The Comeback chronicles the life of one of America’s greatest athletes, from his roots in the windswept hills of Nevada's Washoe Valley to the heights of his global fame at the Tour de France. With a swift narrative drive and fierce attention to detail, Daniel de Visé reveals the dramatic, ultra-competitive inner world of a sport rarely glimpsed up close, and builds a compelling case for LeMond as its great American hero.
Coming June 5 from Atlantic Monthly Press
“The Comeback is an eye-popping ride, sweeping the reader through the extreme eccentricities of endurance cycling. But the heart of the story, the charismatic spirit and re-crowning of America’s authentic cycling champion Greg LeMond, is what makes you cheer through the pages.” -- Diana Nyad, author of Find a Way and the only person to swim between Cuba and the United States.
"Greg LeMond was Lance Armstrong before Lance Armstrong--and he won his three Tours de France WITHOUT cheating. The Comeback is the story of a true hero and his remarkable comeback to win arguably the most dramatic Tour de France in history. This is a must read if you believe in miracles." -- John Feinstein, bestselling author of Season on the Brink and The First Major.
“Once in a blue moon a sports book comes along appealing to a such a broad audience that it becomes a perennial favorite of neighborhood reading groups--Boys in the Boat and Seabiscuit being prime examples. Now make way for The Comeback by Daniel de Visé, a superbly well-crafted narrative. For devotees of the sport of bicycle racing, and for those with little knowledge of it, this book will satisfy in every way.” -- Paul Dickson, author of Bill Veeck and Leo Durocher.
“Greg LeMond is an American sporting hero whose story would surely be rejected by Hollywood as too fanciful. It includes taking on and beating the French at their own game, a near-fatal shooting, a career in apparently terminal decline, an extraordinary comeback, and a bitter feud with his successor. Remarkably, it’s all true, and The Comeback is the first book to document the full LeMond story in all its astonishing, scarcely credible detail.” -- Richard Moore, author of Slaying the Badger and host of The Cycling Podcast.
"Daniel de Visé has written a gripping account of what is widely considered to be the greatest finish in Tour de France history. His meticulously researched story of the professional and personal life of LeMond is enhanced by compelling descriptions of the cast of heroes and villains who built him up….. and tried unsuccessfully to tear him down." -- Bob Bowen, president of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.
"Daniel de Visé explores one of cycling’s epic duels, on the final day of the 1989 Tour de France when America’s Greg LeMond had recovered from a life-threatening shotgun blast to score a heroic come-from-behind triumph over France’s Laurent Fignon. In The Comeback, de Visé portrays the complex personalities of LeMond and Fignon in a narrative freighted with nuanced analyses, thorough research, and a narrative that rocks." -- Peter Joffre Nye, cycling historian, author of Hearts of Lions and The Fast Times of Albert Champion.
With Andy and Don about to enter its second week of publication, I want to stop and recap all that's happened in week one:
First, radio. I have now been a guest on nearly a dozen live and taped programs, and I was amazed and impressed at how many hosts turned out to be big fans of The Andy Griffith Show. On Wednesday, I spoke with Steve Kraske on KCUR, the NPR affiliate in Kansas City, a locale that was like a second home for Don Knotts in the latter years of his career. On Friday, I joined the morning gang on WOCM Ocean 98 in Ocean City, John Carney on KTRS 550 AM in St. Louis, "Mancow" Muller on 97.9-FM The Loop in Chicago, my home town, Len Erickson and Chris Rhoden of "Mayhem in the AM" on Talk Radio WLKF in Tampa Bay, Jim Engster of Talk 107.3-FM in Louisiana, and Randy Welker on WSGE 91.7-FM, the NPR affiliate closest to Andy's birthplace of Mount Airy, North Carolina. Later that day, I spoke to Tom Barnard for his popular podcast based in Minnesota. Early Sunday morning, I spoke with Peter Solomon on WIP 94-FM CBS Radio in Philadelphia. Later that day, I talked to Tron Simpson on AM-740 in Colorado Springs. This morning I spoke to Steve Fast of WJBC AM-1230 in Bloomington, Illinois.
Second, reviews. Several have published; several more are coming. On Tuesday, SitcomsOnline gave Andy and Don four stars and called it "a well-written book with details that may be new or even surprising to some fans." Good Grit Magazine urged readers to "be sure to purchase a copy and continue the story of these amazing men." On Thursday, the Missoulian tagged the book as a "November read." On Saturday, The Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina published a lovely feature on the book pegged to my upcoming talk in that city. And this morning, the Greensboro News and Record praised Andy and Don as "engaging and revealing." An accompanying feature article goes deeper on the Andy-Don relationship. Finally, over the weekend, the Globe magazine featured Andy and Don on its cover for the second time.
Most of my public appearances for Andy and Don still lie ahead. But I gave my first book talk on Saturday at Politics & Prose, the storied Northwest Washington book store, to a warm reception. Next stop: Morgantown, West Virginia, birthplace of Don Knotts!
Meantime, don't forget that I'm going to give away a signed book to whoever comes up with the best Top 5 list of Andy Griffith Show episodes. ("Best" is a subjective term in this case, because I'm just looking for the list closest to my own!) Leave your list in the comment section.