In my post last week, I jokingly mentioned that I could easily set my watch by the weekly emails I get where readers of the blog ask me for information about riding a bike in Colombia. Today's post is about the other type of email I get once or twice a week, one that would work just as well for setting my watch to. That emails I'm referring to are the ones that ask a single question: "Where can I buy a copy of Kings Of The Mountains?"
Because of the sheer amount of times I've mentioned the book on the blog, I'm not surprised that readers wonder where they can buy a copy. To be clear, however, the book owes none of its popularity to me. The book is as popular and as highly reviewed as it is because of Matt Rendell, and the amount of work he put into writing the only book about Colombia's amazing (and at times unbelievable) cycling history.
Sadly, because the book is out of print, copies of it are often insanely expensive (I've seen copies sell for as much as $250, and sometimes list for much, much more). Because of this, and because I've often given out copies as gifts, I'm always on the lookout for semi-affordable copies (I've posted links to some affordable copies here on the blog before). I look in used bookstores, library sales and online auctions, and I've now decided to sell these copies here on the blog. As always, I'm throwing in a couple of other items to sweeten the deal.
In case you're thinking that this is a huge money-making scheme on my part, which will lead to an early retirement in sunny Boca Raton...let me tell you that I'm simply not that good of a businessman. In fact, I'm selling some copies of the book for almost exactly what I paid for them. That's how much of a genius I am.
Kings of the Mountains: How Colombia's Cycling Heroes Changed Their Nation's History
Aurum Press Ltd, June 2003
$75 paperback plus shipping
Shipping: $5 in the US, $15 Internationally
Payment should be made via PayPal to: cyclinginquisition - at symbol here - gmail.com).
All copies of the book are used, and range in condition from good to excellent. All have strong bindings, no missing pages. A couple of the books come from libraries, and may include stickers on the spine, stamps in front pages, or a clear book cover. There may be creases in pages, or dinged up corners.
Each book comes with a handmade booklet (a "zine" in punk rock parlance) of my interview with Matt Rendell, which gives a great deal of background regarding his interest in Colombian cycling, and how this book came about. It's 28 pages long, and roughly the same size as the book.
As with other Cycling Inquisition offerings, this one comes with a few small culinary treats. In this case, your copy of the book will come with some Supercoco candies. Supercoco is a Colombian staple made with toasted coconut and nougat, the candy embodiment of cocadas. Supercoco candies includes a healthy dose of shaved coconut inside, so this is not just some crappy hard candy. It's worth mentioning that Supercoco is to blame for pulling out many fillings among Colombia's children. So when you get your copy of the book, enjoy the candy slowly, and don't bite down on it with your molars like a maniac.
Reviews of the book:
Meticulous, elegant and sensitive, Kings of the Mountains works both as a panegyric to the sporting heroes of a troubled land and as a more general meditation on motifs key to sport and to nationalism: politics, religion, pride, pain and glory.
Thrilling reading... cleanly written, meticulously researched... This book unearths a fascinating national sporting history.
Times Literary Supplement.
A fascinating work of admirable scope and depth.
Some story, worthy of the magical realism of Gabriel García Márques or Mario Vargas Llosa in its intricate layering of sport, social history and the vagaries of human nature.
Though not from an established publication, my favorite review of the book comes in the form of the personalized note that that was written in Spanish for the original owner of my copy of the book. It says: "This book made me cry, I'm sure it will do the same for you."