- Taschenbuch: 160 Seiten
- Verlag: Bloomsbury; Auflage: Reprint (12. Juni 2003)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1582342903
- ISBN-13: 978-1582342900
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,1 x 1 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 17.155 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Rider (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Juni 2003
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Tim Krabbé is one of Holland's leading writers. He is also a cycling (and chess) enthusiast. In The Rider he has created a book unique in the ranks of sporting literature, and probably elsewhere. Already acclaimed as a cycling classic, this translation from the original Dutch serves not only to evoke the endeavour and exhaustive struggle of road racing, but also inspires as a study into the workings of the human mind, from the context of a racing cyclist. The narrative is driven by an analysis equal parts psychological and philosophical, strategic and surreal. The reader might feel that Krabbé is presenting the race or the rider as a metaphor for life in general, but the author might argue that it is more than that as he brings the ecstasy and the agony of the race, and the descriptions of his fellow competitors, to such a prominent position that all else is somehow of little significance. Perhaps Krabbé's real point is that only the rider can truly understand what makes the feelings engendered by the race so vital. For the rest of us, his description might be the nearest we get. Nevertheless, The Rider stands as a masterpiece, and alone of its kind. The feelings experienced by the actors of endurance sports have never been so well captured, nor the power and the pain of cycle racing captured in such a cerebral yet compelling manner.--Trevor Crowe -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
'The Rider is a great read and a great ride.'
'Compelling...irradiated by an intense love of cycling and a fascination with the nature of the racing experience...[Krabbe] captures the rhythm of the race.'
'A complex meditation on the nature of extreme physical and mental exertion, wrapped in the guise of a simple account of one bicycle race. It will leave you wrung out, exhilarated, and relieved that you didn't break any bones while experiencing it.'
'The Rider is a great read and a great ride. Krabbe's half-day race, delivered kilometer by kilometer onto the page, shows the sport for what it is: painful, exhilarating, tactical, relational, fast, slow, dangerous, consuming, prone to mechanical failure, heroic, futile...'
'...there's something about Krabbe's spare writing style that lulls even uninitiated readers into a sort of trance--presumably not unlike that of the long-distance racer moving ever closer to the finishing line.'
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In this short book about a 150 km long race, Tim Krabbé also travels back in his mind, recalling legends of bike racing as well as his own dreams of sporting success in Holland. These include some wonderful absurdist episodes, including a brief "Little ABC of Road Racing" where he fantasizes about riding with Merckx and Anquetil and the other greats in a series of bizarre circumstances. And all through this one is conscious of the race going on, the change of scenery and weather and how the cyclist must constantly monitor his situation-now trying to make up for his downhill lack of skills, now attacking as the others weaken, now preparing for a sprint. One is struck by the fundamental cruelty of the sport, how one must endure pain and inflict it as well.
Anyone who has ridden fairly seriously will love this book, as will those who admire strong, clean writing. The author has brilliantly portrayed a concentrated moment. This is a world of intense focus and narrow but exhilarating boundaries.
To date, I have read nothing that captures the real essence of that experience nearly as well as Tim Krabbé's The Rider, which was originally published in 1978 in Amsterdam and which appeared in English only in 2002. Like a racing bike that has been relieved off all excess weight and trimmed of anything that could increase resistance against the wind, The Rider is prose in its most basic and stripped down form. There is hardly a wasted or misplaced word here: the writing is crisp, powerful, efficient, and compelling.
The little book weighs in at just 148 pages, just a little more than one for each of the 137 kilometers of the Tour de Mont Aigoual, by all rights a nondescript semi-pro bicycle race through the rolling mountains of Cévennes, in south central France. It may not sound like much, but Mr. Krabbé breathes life into it by describing perfectly what goes on inside a racer's head: everything from relevant glimpses at strategy -- in addition to being a strong rider and an even better writer, Mr. Krabbé may be best known as a chess champion, and his eye for tactics and detail shows -- to interesting thoughts about his own athletic career, about philosophy, fantasy, his competitors, and fascinating memories from cycling history.
The book is set in the 1970s, a time that will seem quaint to riders who have become interested in the sport only over the last few years: a period when riders made decisions about strategy rather than have it radioed into their ear pieces, when leather straps and not titanium clips held the shoes to the pedals, and when riders packed half an orange and a few figs in their pockets to fuel the ride rather than the latest scientific miracle mix.
I found it all exhilarating. As I leafed through my copy of the book earlier in order to double check a few facts before writing this review, I found myself happily re-reading some of the more compelling passages. While I was doing so, two (non-cyclist) friends stopped by and I read out loud to them Mr. Krabbé's dramatic account of Charley Gaul's stunning victory in the 1956 Giro d'Italia ... and they were unimpressed.
Which brings me to why I withheld one star from what I think is an excellent book: its appeal is far from universal. Unless you are a rider -- or at the very least, a serious fan of the sport or very close to someone who is a rider -- then I think it will be difficult to appreciate the discussions of the nervousness that accompanies a rapid descent from the mountains or the thought that goes into choosing the right gears.
But if you are a serious (or semi- or formerly-serious) rider, I can't imagine that you wouldn't be as thrilled by this book as I was.
If you do get a copy, my one piece of "strategic" advice would be to keep careful track of the names Mr. Krabbé mentions, famous and otherwise: to an English speaker's ear, many may sound quite similar. In addition to Mr. Krabbé himself we meet riders called Kléber, Koblet, Coppi, Caput, Kübler, and Clemons. And don't even get me started on the mouthful that many Dutch names represent to non-natives. Not that that sort of thing would be much of a stumbling block for anyone accustomed to the rigors of cycling.
The stripped-down prose style (common to all Krabbé's work), works especially well in the context of a race where the long distances can lead to almost a trance-like state. The mind wanders all over the place, and that is captured brilliantly in the rider's musings-for example, one part describes how he tries to invent words to keep himself amused during long, boring training rides. At the same time, the race itself is very tense, and Krabbé does quite well at describing the various tactical gambits employed along the way. The main competitors emerge as distinct figures-allies and foes in both a psychological and physical sense (I especially liked the unknown in the blue Cycles Goff jersey). Interwoven with it all are tidbits of cycling history, which are intermittently interesting to the non-racer.
It's not a reach to call this a masterpiece of sports literature. The story does a remarkable job at conveying the tension and flow of a race to the outsider. At the same time, the insights into the psychology of the athlete are so acute as to be universally recognizable across cultures and sports.
Through out his life, Tim Krabbe,also realized he had to write. No matter what he was involved in, he had to write. In this book "De renner" or "The Rider', he has made literary history. The book was written in 1978 and has become a cult classic. This is a fascinating book, a half-day race, 150km, of the love of bicycle racing, and the love of relating the life of racing.
"It's a ride to the sun, and a ride to Zen-the definitive abc of sports, an encyclopedia, a literary masterpiece, an adventure novel and bicycling odyssey all rolled into one," one book critic wrote. Tim Krabbe tells of us his life as a cyclist all rolled up into a small book of 129 pages. The prose that rolls out of his mouth onto the paper of the book is memorable. This is a book that begs to be read again and again. He tells us of a fantasy of riding with bicycle's best and besting them all by winning the race. Throughout this half day race, we learn how to put the bicycle together and take it apart. We learn all about gears, and what to use, when. We learn what he eats before he starts the race, where to put his hands on the handle bars and how to choose the bicycle seat. The men he races with, the fans that turn out and scream encouragement for all of their favorites. The cafes, the bars,and the major developments of racing. And through out this race, instead of chapters the book is divided into kilometers of the race. We end at Kilometer 137, when he crosses the finish line. Was he the first, third, or tenth? Gotcha' you need to read this book, and you will love it.
This is not a book that is a metaphor for life. It is a book of the racing life and how this life takes over. I understand for the first time, how a racer's blood becomes attuned to the race, the speed, the climbs, the straights, the finish line, the Win!
"Whenever I hit absolute rock bottom I always think of those immortal words from De renner by Tim Krabbé-Batoowoo Creakcreak-and everything seems just fine again."
Maarten Ducrot, bicycle racer
Highly recommended. Prisrob "Batoowoo Creakcreak"