David Coventry

The Invisible Mile

ISBN: 9781776560431



JUNE 2015  mebook.gif



The 1928 Ravat-Wonder team from New Zealand and Australia were the first English-speaking team to ride the Tour de France. From June through July they faced one of toughest in the race’s history: 5,476 kilometres of unsealed roads on heavy, fixed-wheel bikes. They rode in darkness through mountains with no light and brakes like glass. They weren’t expected to finish, but stadiums filled with Frenchmen eager to call their names.

The Invisible Mile is a powerful re-imagining of the tour from inside the peloton, where the test of endurance, for one young New Zealander, becomes a psychological journey into the chaos of the War a decade earlier. Riding on the alternating highs of cocaine and opium, victory and defeat, the rider’s mind is increasingly fixed on his encounter with his family’s past. As he nears the battlefields of the north and his last, invisible mile, the trauma of exertion and disputed guilt cast strange shadows on his story, and onlookers congregate about him waiting for revelation.


Praise for The Invisible Mile:

'A truly extraordinary first novel.' NZ Listener

'The Invisible Mile is an important and impressive debut.' Sunday Star Times

About the author
David Coventry was born in 1969. He lives in Wellington with his partner and cat. The Invisible Mile is his first book.

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1 Review

Sean Carless 23rd Jun 2015

To drop out is to die

"Everyday I crash and I hope its the end". This sentence probably sums up the action of this book better than any other. But this is much more than a book about the 1928 Tour de France. This is epic literature with all the usual themes present; suffering, redemption, the horrors of war, the camaraderie of men, love and loss. There are also descriptions of the torments of stage racing of such hallucinatory intensity you'll never question why cyclists dope again. Rather you'll question what kind of masochist would choose not to dope. David Coventry has written not just the great Kiwi sporting novel but quite possibly the best novel about cycling ever. To him I can only say "Chapeau!"

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