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Lance Armstong's Novel

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Armstrong, Lance and Sally Jenkins. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.

New York: Berkley, 2000, 2001.

Everyone (who's anyone) knows of Lance Armstrong and his greatness. His numerous Tour de France victories and his struggle to fight cancer - which he had in three different places! Many people still sport the yellow "Livestrong" bracelets that were made for him, to help support his recovery from cancer, even if he did leave his wife for Sheryl Crow. And although I knew little of biking and the Tour de France, something about Armstrong sparked my interest - and so I began to read.

I was intrigued, entranced, captivated by the very first paragraph in the book. Maybe it was because he first stated that he wanted to be a hundred years old, and wanted to die peacefully in a patch full of sunflowers. But, the way that the passage was written sparked my interest, too. Armstrong stated "a hundred" instead of "one hundred," like most people would say. He used the word "stud" in the same sentence as "wife." Throughout the rest of the novel, Armstrong used 'normal' words that seemed real. It gave the stories a down to earth, and very real, feel. (He continued to describe Kik, his wife, as a "stud"). The way that Armstrong appeared to speak and write made me realize that he is in fact, human - a human legend.

His story is known worldwide - a rookie biker with raw talent gets diagnosed with cancer, defeats cancer, and goes on to win the Tour de France five (or is it six?) times. Armstrong's "Livestrong" bracelets became a fashion statement, and you often see him wearing yellow. But It's Not About the Bike goes beyond what most people know, descriptively and completely - Armstrong keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time, especially after he finds out that he's diagnosed with cancer. My stomach twisted into knots while reading Armstrong's reaction to cancer; I giggled when Kik and Lance's relationship began to blossom, sighed when Lance proposed, gasped when he won the Tour de France. There were times when the novel had me saying, "No way!" and "Right on, Lance Armstrong!"

But that first passage captivated me more than all the others. For some reason, the passages about Lance's struggles with cancer



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