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The Doper Next Door: My Strange and Scandalous Year on Performance-Enhancing Drugs
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The Doper Next Door: My Strange and Scandalous Year on Performance-Enhancing Drugs

3.15  ·  Rating Details ·  130 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
What happens to a regular guy who dopes? Surprised to learn that pro athletes aren’t the only ones taking performance-enhancing substances, journalist Andrew Tilin goes in search of the average juicing Joe, hoping to find a few things out: Why would normal people take these substances? Where do folks get them? Does the stuff really work?

But these controversial drugs often
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Counterpoint (first published May 25th 2011)
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Aine Cheallaigh
Aug 08, 2011 Aine Cheallaigh rated it liked it
This book surprised me in a number of ways. First of all, the cute illustrations on the cover made me think, This book is going to be light and funny. But this was no lighthearted read. Secondly, with the words ‘doper’ and ‘scandalous’ in the title, I thought that this book would deliver the moral lesson, Kids, don’t do drugs. But that didn’t happen either.

Instead, Tilin spends his year on legally-obtained testosterone and DHEA unpacking his feelings about masculinity, his father’s gayness, and
Jan 16, 2012 Melody rated it did not like it
Shelves: memoir
I think I disliked this book so much because it didn't at all match up with what I thought I was getting. I somehow expected a pop sci book, full of anecdotes and statistics, interviews with doctors and current, former and potential performance-enhancing drug users from all walks of life. That is the book I wanted to read, so it was that much harder for me to like the book I did read, which was basically a memoir of a year in the life of a guy who may or may not be having a mid-life crisis.

Jan 11, 2012 Michael rated it did not like it
Shelves: cycling
Really this would have been a fine magazine article if Tilin had wanted. Instead it is a 367 page book that is easily 150 pages too long.

I was vaguely interested in this because of the cycling connection, but that aspect is pretty weak. In fact, the idea that there might be broad interest in the subject of average athletes taking performance enhancing drugs seems doubtful.

Other reviews used the word "whiney" and while that isn't very kind, that's what much of this is.

There is a model for this
Nov 02, 2012 Joe rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: I received this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.

This is also a preliminary review that will be edited when I finish the book.
I have now finished the book and the update is at the bottom.

This is the yearlong adventure of a print journalist as he takes hormones. It is his attempt to find out the truth about them. His first attempt was to try to find an amateur athlete that was willing to go on the record about the experience. When he cannot find that willing person he decid
Peter Hoffmeister
Jul 27, 2011 Peter Hoffmeister rated it really liked it
From first seeing the cover on my editor's desk, I knew I would like this book, and I did. I read The Doper Next Door so quickly. Completely enthralled.
Tilin is crazy to use himself as the story subject (on purpose). I wouldn't take that step. He's like a Gonzo journalist without trying to overhype himself though, and I like him more than Hunter S. for that very reason. He's honest, raw, and unsentimental. He never tries to make himself look better than he is, and he tells a great story along th
Dec 16, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok
The information contained in this book would have made an interesting journal article. But instead the story is bulked up with too many details about the author's life, resulting in a book in need of editing. Tilin overanalyzes events in trying to identify effects of his testosterone use, such as his behavior while coaching his son's little league team and his training rides and racing. His descriptions of bike races are excruciatingly tedious.
Billie Trahan
Sep 12, 2016 Billie Trahan rated it it was ok
I liked this book for a win until the later chapters further revealed some disturbing values and priorities. The amateur doping concept was really interesting but not worth it an comparing the book's pros and cons.
Shawn  Stone
Alternatively titled, “Help! My wife is keeping my balls prisoner in a pickle jar besides her bed”, “The Doper Next Door” recounts a whiny, depressed, middle age suburbanite who delves into the world of hormone replacement therapy and anti aging drugs. After much research and handwringing, he adopts a very conservative (submaximal) hormone replacement dose of bioidentical testosterone together with DHEA. Almost overnight he transforms into a swaggering-sex-god-superman powerful enough to punch ...more
Jim Ambrosini
Sep 24, 2013 Jim Ambrosini rated it liked it
An interesting perspective and experiment. A middle-aged man - who's a husband, father, journalist and cyclist - decides to chronicle the events of taking exogenous Testosterone and DHEA supplements. At first, all seems to be going better than planned - he has more energy, more sex-drive, a spring in his step, and starts placing in regional bike races. But then, there are the side effects - mood swings, his paranoia that the T might be rubbing off on his wife and children - he becomes obsessive, ...more
May 08, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
The author wanted to find out what it feels like to use performance enhancing drugs, but couldn't find anyone willing to talk to him. So he decides to try them for himself for a year. He actually only used testosterone, but the changes it made in his personality, amateur bicycling performance and daily life were substantial. It also raised his anxiety as he learned what accidental exposure could do to his wife and children. As an aging male who enjoys running and cycling, I found the story very ...more
Ann Frost
Not as much doping as I would have liked to have seen, frankly. :-) The guy only did T and it turned out he wasn't that good on the bike even after that. Doping like crazy and still pretty mediocre. You have to dope AND be really good to be at the top. Which gave me insight into Lance's 7 TdF wins: yup, I think he still deserves them. He's a liar and not a very nice person by all accounts, but he was a pretty awesome bike rider. That insight aside, the rest of the book was just OK, maybe the ...more
Jun 22, 2013 Sherri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I couldn't stop reading this book. I knew nothing about PEDs before reading this book, so I really ended up learning a lot!
It helps to give you insight to the mental struggles that someone on T goes through as an athlete, and the paranoia that you go through having a family that you need to protect from your drug use.
I did have some trouble with the pregnancy issue of the book, it was difficult to read that section...

I loved reading his story, learning about his life, the world of cycling, and
Pete Gurney
Feb 25, 2012 Pete Gurney rated it liked it
The only reason I gave it 3 stars is that the writing was decent and I'm always interested to read books about a sport I love. That said, I'd be curious to see what people that have no interest in cycling would think of it. I'll have to pass it around at work and find out. Also, I was surprised at how the author was able to derive so much satisfaction from his "good racing results" knowing full well that he was cheating. You'd think that his best friends reaction would have been enough to sober ...more
Jul 18, 2014 Jere rated it really liked it
As an male amateur cyclist and father I could relate to author and the book to me, was interesting. It did not bother me at all that there were lot of personal life relationship issues, since lot of them were all too familiar. There was honest description about troubles and decisions amateur cycling father goes trough when trying to balance time between family and cycling. Therefore I would recommend this book firstly to cyclists. I was first slightly disappointed that the substances used were ...more
Rachel Jaffe
Nov 14, 2015 Rachel Jaffe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book, and I can't quite put my finger on why. It was well written, but not amazing. It examined issues of the mind-body connection, aging, athletics, and how we are interconnected with the ones we love, but not in great depth. I guess what I liked about it was that it seemed very present. The author reported accurately (it seemed) what he was feeling and the dynamics in his life. I liked it.
Scott Willis
Dec 04, 2011 Scott Willis rated it it was ok
Anerew Tilin spends way too many pages describing his own whiney upper-middle class lifestyle than actually analyzing the pro and cons of testosterone replacement therapy (doping). After reading his book, the worst thing I could see that testosterone did to him was make him a little bigger dick than he already is. On the other hand, it did make him hornier, stronger, faster, and feel younger. Pretty good trade off if you ask me - sounds like a miracle drug.
Jan 28, 2012 Child960801 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I lost interest partway through, but finished it anyways. I'm not that interested in sports and there was a lot in here about bike racing, which just wasn't that interesting to me. I also read a book called Unstuff, which is about turning away from materialism. This book just seemed really shallow after that.
Aug 15, 2011 John rated it liked it
Poor writing and a lot of boring life stuff that isn't at all interesting. Almost like reading someones diary. The stories are really only interesting to them. Also the guy is a total wuss and his whining and apologizing is grating. Well I gave it 3 stars cause it was interesting the first hand account of taking T but could have been done easily in 100 pages.
Travis J Croken
Jul 03, 2013 Travis J Croken rated it liked it
A good book and very interesting read. A bit heavy on the personal life side of things but that is par for the course for this type of book. All in all I would recommend this book for fitness junkies and cycling enthusiasts. A great addition to any cyclist's reading list.
Nov 14, 2015 Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I happen to know the author- but I was totally charmed by this book. Fascinating account of how doping works on the inside- with a very self revelatory look at the author's life. Great stuff!
page 50 as of 12/11/2014

This should have been a new yorker article - what he took 300 pages to write could have been much shorter

A book I really wanted to read
Steve Gupta
Fun read on an interesting topic. If I were more committed to training, I probably would have tried PED's by now
Constanza Mosquera
This book was a learning experience. It is a great insight into the world on bike racing and doping. Just in time for the Lance Armstrong doping scandal!
Roger rated it it was amazing
Nov 16, 2014
Peter rated it it was ok
Jan 19, 2014
Aaron Terrazas
Nov 14, 2015 Aaron Terrazas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read, although sometimes it goes off on long winding tangents.
Joachim rated it it was ok
Nov 14, 2015
David Chang
David Chang rated it liked it
Nov 11, 2011
Jeremy Hauben
Jeremy Hauben rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2016
Jonathan rated it it was ok
Jun 19, 2012
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Born in San Francisco, Andrew Tilin is an award-winning journalist and author. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wired, Outside, Slate, Backpacker, Business 2.0, and Yoga Journal. Like writing and editing, endurance sports have been a major theme in his life. A passionate amateur cyclist, he has raced triathlons, mountain-bike races, road-bike races, and marathons. His debut memoir "THE ...more
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