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"The Race"

Old 04-06-05, 09:18 AM
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djpluv
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"The Race"

I think there was a thread about this book about a year ago, but I felt it appropriate to start a new thread, considering there are a number of new racers in this forum. This book will definitely get you pumped up to race!


A buddy and teammate of mine lent me "The Race" by Dave Shields to read recently. Let me tell you something, I couldn't put it down. In fact, I read it front to back the other night on a flight out to San Diego.

"The Race" is a fictional story about a "washed up / has been / never been / bad luck-stricken" American cyclist, Ben Barnes, racing for a French team in the greatest race of them all - the Tour de France. Reading the book took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. From the hardships and challenges faced by Ben all the way to his own personal victories, I felt as if I was right there sharing the experiences with him. I got goose bumps along the way... and even a small tear in my eye

The book is a great look into the life of a domestique and the pain they must endure in order to get their leader to the finish - not just the obvious physical pain, but the mental anguish they go through sacrificing their own life's ambitions and goals to serve the good of the team. The author paints a wonderful collage of Ben's life - painful memories and regrets of his unsupportive father, violent conflicts with a former teammate, and a rocky relationship with his current team director - that grabs the reader and sucks you into the story.

I found the book very believable and inspiring... by reading this and sharing in the pain Ben felt during his personal challenges will make me a stronger cyclist mentally... I would definitely recommend this book for any athlete struggling to overcome any self-imposed limitations. Just awesome... what more can i say
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Old 04-06-05, 10:22 AM
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Also, "The Rider" by Tim Krabbe is excellente.
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Old 04-06-05, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by djpluv
"The Race" by Dave Shields to read recently. Let me tell you something, I couldn't put it down.
Thanks for the recommendation; I was ready for some cycloliterature. Will try to get hold of it soon.


Originally Posted by jbhowat
"Also, "The Rider" by Tim Krabbe is excellente.
That's an understatement.
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Old 04-06-05, 10:56 AM
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I guess I'm a cynic but this book was trash.
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Old 04-06-05, 11:19 AM
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I'll give Dave a ton of credit. He's self-publishing it, so he's working his but off to sell it.
He was at the TdG last year hanging flyers in all of the port-o-johns. You couldn't help but notice the book when you're standin' there holdin' your horn.

It's not a bad read.
Writing a book isn't an easy task by any means.
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Old 04-06-05, 11:39 AM
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Maybe there's a reason why he's self-publishing...I'm not saying the Shields is a bad person, however the book reads like one of those trashy 'you can do it if you try' stories I used to read back when I was in elementary school. Touching maybe, but good writing? No.
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Old 04-11-05, 03:31 PM
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Thanks djpluv and Event Services. I'm glad you enjoyed my book and I appreciate your help in spreading the word. It was recently named "Best Sports Novel of the Year" by Seattle Magazine and I've also received preliminary word on some literary contests which I'll be able to mention soon. Guys like George Hincapie and Frankie Andreu have sent me great endorsements, and I've just completed a sequel which I hope to have on bookstore shelves by Spring 2006, so things are going well.

Pinky, you are right that there are reasons the book is self-published, but they aren't the ones you're implying. The magazine in your tag line gave "The Race" a glowing review which you can see at my Web site. In fact, I was once under contract with a traditional publishing house. We parted ways for a number of reasons.

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy "The Race." Every book means different things to different people, and every writer eventually learns that their stories won't resonate with all readers. As an "Ink-Stained Wretch" yourself, you might be familiar with what I'm saying.

Speaking of "The Rider," it's a great cycling novel. If you felt that "The Race" was too much of a feel good story, that might be the book for you. It takes a more fatalistic view.
Tailwinds,
Dave Shields
http://www.ReadTheRace.com
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Old 04-11-05, 03:56 PM
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Wow, not too often I get to insult an author straight-up (now I get to have an argument at the office...at least once I find out who wrote the piece). Props to you for responding to my less than dignified review in a more than dignified retort. Good luck in your toils.
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Old 04-11-05, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by pinky
Wow, not too often I get to insult an author straight-up (now I get to have an argument at the office...at least once I find out who wrote the piece). Props to you for responding to my less than dignified review in a more than dignified retort. Good luck in your toils.
haha, its kinda like when you vent about someone (boss), and you turn around...and there standing right there...heh. Only Dave Sheilds is not your boss.
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Old 04-11-05, 08:14 PM
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Dave:

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to the thread starter. I don't miss very many books on cycling in my library, and I checked Amazon.com, and I see that they sell your book there. I will own it soon!
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Old 04-12-05, 09:25 PM
  #11  
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Thanks Pinky,
That response was pure dignity. I hope you have a lively discussion in the office. I know that there are at least two people who see things my way walking the halls of The Ride, but I'm not going to tell you who they are in hopes that they can change your mind using guerilla tactics. I'll stop at nothing to recruit readers who will help promote my book, and maybe there's still hope for you. If The Race ever takes off mainstream, it will be due to the efforts of early readers in the cycling world who helped to spread the word.

One of my goals with this book was to introduce new people to cycling. My initial drafts were well received by cyclists, but non-cyclists often had no idea what I was talking about. So I had to go back and figure out ways to bring the newbies up to speed without drawing too much attention to explanations, dialogue, and thoughts that might seem basic for someone well versed in the sport. It was a challenging balance, and I know I didn't always walk a perfect line. The encouraging thing is that I get frequent e-mail from non-cyclists saying things like, "After reading your book, I couldn't help dusting off my mountain bike. I went for a ride and had a ton of fun." Or, "I had a whole new respect for athletes when it was over and understood, for the first time, what it must be like to push yourself to limits that go beyond physical exertion and right into mental strength. I never knew there was so much strategy that went into cycling!" Marty Jemison told me that he believes one day someone will stand on the podium of a Grand Tour and think back to why they fell in love with cycling. He says the answer will be, reading The Race. If that ever happens, no matter what sorts of reviews I get, I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

CNN has invited me on for an interview 4/18 at 10:45 a.m. Eastern. Provided that I don't get bumped by breaking news (that's happened twice so far), maybe this will be my chance to introduce that future Grand Tour podium finisher to my book.
Tailwinds,
Dave Shields
My Website
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Old 04-28-05, 08:43 PM
  #12  
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Picked up a copy at the Tour de Georgia last week, got to shake Dave's hand, got the book signed. Read in the evening between stages. Already gave it to a friend to read. Would recommend it to any rider.

Good luck with book.
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Old 05-02-05, 01:18 AM
  #13  
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Thanks smoothleg,
What a great event TdG is. I had no idea Georgia had terrain or scenery like that before attending last year's race. Incredible infrastructure and hospitality, and the organizers do an incredible job. I talked to mechanics who were disapointed in the low number of flats. They said the road condition was too good. You don't hear that everyday.

I'm glad you ran into me and got a signed copy of the book, and I'm even happier that you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for helping to spread the word. BTW, I got word recently that the book is one of three finalists for the Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction. I'm headed to NYC on June 1 to find out if I won. It's a potentially huge step in the right direction.
Later,
Dave Shields
http://www.ReadTheRace.com
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Old 05-23-05, 01:01 PM
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My review of "The Race:"

I just finished reading "The Race." My Evelyn Woods speed reading course finally paid off, because the last few chapters are real page turners.

The book can be incredibly corny at times, but gee, so is "Rocky!"

Dave Shields has a gift for descriptive prose - he is incredibly articulate, but yet manages to do so with a very readable low gunning fog index (the measure of clarity and simplicity of writing). I only had to look up one word - nexus!

Certainly any fan of cycling will enjoy this book, but anyone that simply wants to read a good story will also enjoy this work.

Dave, if you check in, I'm sorry I wasn't in on the proof reading as their are typos in the book. For example, on page 58 where it says: Ben watch (should be watched) Firtz's expression carefully.

In conclusion, I would like to be Dave Shield's agent, and shop this work as a movie - it would be a killer!!

Oh, and yes Dave, get the hell busy and write another book with the theme of cycling!
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Old 05-23-05, 01:35 PM
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Corny? Oh well. Being compared to Rocky is a great compliment, and the other stuff you said makes me feel very good (although now I need to go look up "nexus" myself). Finding ways to tell the story so that both hard core cyclists and total newbies could get into it was a big challenge. For the most part, I think I accomplished that. I get notes all the time from non-cyclists that say things like, "Wow, I had no idea what this sport was all about. I thought it would be like watching grass grow." It makes me happy that they know now. I'd love to see a movie come together. It looked likely for a while, but it turned out to be a scam. Good thing I didn't sign on the dotted line.

There were a handful of typos in the first print run (amazing how those things sneak past several rounds of editing) but they're gone, now. The sequel will be out in the Spring. Thanks for spreading the word.
Caio,
Dave Shields
http://www.ReadTheRace.com
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Old 05-23-05, 01:51 PM
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Thanks for checking in Dave. By "in the spring," do you mean this spring? Please stop by and add to this thread when the sequel does come out - I want to buy a copy. The book is ideal for a sequel. I love the way you ended the story, but earlier on, I was assuming the book would go through the end of the tour.

There is so much room to contiune to develop the characters and the story.

It's too bad about the current dead-end of the movie. I really would love to see the story told on the big screen!

Whatever you do, make sure that Ben does not contract a serious disease, spend agonizing months and months fighting and defeating said disease, and then come back to win the TDF. No one will ever believe it, and you will be accused of corny writing!
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Old 05-23-05, 02:48 PM
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I meant Spring 2006. Sorry for the confusion. I'll make a note here when the book is available. The idea of contracting a serious disease is interesting, but it sounds vaguely familiar, and you're right, who would ever believe it? Not to give anything away, but that's not what happens in the new book.
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Old 05-23-05, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Shields
I meant Spring 2006. Sorry for the confusion. I'll make a note here when the book is available. The idea of contracting a serious disease is interesting, but it sounds vaguely familiar, and you're right, who would ever believe it? Not to give anything away, but that's not what happens in the new book.
Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com
LOL I'll try to wait - thanks Dave!
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Old 06-06-05, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Ben Cousins
It sure is. I've read more than ten cycling books in the last year, and that was the best by a mile.
Well I haven't read that many, but I did love this book. It took me 2 days to finish, and I didn't even read it while I was riding
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Old 06-15-05, 10:26 PM
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"The Race" has become the first sports themed novel ever to win the Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction. Yahooo!!!
Dave Shields
http://www.ReadTheRace.com
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Old 06-16-05, 06:13 AM
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Well done, Dave!

Hard work pays off, and you've been working reeeally hard with this project. I don't think the readers understand how much goes into a book. It's not just words on a page and a fancy cover.

Continued success to you.

(BTW, my manu is back in the hands of the pub we talked about at the '04 TdG post race party. Cross your fingers.)
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Old 06-16-05, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
I don't think the readers understand how much goes into a book.
Ain't it the truth! I doubt many people would write books if they knew how hard the job really is. Congratulations on the latest with your manuscript. Best of luck, and keep me updated.
Cheers,
Dave Shields
http://www.ReadTheRace.com
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Old 06-16-05, 08:41 AM
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hey dave, just want to say congratulations on the award and all the good reviews you've recieved so far. i think i've heard enough to go ahead and order it for myself. looking forward to reading it.
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Old 01-30-06, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by skydive69
Thanks for checking in Dave. By "in the spring," do you mean this spring? Please stop by and add to this thread when the sequel does come out - I want to buy a copy. The book is ideal for a sequel. I love the way you ended the story, but earlier on, I was assuming the book would go through the end of the tour.

There is so much room to contiune to develop the characters and the story.

It's too bad about the current dead-end of the movie. I really would love to see the story told on the big screen!

Whatever you do, make sure that Ben does not contract a serious disease, spend agonizing months and months fighting and defeating said disease, and then come back to win the TDF. No one will ever believe it, and you will be accused of corny writing!
Hey Skydive,
Here's the reminder I promised. Take a look at: http://www.DaveShields.com/purchase.html
I posted the link here and on some other cycling boards last week. It's resulted in a ton of discussion on some of them, but not a peep from this group. I'd love to hear from Bike Forum members as well.
Cheers,
Dave Shields

Last edited by Dave Shields; 11-30-06 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 01-30-06, 04:36 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by pinky
Maybe there's a reason why he's self-publishing.
My wife works in the self publishing industry and getting a book published by one of the big publisher ain't as easy as you might think. Like getting a good screenplay made into a movie the book industry only cares about selling books. I tell you one thing if Dave ever got a recommendation from Oprah he'd be retired soon after. His book could be total trash but a recommendation from her would put him on the best sellers list over night. Believe what you read and what you see at the movies has a whole lot less to do with quality than it does with making a quick buck.
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