10% off all books and free delivery over £40
Buy from our bookstore and 25% of the cover price will be given to a school of your choice to buy more books. *15% of eBooks.

1923

"Two minutes of vintage film footage unlocks a parallel cycling universe."

View All Editions

£10.99 £9.89

In Stock. Same day dispatch on orders before 3pm.

Add To Wishlist
Write A Review Read An Extract

LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Ned Boulting’s Tour de France commentary is an institution for fans of the race and when Covid disrupted his annual gig, like many of us, he was vulnerable to any distraction from lockdown madness. In his case that came in the form of a two minute reel of Pathé news footage covering his beloved race at some point around one hundred years ago. On a tip-off he picked it up at an auction. He had no idea what he was buying, and certainly not where it would take him.

In the pages of 1923, Ned goes on a journey through time, hitched to this blurred, niche sporting film, barely a snapshot of one stage on the Tour. Driven on by the knowledge that the reel was his alone, his established obsession with the race, and slightly unhinged by what is going on in the world, he unravels mysteries, stories, characters and histories that together assemble a parallel universe that is all his own.

In normal life, Ned would be turning up annually to take his place ‘trackside’ at the world’s greatest display of cycling, with a natural understanding of what was going on in the world. He talks about his interest in the places through which the Tour moves and the light research he undertakes to enrich his commentary, but essentially for the duration of the race he is escaping the everyday.

This book is a reversal of that paradigm. Here, given only a short and shaky black and white spool of fading film, he enters another world and the research is anything but light. He firstly identifies the riders and other characters involved in the race. He widens the picture to individuals, adjacent colourful characters of both the time and location. Soon, he is edging into neighbouring territories and getting to grips with the fragility and uncertainty of post WW1 Europe.

1923 is compelling reading, whether a cycling nut or not. From the unlikely collision of Ned, this film and Covid, has emerged a story which explores the complex relationship between sport and the wider world. This is a once-in-a-century book and a worthy award winner.

Greg Hackett

Star Books

Find This Book In

Primary Genre Sports
Other Genres:
Recommendations:

About

Press Reviews

Author

Collections Featuring This Book

You Might Also Like...

Sticky Bottle

Carlton Kirby

Hardback

In Stock

£15.29 £16.99

The Long Golden Afternoon

Stephen Proctor

Hardback

In Stock

£22.50 £25.00

Scheisse! We're Going Up!

Kit Holden

Paperback

In Stock

£8.99 £9.99

Remarkable Football Grounds

Ryan Herman

Hardback

In Stock

£22.50 £25.00

Dreaming the Impossible

Mihir Bose

Paperback

In Stock

£16.19 £17.99

World in their Hands

Martyn Thomas and 1 more

Hardback

In Stock

£16.19 £17.99