Read Between the Lines: The Autobiography by Victoria Pendleton Donald McRae Online


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Title : Between the Lines: The Autobiography
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780007327522
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 333 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Between the Lines: The Autobiography Reviews

  • Khurram
    2018-11-29 12:30

    This is a great autobiography, open and honest. I enjoyed the book a lot more because of Victoria's honesty. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I have read a lot of autobiographies from the male cyclists and have to say aside form a couple of mentions I did not know a great deal about Victoria Pendleton (VP). So I can see and understand how she can feel slightly undervalued despite her great and many accomplishments. The thing that separates this book is that it is VP's whole career and more importantly life to this point. This allow VP to spotlight some problems other athletes could be facing today, and let them know they are not alone and can get help.The books starts at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and VP getting ready for her for the Olympic final. She mentions the people are around her and the mental preparation she need to ride and win at the elite level. From here on I was hooked into this book. The book then goes back and follows a more chronological order with VP being the little girl riding after her dad up the hill, trying to keep pace with him. She credits these rides as the foundation for all her future success.The book is very emotional, (which I prefer to an author just throwing facts at me), and allows a reader to be part of VP journey, and understand how she is feeling in the moment. It does not just cover the gruelling physical training needed to become an athlete, the mental aspects, the sacrifices, the rewards and the emotions toils and highs. Probably as this book is written after VP's career has ended she is able to talk about issues and people she might now have been able to speak about if she was still competing.Bradley Wiggins (BW) said writing his first book In Pursuit of Glory: The Autobiography was very therapeutic for him as it allowed to him to put some ghosts to rest and getting his thought on paper allowed him to reflect on aspects of his career. I certainly hope this book allow VP to do the same. There were many emotional low for her. Probably because of her honest and open writing I was drawn even deeper into the book and was really rooting for her to break out of them. As she puts when problem like these arise it is not a simple matter of saying I have a job to do I am going to get on with it. They need to be worked through and in some case harnessed for fuel or motivation. I would like to say being emotional does not mean VP is in any way whinny FAR FROM IT!!!! She is a tough fighter of a girl who is not shy about the issues she faced, but used them to become the athlete/person she is now. She gives full credit to all the people who helped her in anyway. I don't think she is overly critical on people who treated her a bit rough. She even acknowledges the help these people had given her in the past.VP like BW did also find herself the focal point about certain issues in the sport. In BW's case his anti-doping views, and in VP's the discrepancy between the number of event for women and man. BW did also mention this in his second book Bradley Wiggins: My Time: An Autobiography.Sometimes I get annoyed when top athletes and over the top personalities say how shy and insecure they are then in the next minute are back in "character". This does not happen in this book. VP's writing makes me feel that she is someone quite insecure who found the mental aspects of elite cycling harder than the physical aspect and her journey, (trials and tribulations), of overcoming this. This is a great book by a great athlete, the only thing missing I think from this book that was in other athletes book is there is no glossary/summary of achievement or results at the end of the book, the racing passages of this book are so gripping it make me feel like I was there watching. Great book buy it you will not regret it.

  • Colin Mitchell
    2018-12-04 07:17

    Donald McRae made this a reasonable read. It did show a rather disturbed character of Victoria, from the dominant father, to lack of meaningful friendship at school or work. through self harming until she meets Scott Gardner. Should this relationship work her life may change. It does display an aspect of the male dominated cycling world that is absent on the surface. The narrative is a little repetitive with the various fractions of a second quoted, almost to distraction. Some details of the actual training programmes may have illustrated the hard work that goes to make olympic and world champions.

  • russell barnes
    2018-11-27 15:13

    I suppose partly because of the pace and the fact your brain is on auto whilst taking part, Pendleton's biog is similar to most sports autobiographies in that the actual sport bit here is the least interesting/well-written. Curiously her mental battles with her 'chimp' and her guilt whilst surprising - and obviously a big 'thing' - are not massive revelations. Again I suppose most highly successful athletes are a) a bit-to-very odd and b) have some issues somewhere.What I found more intriguing is the cracks she reveals in Team Sky's armour, the lack of support she and the other women got, the favoritism, the difference between the track and road cyclists and the general low-level unprofessional running that is at odds with the highly slick PR. There is plenty of understandable axe-grinding, and having been loaned The World of Cycling According to G it'll be interesting to read between the lines of his take on the Pendleton years.

  • Shona Dickson
    2018-11-17 15:39

    I haven't read an autobiography before, so can't compare it to anything. It was an easy read and interesting but descriptive in places and disjointed at times. I was hoping for more insight into the training regimes and diet etc but there was none of that. What came across clearly was the complexity of VP's character and lack of support in a male dominated sport

  • Andy Horton
    2018-12-08 07:40

    Quite different from the usual ghost-written sports memoirs. Firstly, it makes the descriptions of Vicky Pendleton's races really exciting, thanks to the writer going through them on video with Pendleton and her former team, and describing the tactics and drama as well as her inner thoughts as she raced. Secondly, and more importantly, it acknowledges the brittleness and fragility, the neuroses and mindset of Victoria Pendleton as she entered a career she had never truly shosen, and which put her under immense pressure - to the point of self-harm. Some of the people in her life put her under further pressure, and didn't support her as well as she perhaps needed - and this book makes that point, settling some scores in an understated way. Her father, who pushed her to compete and proves to have feet of clay, the coaches who caused her anguish, the team which tried to dictate who she could fall in love with. But she also acknowledges the love and support of others around her.Interesting on the rivalry, which actually became a friendship after their competition ended, with Anna Meares. Meares, the competitive, everything-to-win, physically strong racer against Pendleton, the talented, unsophisticated straight arrow - at least, that's her perception. It does emphasise just how different she is to many top athletes. There's no devotion to the sport, no unshakeable self-belief or entitlement in her mindset. But her brittleness gave a sharp edge to the steel that is in her - a bloody-mindedness that saw her win gold at two Olympics. I adore Victoria Pendleton, and love that she had such a glorious career despite having priorities other than her sport. I wish her all the happiness in the world now she's able to live life on her own terms.

  • Faye
    2018-11-30 07:13

    I think this book somewhat downplays the strength of character and determination that Victoria has to get where she has. It focuses a lot on her weaknesses, mental health and the difficulties she encountered in pro track. I'd have like to have seen more of a balance with the incredibly level of commitment and dedication she clearly has.

  • Kjell Ljøstad
    2018-11-24 11:19

    Brutalt ærlig selvbiografi. Fengende og interessant, med et solid bakteppe av selvtvil og vilje.

  • Mark
    2018-12-08 13:29

    This book is without a doubt the best autobiography I have read.Having watched Victoria Pendleton at the Beijing and London Olympics and having watched the BBC documentary on her shortly before the 2012 games I was intrigued enough to pick up this book. And what I read was a brutally honest warts n' all account of life behind the scenes of the sport with the fastest growing profile in Britain. Like (I assume) most people I only really get into cycling during an Olympic games and the Tour de France so despite enjoying those immensely I actually knew very little about the politics and mechanics behind the sport. Ofcourse I was aware of GB's dominance on the track and was vaguely aware of discontenment in the ranks due to Victoria Pendleton dating a member of the coaching team. What I wasn't aware of was just how deep the contentment ran and how disgusting Pendleton and her fiancee Scott had been treated by the senior coaches at Team GB. Sure there's two sides to every story but if only half of what Pendleton has documented about her treatment in the wake of her tryst is true then it is still nothing short of disgraceful. There seemed to be more respect shown to Pendleton by Anna Meares her longest, fiercest and closest rival on the track than by those who were supposed to have her best interests at heart. And when you consider that Meares once intentionally collided with Pendleton on the track to prevent her from winning and could've caused a career ending injury that is pretty damning. Infact I loved reading about Pendleton's and Meares discussions after Pendleton had retired from the sport and reading about the huge ammount of respect the two had for each other after battling each other and pushing the boundaries of each other for over a decade.The other thing that I loved about this book was that usually when reading the words of a sports personality they can come across as quite cocky and arogant. I don't usually mind it as I can appreciate that an athlete needs to having that winning mentality to believe they are better than the next person. But with Pendleton you don't get that, she is very down to earth and is humble to an extreme that it's refreshing to hear from an athlete. Ofcourse this meant that in the sporting arena Pendleton often came across as not having the apropriate drive and hunger for the task at hand and has found herself on the wrong side of a few coaches throughout her career just for being herself. But on the track she proved her critics wrong by eating up world record after world record. I loved reading about her warm up before her gold medal winning race in Beijing and she could see two of the coaches who had wronged her in the past and she just kept looking from one to the other before hitting the track and laying their previous misconceptions about her to rest.I also enjoyed reading about the vast differences between men's and women's cycling and how with Pendleton's help the women's track profile is finally catching up with that of the men's, it's obvious there's still a long way to go before the two disciplines are equal though. In all a brilliantly open and honest book about the world of a particular sport by surely the most humble person to compete in that sport.

  • Mark
    2018-11-21 08:13

    This really was not easy reading. It should have been so much more; we had interminable accounts of virtually identical events, with identical characters who were barely coloured in for us at all; cardboard name tags appearing and disappearing, with a won/lost entry put on them as they left the page. Nothing regarding the events ever developed beyond one dimension. That left me with little empathy for the character that was Victoria. Her revelations about the male oriented structure of the sport certainly adds to the image that came from the TV show. The self harming and unhappiness about what she was doing comes through and these features are the most well written in the book, but that is comparative. Again, they could be so much more, they are not developed. Never do we seem to get beyond the most superficial of her relationship with the activity she is engaged in.Family relationships are developed and the closest we get to a two-dimensional figure breaking out into a third, is with the description of the relationship with her father and his character. Again, I was left wanting to ask lots of questions about this aspect and the book did not get near them. Her sister, twin brother and mother are introduced but at best only become slightly coloured cardboard cut-outs. New boyfriend/hubby is introduced and the story told in a manner that would find a ready home in a 1970's teen-age girl magazine. The book contains no reflection on her activity either contemporary or now, as she writes the book, looking back. That she never seems to consider that she was actually very privileged to be in the position she was and if she didn't want to do it, she could walk away, crosses her mind. As such the story is told without us really understanding why she was engaged in the activity other than, "look where I landed courtesy of (semi-evil)dad and it seems better than anything else I might do". This is a bit like "the secret wag" goes riding round in circles on a cycle track.

  • Gumble's Yard
    2018-11-18 09:31

    Extremely candid and therefore very interesting to read autobiography in which Pendleton openly discusses her demanding father, her clear brittleness to criticism, her self harm, the fallout from her relationship with one of the sprint coaches which came into conflict on the day of her Bejing triumph and overshadowed her relationships with British Cycling and her enjoyment of cycling up to and including London. What also comes across strongly is that Pendleton’s very conscious girliness simply didn’t fit the macho coaching style of British Cycling. The weakest parts of the book are the actual cycling descriptions – with the multiple world cups and annual World Championships plus European Championships plus Commonwealth and Olympics against the same relatively limited set of competitors, all over 3 different events, the races all blur. Further her description of her bitter rivalry with Anna Meares is mentioned frequently but never really seems real to the reader.

  • Andrew
    2018-11-15 15:14

    A very good autobiography which perfectly captures the contradiction between the determination needed by great cyclists with the inner turmoil of an emotionally fragile young woman.The book is painfully honest about many issues including her relationship with her father,coaches,rivals,self harm, and lack of self belief,but this is also someone who on the track is in physical confrontation at scary speeds with physically stronger rivals from eastern Europe,Australia and China and beating them. My only question would be to read the contrasting view from British cycling about whether women were treated as the lesser talent to the men and if they accept the criticism in which case they should be ashamed of their culture. Overall an enjoyable read that was at times exciting in its capture of the races and an emotional rollercoaster.

  • Jacqueline
    2018-12-08 13:25

    This is an emotional journey that shows just what it takes to make an Olympic champion. I will admit I’m not someone who has followed Victoria’s career from the start, rather, I am a wife and mother in my forties who discovered cycling less than five years ago and who now owns a Pendleton Initial road bike. The more I ride the more interest I have for the sport and it’s stars and I couldn’t wait to read Victoria’s story. I was instantly hit by the drive, determination and emotion flowing through this book that gripped me and kept me page turning. I also learned a lot about the world of track cycling, and the work and sacrifices it takes to become a champion. Reading this book left my head awash with emotions and adrenalin as well as a huge respect for a great sportsperson.

  • Megan Jones
    2018-12-13 10:39

    As someone who follows cycling avidly I was really looking forward to reading this book. What followed is a fascinating and definitely emotional insight into the cycling and personal life of Victoria Pendleton. The parts on her early life were particularly interesting to read how she became involved in cycling and her journey from this. As people might know her journey has not been the easiest of journeys and that is partly why it is so emotional. For me the most emotional moments are when she recounts her races, they are written so well that it feels like you are there all over again. This is a must read for any cycling fan.

  • Isabella Burke
    2018-12-11 14:31

    Well it definitely wasn't all roses for Pendleton, she talks openly about difficulties self-harming, family history and coping with the pressure of becoming a cyclist come athlete come celebrity - a women who is clearly very competitive and self-driven has so many doubts about herself and her ability. I think the story is simple, not complex, but open and honest. If you are interested in understanding the minds of the worlds most successful athletes its worth a read. If you are not interested in the super rise of GB cycling, I would probably leave it until Pendleton writes a second book about normal life......

  • Nick
    2018-12-05 10:13

    This was a fairly easy read and gave some insight into the world of a top class athlete, the demands placed on anyone performing at that level. VP clearly has some issues, and the role of the team psychiatrist features heavily. The 2012 Olympics part is fairly brief. There is a little too much of "race 1, I was ahead, she went ahead, I tried harder, it was close I won..." (to paraphrase). I am interested in cycling, and you couldn't have a book on her without some of that detail, but i think the balance could have been slightly better and focussed more on life off the track.

  • Peter
    2018-11-17 10:22

    This book gives interesting insight into the way British Cycling functions as well as the personality of Victoria Pendleton. She comes over as a delicate and easily damaged person, far from the tough aggressive image of a track sprinter. It does seem the way support staff found it so hard to deal with her relationship with another member of staff lacked professionalism. They could have helped her more than they did. She took female competition on sport to new heights and her legacy should be just that, forget the bad stuff and remember the good.

  • Tony
    2018-11-17 14:16

    Ok, as a fan of Pendleton I may be a tad biased, but this really was a good read! Apart from explaining how she came to be a multi gold medal winning cyclist, it is also a lucid account of the deep insecurities she has had to overcome in order to be the best of the best. Sharing these deep insecurities has only increased my respect for Pendleton's gritty determination. The book is also very revealing of the extreme environment top athletes are subjected to; if they didn't choose that life, one could almost call it abusive...where do you draw that line?

  • Clare
    2018-12-08 07:31

    I really adored this book, her story has some really hard times and many that mirror times I myself have gone through. If I didn't see her as a positive role model before reading this, then by god I did by the end. Learnt that myself and the Golden Girl of the Velodrome aren't so different in so many way.

  • Tony
    2018-12-03 12:25

    A decent read, but I felt depressed all week while reading it. It may have been just me but for every good bit there were several negative bits. What Victoria achieved is amazing but was hoping for a more positive autobiography. It was good to read about all the hardship she went through but for me this dominated too much of the book.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-27 09:34

    This is the first autobiography I've read and of such an interesting character. There was so much more going on inside the mind of one of team GB's finest ever athletes than what you'd ever imagine. A fascinating insight into elite sport and the challenges female athletes still face, even within their own team. Highly recommended!

  • Adam Cave
    2018-12-14 10:15

    Well written account of both the personal and professional pressures that come with being an elite cyclist. The insight into her mindset and frequent moments of weakness put into perspective the amazing achievements throughout her career. With a programme as finely tuned, open and invested as her male counterparts she would have dominated more than one discipline.

  • Katie
    2018-12-07 11:25

    It was entertaining and really easy to read, sometimes a bit too easy - although I think that's more to do with the style of sports biographies! I found it refreshingly honest and blunt, a real eye-opener into the work of British Cycling.

  • Emma Birrell
    2018-11-15 15:23

    Fascinating if you've been a fan of her cycling (as I have) and even if not as a glimpse into the world of elite sports. Dave Brailsford and his team do not come out of it well in my eyes. Nor her father. amazing to see how vital the sports psychologist's role can be.

  • Martin Bacon
    2018-12-07 15:26

    Adore her! Adored the book! Really hard to put down once you have started. Victoria Pendleton is a really interesting character and her story and rise to greatness is well worth reading about, cycling fan or no.

  • Stephen Hamilton
    2018-11-16 07:11

    An unusual read. Pendleton comes across as sympathetic and bullied but also, at times, petulant and spoiled. Sometimes simultaneously. With an account as subjective as this, it's difficult to know how close to reality her version of events actually is.

  • Richard Hellen
    2018-11-23 08:26

    Very much a book of the moment. Unlike many autobiogs that ive read, theres more here than just the 'i did this, won that', that you'd normally expect. Written with honesty, gives a good picture of the pain that remarkable people often suffer...

  • Rachel
    2018-11-25 09:34

    I enjoyed this book. All is far from rosie within British Cycling despite it's image of success and cohesion. Very interesting! Victoria Pendleton annoyed me immensely in Strictly Come Dancing but this has helped me to understand her more.

  • Sarah Evans
    2018-12-06 07:19

    Easy to read but very descriptive, with lots of people and names, sometimes hard to keep up. so took me a while to read. Good if you are interested in cycling. Not the best autobiography I have read, but it's far from the worst.

  • Sarah Bell
    2018-12-03 11:27

    Amazing what she went through and the huge difference in treatment and funding of men's/women's cycling, and even track/road cycling. Interesting and incredible to go through that because she had natural talent rather than a passion and drive to win. Well-written.

  • Harriett Bunclark
    2018-11-15 13:34

    Worse reading ever. I really like Victoria Pendleton but this book was slow and dull. Dont waste your time