Kevin's Reviews > Bicycle Diaries

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne
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's review
Jan 03, 2011

liked it
Recommended for: cyclists, david byrne fans
Read in January, 2011 , read count: 1

Byrnes exploration of cities around the world via bicycle seems like a great idea for a book, and it is, those parts of the book that involve a bicycle and the focused attention of an interesting mind. The parts of the book that digress away from the cycle and evolve through Byrnes thinking on art and politics (some passages seem like the most embryonic of ideas that he should have fleshed out or eliminated) are simplistic, unoriginal and unsurprising. I whole heartedly agree with the point of view, but he says nothing new about America, politicians, the War in Iraq, etc. etc. -- his liberalism is boring and not an area of expertise. His ham fisted punditry is made so much more stark by the beautiful passages that connect his body to the place he is inhabiting and his mode of transportation. While a bicycles are a huge part of the book, a more accurate title may have been Diaries of Movement Through Space (And Time).

Byrnes voice is inimitable and a joy to read. I found the prose compelling, if not engrossing. Fans of Byrnes other work will likely find this book enjoyable. I wish the copy had been more carefully edited and the publisher had sent Byrne back out to catalog his journey through a few more cities before committing this book to print.
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