Rob Tymec Review

So I gave a quick review of my early impressions of this book after only reading about 40 or 50 pages. Now that I've finished it,  I thought I would offer something a bit more detailed.  


I am quite familiar with the works of Matt St. Amand. Not only have I read several of his books but, when he decided to  explore play writing a few years back, I was lucky enough to receive some scripts from him. They were so good that I  produced them through my theatre company. It's safe to say that, at this point, I've been exposed to a pretty healthy cross-section of his content.  


Which enables me to pronounce with great confidence that this is his best work, so far.  


I have no doubt, of course, that Matt will produce greater things in the years to come. But he is definitely at the height of his game with Kilominator . He really has put together a very solidly-written book, here. You will read through it with even greater velocity than any record-breaking speeds he has ever achieved during the various cycling expeditions he chronicles within its pages!  


Which was, of course, the biggest compliment I paid him in that first review. The material engages you right from the start. 


And it continues to do so throughout the rest of the book. There are no real "sags" to Kilomnator. There are a few instances where you feel you are getting perilously close to one, but it never quite actually gets there. Matt is never afraid to "kill his babies". He refuses to bog us down with some point of indulgence that really doesn't make for interesting reading. Which is extra impressive when you have someone like me reading your book. In the same way as he talks about how his anxiety seems to run on  a nuclear reactor, my ADHD works in a similar manner!      


As I continued on with the book, another quality that I really enjoyed was the narrative structure, in general. Kilominator has a very nice stream-of-consciousness vibe going on throughout it. The story flows in much the same way as our brains work when we're actually cycling for a considerable distance. With nothing left for our mind to do as we pedal along, we will suddenly slide back into our own memories. Sometimes, our thought processes will even start to feel like the movie Inception. We will go inside the memory of a memory (this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I know, but you'll get what I'm saying when you read it). This sort of framing structure makes the tale being told all-the-more enjoyable.  


The various memories Matt goes back into is, of course, the real meat of the adventure. This is something of an autobiography. We, pretty much, learn the author's entire life by the time we reach the end. But, because it's told in that out-of-order fashion that our brain functions in as we take a long ride, it doesn't really feel like any kind of a conventional autobiography. Which causes the whole thing to avoid several of the pitfalls traditional books in this genre can fall into.      


The other thing that really stands out for me when I read this was the level of rawness and honesty that Matt uses. He has some nice little brags when he discusses the goals he has hit as a dedicated cyclist. And he deserves the boast. I know the roads of both Windsor and Essex county quite well. So I have a very clear idea of the distances he's travelled. He's done some serious-ass pedalling!     


But the author also goes out of his way to talk about the times when he wasn't making an effort to keep in shape. There are some legitimate demons he battles during certain periods of his life that some people might have a hard time admitting to. I appreciate how candid he was willing to be when describing those times. Allowing us into those areas is yet one more way in which we feel drawn in. He shares some genuinely personal things with us. Which gets us to connect on a deeper level with the material.  


The ending to the whole book is quite curious. It all feels very open-ended. Like there are still more stories to be told. Which makes perfect sense. Matt St. Amand's days as The Kilominator are far from over.  


Even though the book is done, his adventures continue...