1923: The Mystery of Lot 212 and a Tour de France Obsession

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1923: The Mystery of Lot 212 and a Tour de France Obsession

1923: The Mystery of Lot 212 and a Tour de France Obsession

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He coalesces this disparate content into a lovely meditation on the passing of time and the echoes of history. At its core is a snippet of film of the 1923 Tour de France and it would be easy to say the book is about Ned’s quest to find out as much as he could about it. If it were possible, if it didn’t make me sound insane, I would have to say that I fell in love with a year. Holding the film up to the light, he realised this was distant and long-forgotten Tour de France footage – a race he commentates on every summer.

His style is relaxed and agreeably conversational, and although he is humorously self-deprecating, don’t doubt his narrative power: without any apparent change of cadence he becomes a Le Carré, generating nervous foreboding on a muddy jogging path, or the despair of isolation in “this never-ending Flemish wind”. Ned set about learning everything he could about the sequence – studying each frame, face and building – until he had squeezed the meaning from it. It's a personal story too of nobody particularly famous, but none-the-less whose story intersects with others more famous, and set in a context worth considering as we navigate our present. This book could be considered a dedication to the obsession that Boulting soon had to find out as much information as he could about the people in the film clip and the events surrounding that race.It’s that, just because Boulting doesn’t understand it, the explanation is “lost to time, unreported and now unknowable. To add injury to insult, he also broke his arm and was left in a deskbound state, mourning the general shutdown. This book was seriously boring to the point where I skipped some of it and didn't bother reading to the end. In case you think that Gallica has simply miss-captioned the images – it happens – reports from the Critérium des Aiglons can be found in Le Miroir des Sports, including another photograph taken that same afternoon, similar to one of the other photographs available on Gallica.

There’s also a healthy dose of genealogy that would make for a great spin-off of the Who Do You Think You Are? Menmuir uses all the poetic storytelling techniques honed in his Booker-longlisted career to imbue the wonderful The Draw of the Sea with a keen sense of place and purpose.You’ve probably seen some if you’ve ever watched any of the French TV programmes celebrating the Tour’s history.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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