The House of DaVinci

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Book 2: My Ox is Broken! by Adam-Troy Castro

This book was a Christmas present from my sweet hubisand. My Ox is Broken! Detours, Roadblocks, Fast Forwards, and Other Great Moments from TV's The Amazing Race by Adam-Troy Castro. It was an enjoyable read but it made you want to be his editor - if it only lived up to its potential.

If you understand the title of this book than you are an Amazing Race fan. It is one of the best moments of the race. In season 5, Colin and Christie were the power house team from Texas. The Detour required racers to drive an ox drawn plow through a field of mud until it hooked on a line attached to the clue. Early racers figured out fairly quickly that both team members needed to guide the ox, and everyone is out of there quickly. Colin and Christie are all alone when they arrive and Colin ends trying to guide the ox himself. It does not go where Colin wants and anxiety grows. After yelling a lot, Colin comes up with the cry of "MY OX IS BROKEN!" It was classic.

Amazing Race fans are quite fanatical and there are many websites devoted to them. Many publish detailed recaps of each episode ( being the best by far) and Adam-Troy says he will not do so. Instead he gives us little short recaps, which are completely inconsistent in their breadth and depth and the key elements which they cover. As well, instead of using popular nicknames for the teams from the internet, which most of his readers would know, he makes up his own. These nicknames don't really make any connection with the reader, are hard to remember, and twice as long as the teams actually names! So the recaps are frustrating. This is part of the book where I wish I was his editor.

The most annoying part is when you read the introduction you find out that many interviews with different teams from the race itself have been cut because the book was too long. Talk about placing importance on the wrong stuff - ARRGH! Please, can I be his editor?

However, this was an enjoyable book. The recaps, though frustrating, were like looking through a photo album, remembering good times. I had forgotten some of these teams, and it was nice to think about them again. But the greatest parts of the book is the anaylsis of the racers. Who was the greastest racer ever? Why did Flo break down and would you have in the same situation? Did Tara throw the race? Should Colin go to jail? What was the biggest mistake ever? These are fascinating chapters and a great read.

He also has some interesting chapters on key elements we see over and over through out the different seasons. Also, behind the scenes issues about the rules and how real the race is make for interesting reading. He also has a chapter on fixing the race and we race fans love to analyze. And of course, he didn't cut out all the interviews, so we hear some fascinating insights from many racers, including Jonathan.

All in all, it was fascinating reading and I enjoyed it quite a lot. If you weren't a big fan of the Amazing Race, this book would not take you there. It is for fans of the Race, but you don't have to be obsessive to enjoy this book. It really made me excited for Amazing Race, All-Stars which is set to begin in February.


  • At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can totally get your frustration! I am heading to the library to put this one on reserve!!!


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