The Secret Race (audiobook)
by Tyler Hamilton, Daniel Coyle
(read by Sean Runnette)
Random House Audio
How professional cyclists come to dope is clearly chronicled in Tyler Hamilton's The Secret Race. The former US Postal Service teammate of Lance Armstrong devotes much of his expose to his own use of performance-enhancing drugs and that of the seven-time Tour de France winner, who recently was stripped of his titles and who vowed not to contest the doping charges. We hear how Hamilton convinced himself initially that taking the substance EPO was equivalent to sleeping in an altitude tent, and how this led to having blood transfusions just to compete on a level playing field. Armstrong had veins like water mains, according to Hamilton, whereas his were so small they were easy to miss, which meant easier detection because the EPO would enter surrounding tissue and stay in the body longer than it was supposed to. Narrator Sean Runnette doesn't need to do much with his voice to ensure listeners stay with the book. The story does the job for him.
We All Fall Down
by Pasquale & Louise Buzzelli, Joseph Bittick
Amazon Digital Services
We All Fall Down is an extraordinary story but it does not keep you enthralled for the length of the book. About a man who survived despite having been in the second World Trade Centre tower when it collapsed, it is surprisingly brief in its telling of the crucial moment of disaster. Instead, we hear more about the impact on Pasquale Buzzelli's life and how it affected his marriage. Dubbed the "9/11 surfer" because Buzzelli apparently surfed down with the wreckage, we hear how he was among a group of 16 people on the 64th floor who waited for help to come or an official command to leave. At 10.10am (the first plane struck at 8.46am), they finally started going down the stairwell and were surprised to find that it was relatively smoke-free and clear. But just after they'd made it to the 22nd floor, the stairs shivered and mayhem began. Readers also hear about his wife Louise, who was haunted by the widows of 9/11. Like her, many of them were pregnant at the time of the tragedy.