The Invisible Mile - reviewby John Sinclair
The Invisible Mile is a dream to read, in all senses of the word. It’s a trance-like account of the 1928 Tour de France by an unnamed New Zealander, a fictional fifth rider inserted deftly into the real-life four-man Anzac team that competed with credit in what, then as now, was an insane, drug-fuelled ordeal of men and machines (opium, alcohol and sex being the drugs of choice back then).
There’s plenty here for the armchair triathlete or anyone else fascinated by extreme sports, by the tricks and lies competitors need to tell themselves to push their bodies beyond their limits.
The writing is fierce, a bravura mix of narcissism, masochism and lyricism, grounded in the honesty of the unnamed rider’s journey into his self and the dawning realisation that the race has become a grand metaphor for the trauma of World War I.
Skin, blood, teeth and bone splinters are smeared across the landscape as the band of exhausted men are drawn inexorably into north-eastern France, to towns “inked into memory: Messines, Vimy, Verdun, Flanders”, where corpses sprout from the soil.
Use of the term “clinical” – along with “holistic” and “therapeutic” – can be warning signs that your nutritionist is unqualified.Read more
In the spirit of the age of narcissism, Michele Hewiston has set out to build a cult – The Cult of Mindlessness.Read more
A social activist and Black Power member remembers a former gang comrade and urges gang members to foster his legacy.Read more
The Labour Party is concerned voters who aren't enrolled are being turned away from advance voting booths.Read more
Auckland Council's development agency says the Dominion Road site is too valuable for affordable housing, and mayor Phil Goff agrees.Read more
Refining NZ estimates it'll take 10 to 15 days to fix the crack in a jet fuel pipeline to Auckland Airport, as flights are cancelled.Read more