A literary sports classic, finally available in the U.S.
Originally published in Holland in 1978,The Rider became an instant cult classic, selling over 100,000 copies. Brilliantly conceived and written at a breakneck pace, it is a loving, imaginative, and, above all, passionate tribute to the art of bicycle road racing.
Not a dry history of the sport, The Rider is beloved as a bicycle odyssey, a literary masterpiece that describes in painstaking detail one 150-kilometer race in a mere 150 pages. We are, every inch of the way, inside amateur biker Tim Krabbé's head as his mind churns at top speed along with his furious peddling. Privy to his every thought-on the glory and vagaries of the sport itself, the weather, the characters and lineage of his rival cyclists, almost hallucinogenic anecdotes about great riders of the past-the book progresses kilometer by kilometer, thought by thought, and the reader is left breathless and exhilarated.
A thrillingly realistic look at what it is like to compete in a road race, The Rider
is the ultimate book for bike lovers as well as the arm-chair sports enthusiast.
About the Author
Tim Krabbé is one of Holland's leading writers. His many books include The Vanishing and The Cave, both of which were made into films. He lives in Amsterdam.
Praise for The Rider…
"The Rider a beautiful brute, as hard and fast as a thin wheel in a concrete road."—The Observer (UK)
"Its 148 pages will flash by in a blur of reckless, high-speed pleasure."—The Independent (UK)
"The Rider is a great read—a great ride. Krabbé'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. The race—and the book about the race—becomes a raining and cold history of the rider's life. But to say that the race is the metaphor for the life is to miss the point. The race is everything. It obliterates whatever isn't racing. Life is the metaphor for the race."—Donald Antrim