Bicycle Diaries

David Byrne (Viking)

A book about bicycling from musician David Byrne (of The Talking Heads) sounded like a perfect match. Looking at biking through a handful of different cities from Byrne's home of New York to Manila to Istanbul, the book's premise is great, but the actual bicycling content is minimal. Byrne starts each chapter, organized by city, with some musings on biking there, but then turns to various analyses on music, art, life and what he did that day. Byrne's writing is engaging, but the narrative jumps around chronologically, geographically and thematically. It's not until he returns to New York at the end of the book that he again picks up the cycling narrative he began with, and the writings on bicycle travel are the most compelling parts. A worthy read, but I'm left wondering where all the bicycles are.

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