poor in a single parent home, his early days as a triathlete, falling in love and his 1st marriage (this was written in 2002) and a surprisingly detailed account about the IVF that allowed for the birth of his first child.

It's well written, honest and unflinching, as some of what we read doesn't always paint Armstrong in the most favorable light. Other reviewers have mentioned his ego (huge) and his single mindedness when it came to racing and training, bordering on obsession. I am of the mind that you don't become the best in the world without developing an ego, without becoming preoccupied. I mean it takes everything to get to the top so personal relationships are bound to suffer. On that note while Armstrong praises his (now ex-wife) Kit I was shocked at how he treated her, expecting her life to just revolve around him. At one point she gives up everything in the States and follows him to Europe to just "be there" while he trains, then on a whim Lance quits the tour and he expects her to just pack up the house and follow him back home while he sorts himself out and plays golf.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Generally speaking, when I read an autobiography, I prefer that it is written exclusively by the biographer; in this case, Lance Armstrong. For It's Not About The Bike, Mr. Armstrong chose to write the book with the assistance of sports columnist and Washington Post feature writer Sally Jenkins; and this was a mistake in my view. The parts of the book written by Armstrong are by turns entertaining, poignant, cringe-inducing, and above all honest. However, every now and then there is a sentence or a paragraph appears that feels out of place, like it was written by someone else: Sally Jenkins.

Interestingly, though Mr. Armstrong employs the assistance of a co-writer, he does not acknowledge Sally Jenkins' contributions in the main body of his book. Instead, he lists Ms. Jenkins' name last among those for whom "this book is for", writing that he met with her to write this book. Why someone with Armstrong's blunt yet frank manner would choose to employ a co-writer is beyond me: In public as well as (based on the accounts described in this book) in private Armstrong is never at a loss for words, nor does he seem to have any difficulty in making himself understood. If he had decided to write this book entirely on his own (as I believe he easily could have), It's Not About The Bike would rate 4 stars out of 5 for me with one star deducted because of the very brief descriptions of his experience in the Tour De France, which I had hoped to read more of. As it stands, whether it was due to the influence of Sally Jenkins or of some un-named publicist or handler of Mr. Armstrong, It's Not About The Bike feels incomplete, and airbrushed in parts. The story of Lance Armstrong's life is fascinating and this book is well worth reading. In the interests of full disclosure and authenticity, I simply would have prefered Armstrong stuck to telling the story of his life entirely in his own words. 3/5
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