Bad to the Bone

Bad to the Bone

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Bad to the Bone is a surreal comedy firmly r ooted in the technicalities of one of the world''s most comme rcialised sports, cycling. The novel''s concerns are those of the late-20th century affluent nations - health, drugs, and sanity. 'show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 238 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 18mm | 160g
  • Cambs, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1873982682
  • 9781873982686
  • 1,208,032

Back cover copy

Bad to the Bone is a surreal comedy firmly rooted in the technicalities of one of the world's most commercialised sports: cycling. Its concerns are those of the late twentieth-century affluent nations, health and exploitation, drugs and sanity, and the significance of the things in which we invest so much abstract energy: sport, bodily allure and the lust for achievement.Akil Saenz is beautiful, cinnamon gold, delicately muscled, and the greatest cyclist the world has ever seen. He is about to realise this greatness in a sixth and unprecedented win of the Tour de France when Mikkel Fleischman, the doctor of a rival team, appropriates his certain victory by mysterious means. Saenz is beaten year after year by inferior riders whose inordinate physical strength is accompanied by terrible mental deterioration, terminating in murders each with its unique grotesque aesthetic. Eventually, on top of Mont Ventoux, the choice is put to Saenz. Will he submit totally to Fleischman in return for brief, climactic glory?show more

Review Text

British playwright Waddington's manic, stylishly bizarre first novel glories in a Faustian pact between a Spanish professional cyclist and an evil sports doctor. Who's been murdering Europe's best professional cyclists? After the disappearance of the brain-dead body of a biker who seems then to have died accidently and the discovery of the bloodless, brainless pieces of a fellow cyclist in a remote mountain village, cynically philosophical police detective Gabriela Gomelez questions Akil Saenz, a handsome Spaniard who ranks among the top riders in the world. Blessed with superlatively good looks, a sexually magnetic wife, Perlita de Zubia, and enough money to live in luxury for the rest of his life, Saenz can offer no clues or even an explanation other than the grudging admission that any cyclist will do just about anything to become the best. Fellow biker Patrol Azafran, who is having a passionate affair with Perlita (of which everyone but her husband is aware), suspects that Saenz is not above temptation after seeing him in the company of the bearded, impeccably tailored sports doctor and team manager Mikkel Fleischman, whose suspiciously steaming briefcases just might contain an illicit substance that transforms a merely gifted cyclist into an unbeatable speed machine. The downside is that the substance also seems to drive its users insane. When another speed-machine cyclist is found hanging from a cliff, portions of his skull and body expertly flayed, Azafran suspects that the cases may be linked because all the corpses have had their brains removed. When a suddenly paranoid Saenz joins Fleischman's team and begins winning with diabolical ease, he also suspects - and fears - that his best friend is lost. While participating in a series of vividly depicted races, Azafran hopes to send Fleischman back to hell before he destroys Saenz completely. Feverishly hyperbolic thrill ride that, despite tiresome histrionics and postmodern posturing, brilliantly exposes the darkness of soul lurking in the most gifted of champions. (Kirkus Reviews)show more