genre: narrative nonfiction & memoir
synopsis: the story of the grueling 1914 giro d’italia and moore’s subsequent journey to retrace it in full authentic detail
setting: italy, 1914 and 2014
what i liked: moore’s tone was perfect to read after having read enrique’s journey and consequently needing, as i said to a friend, “rainbows, unicorns, and puppies.” his tone and humor were quintessentially british: ironic and self-deprecatory. he made the intricacies of bicycles
what i loved: BICYCLING. AROUND. ITALY.
(kind of. from an armchair. in the united states.)
in university i wrote a 20-page paper in my michigan history class in anticipation of applying to pursue a graduate degree in history (for which you need, as my professor stated emphatically, a sample of writing that is significantly longer than 10 pages). hence, the 20 pages. at his suggestion, i wrote the paper on bicycles, focusing on its advent in west michigan and how that reflected national trends in bicycling at the time.
ever since, i have been fascinated by bicycles, so i really enjoyed this book, but i don’t think you need to LOVE bicycling to read and like this. moore is an engaging writer with high readability. it also helps that a good portion of his technical descriptions are twined with sarcastic renditions of the mishaps he finds himself in as a result of his antique bike falling apart on the road.
what i could have done without: most of the swear words and the finer points of the anatomical difficulties men encounter while riding bicycles
final thoughts: if you’re interested in bicycles or italy, this will probably be a book you enjoy