Sunday, August 7, 2011
Week 28: Tour De France for Dummies, by Phil Liggett, James Raia, and Sammarye Lewis
I got this book to complement my aforementioned annual Tour de France bender. Although my mania for the Tour puts my knowledge of the event way out of the league of "dummies", I purchased this book with the hope that it might acquaint me with some of the nitty-gritty rules and regulations that I wanted to become more familiar with. One of the authors, Phil Liggett, is the premier announcer for the Tour. He's charismatic, enthralling, and beloved by cycling fans. Also, the foreword of the book is written by Lance Armstrong. So, I figured that these all must be good signs, right? Well, kind of. The book, as its name implies, is indeed for dummies. Dummies who make spelling and grammatical errors (Editing for Dummies, anyone?). It's not especially consistent, and manages to be boring at times, yet never really gets into the minutiae and details that I was craving. It seems to glaze the entire event with a thick layer of mediocrity. It's not terrible, and it's certainly a good primer for someone who truly doesn't know anything about the Tour. Parts of it are interesting, such as the rundowns of the most dramatic Tour moments, or the best climbs. But there's just something goofy about it. I enjoyed reading this book and found it fun, but in terms of information, I think the Tour de France Wikipedia page has Tour de France for Dummies beat.