83-year-old George Nicoleau is the archetypal grumpy old man. All he needs in life are his comfy slippers and being "left the hell alone" by everyone. He doesn't listen to his doctors, who seem to think he should have been pushing up the daisies for years already, or his overprotective daughter. One day, his friend and neighbour, the equally elderly Charles, comes up with a daring plan - to fulfil a lifelong dream and cover the 3500km of the Tour de France route in their trusty Renault Scenic !
As they work out how to pull off their daring stunt, using message redirection so that any phonecalls to George's landline will be picked up on his mobile (their utter glee at realising they can sneak off without his friends and family knowing is heartwarming !) and deciding where to have their pitstops, both old men get a new lease of life and joie de vivre.
They start off their epic journey in Brittany but as I was rapidly halfway through the book and they'd barely started out, I soon realised that they'd bitten off more than they could chew and wouldn't be completing the tour. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter though - the important thing was pushing the boundaries and stepping outside of their humdrum lives, however old they are.
It's an endearing and poignant look at growing old, following your dreams and the importance of friends and family. As each chapter is only a couple of pages long, it's a quick read and I finished it in two days. The characters will stay with you long after the final page though.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £8.99
Disclosure : I won my copy of the book in a twitter competition.