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Originally published in Holland in 1978, The Rider became an instant cult classic, selling over 100,000 copies. Brilliantly conceived and written at a break-neck 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. The Rider is the ultimate book for bike lovers as well as the arm-chair sports enthusiast.
Tim Krabbe is one of Holland's leading writers, and his novels are published all over the world. His many books include The Vanishing, which was made into a successful film, and The Cave. He lives in Amsterdam.
'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..." -Donald Antrim
'...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.' -Time Out New York
'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.'-The Economist
'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.' -Bookforum