in deadly pursuit


“But there has always been one truly unifying force in human history. One call that would always unite you. The emergence of a common enemy. That enemy was the Covenant. When this new foe emerged and declared war against humanity, you finally united under a single banner. And the weapons you so carefully constructed to control your own baser instincts were now aimed not at yourselves, but against a deadly opponent. In our pursuit of a shared goal. The very survival of your species.”

Books about medicine.


When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery

Direct Red: A Surgeon’s Story

Trust Me, I’m a (Junior) Doctor

House Of God

An Imperfect Offering: Dispatches from the medical frontline

Band-Aid for a Broken Leg

No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses


The Emperor of All Maladies

Spitting Blood: The history of tuberculosis

Angel of Death: The Story of Smallpox

And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic

The Tale of the Duelling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

Paralysed with Fear: The Story of Polio

Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus

The Rise And Fall Of Modern Medicine

Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicine


Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry

The Drugs Don’t Work

Bad Science

Bad Pharma: How Medicine is Broken, And How We Can Fix It

Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ

The Worried Student’s Guide to Medical Ethics and Law (Medipass)

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Invisible Enemy: A Natural History of Viruses

Deadly Companions: How microbes shaped our history

I Think You’ll Find It’s a Bit More Complicated Than That

Need some xmas gift ideas? Check out our suggestions for a few books that work as stocking-fillers for cyclists:

A Sunday in Hell [DVD] (A classic film documenting Paris-Roubaix 1976)

Jorgen Leth Collection [DVD] (A Sunday in Hell, The Stars and The Water Carriers, and The Impossible Hour - three classic cycling documentaries)

Overcoming [DVD] (Behind the scenes with CSC at the 2004 Tour de France)

Bicycling Science (David Gordon Wilson - feed your inner geek)

Slaying The Badger [DVD R1]

Slaying The Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France (Richard Moore)

Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist [DVD]

The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography [book]

Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi

Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson

We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon

Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike

Rough Ride: Behind the Wheel With a Pro Cyclist (Paul Kimmage)

Racing Through the Dark (David Millar)

The Racer: Life on the Road as a Pro Cyclist (David Millar)

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France (Tyler Hamilton)

The Program: Seven Deadly Sins - My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong (David Walsh)

The Race to Truth: Blowing the Whistle on Lance Armstrong and Cycling’s Doping Culture (Emma O’Reilly)

The World of Cycling According to G (Geraint Thomas)

Hunger: The Sean Kelly Autobiography

Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling

Exclusive New Poster For Lance Armstrong Thriller The Program
Ben Foster prepares to get with the peloton

The rise and subsequent decline and fall of Lance Armstrong always had a cinematic quality. An American archetype of Shane-like proportions, he was a cancer survivor, champion cyclist, Dodgeball cameo-er and, at a push, could even pull off yellow. Then it all went up in a puff of smoke. Stephen Frears’ new movie The Program will explore all of those elements (apart from maybe the Dodgeball bit), with Ben Foster playing this compelling figure.

Adapted from sports journalist David Walsh’s book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit Of Lance Armstrong, the film will follow the cyclist’s meteoric rise, battles with cancer and equally fast fall once it was proved that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs during his successful years.

Frears has Chris O’Dowd playing Walsh, with Ben Foster as Armstrong. From the looks of the trailer, it’s a dramatic retelling of Armstrong’s Tour de France years and then what happened when the truth came out. The rabbit hole proved to be far deeper than anyone suspected.

With Lee Pace, Jesse Plemons, Guillaume Canet, Dustin Hoffman and Bryan Greenberg also in the cast, The Program is set to hit Australia on November 19.

- Phil de Semlyen