Douglas Hackney's Reviews > Big Sid's Vincati: The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Motorcycle of a Lifetime

Big Sid's Vincati by Matthew Biberman
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's review
Jan 22, 2011

liked it
Read in August, 2012

I've been riding motorcycles for 45 years, so I don't think I can offer a review that isn't colored by those experiences.

Much of the weight of this story for me came from the resonance of the bikes themselves, and of my own memories of seeing them at shows, rallies, museums as well as beside me on the road.

The casual references to rides through tall trees, dappled sunlight and rural scenes all trigger memories from my own collection of similar journeys.

The struggles to build a machine and then solve the niggling problems therein all fill me with intense reliving of those same experiences.

Apart from my reverence of most of the machines involved in this book, I don't honestly know if I can tease out the remaining narrative enough to offer an unbiased appraisal.

Without the motorcycle aspects, it's a story of an estranged son and father rebuilding a relationship via a quest to build a particular and very special machine.

Being both a biography and autobiography as well as a prodigal son/father hybrid story, there's a lot going on between the covers. And, I didn't even mention the dissolution of one marriage and the near-dissolving of another. Drama? Yes, plenty to go around.

But, that human drama is upstaged and dominated by the mechanical quest. When the human drama is revealed and retold, it's not all that well written, in my opinion. It is mostly raw, and not subtly formed, revealed or resolved.

That's a bit of a surprise from an author who is Ph.D. in literature, but it is probably another example that it's one thing to be a music critic, and entirely another to be a musician.

Nonetheless, it's a solid work for the general reader.

For a motorcyclist, it's a must-read.


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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Matthew (new) - added it

Matthew Biberman Thanks for the review Douglas. You are a tough cookie. But it was nice to read that you enjoyed parts of the book. Thanks again.

Douglas Hackney Matthew wrote: "Thanks for the review Douglas. You are a tough cookie. But it was nice to read that you enjoyed parts of the book. Thanks again."


Thank you for sharing your experiences, personal, professional and moto, through the book.

You created a gem for the motorcycling readership to bookend the Vincati itself.


message 3: by Matthew (new) - added it

Matthew Biberman If you haven't seen it, here is the rather surprsing follow up three years after I wrote the book:
I hope one day to write another book and with luck I will improve on the first. That would certainly be nice.



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