On The Talent Code:

STARRED REVIEW: With a canny grasp of his subject, author and Outside contributing editor Coyle (Lance Armstrong’s War, Hardball: A Season in the Projects) looks at the development of extraordinary talent, particularly in athletes, and the “revolutionary scientific discoveries” unlocking the “talent code” behind it. Cutting across the nature/nurture argument, Coyle examines research into myelin, a neural insulator produced when we repeatedly “fire a particular circuit”; the more myelin produced along that circuit, the “stronger, faster, and more accurate our [relevant] movements and thoughts become.” Interviewing top coaches, educators and researchers, traveling to talent hot spots and neurology labs, Coyle describes three steps (roughly: visualizing and comprehending, repeating and perfecting, and emotional connection) employed (knowingly or not) by talents like the skate-boarding Z-Boys, Brazilian soccer players, the Bronte sisters, pop musicians, outperforming school kids and others, as well as ways to understand and spur that process along (in ourselves and others). An exciting, accessible window into research that could trigger a revolution in education and the treatment of mental illness, this intriguing study also puts better-known models of learning into perspective: “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.”
Publishers Weekly

“I’d buy the book for two reasons. Firstly, Coyle is a fine writer and makes an excellent pick of examples to illustrate his case. Secondly, he delves into an area few others have tackled: the neurophysiology of learning, or what happens to the architecture of the brain during practice.”

New Scientist

“Always entertaining and often inspiring.” 

—Outside magazine

“I only wish I’d never before used the words ‘breakthrough’ or ‘breathtaking’ or ‘magisterial’ or ‘stunning achievement’ or ‘your world will never be the same after you read this book.’ Then I could be using them for the first and only time as I describe my reaction to Daniel Coyle’s The Talent Code. I am even willing to ‘guarantee’ that you will not read a more important and useful book in 2009, or pretty much any other year. And if all that’s not enough, it’s also ‘a helluva good read.'”
—Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

“I’d buy the book for two reasons. Firstly, Coyle is a fine writer and makes an excellent pick of examples to illustrate his case. Secondly, he delves into an area few others have tackled: the neurophysiology of learning, or what happens to the architecture of the brain during practice. In a word, it’s all about myelin.”
—Michael Bond, New Scientist

“This is a remarkable—even inspiring—book. Daniel Coyle has woven observations from brain research, behavioral research, and real-world training into a conceptual tapestry of genuine importance. What emerges is both a testament to the remarkable potential we all have to learn and perform and an indictment of any idea that our individual capacities and limitations are fixed at birth.”
—Dr. Robert Bjork, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology, UCLA

“Daniel Coyle digs deep into the core of the insatiable desire to become better. An amazing read with many practical implications for everyday life.”
—Apolo  Anton Ohno, Olympic gold medalist. 



On Lance Armstrong’s War:

Best Biography 2005, Britain’s National Sporting Club: “This is an incisive portrait of an intense and driven man. It takes us deep into the world of professional cyclists and the Tour de France. Daniel Coyle holds nothing back but provides the wherewithall for the readers to make up their own mind about the Armstrong phenomenon. This is a remarkable book.”  

“The combination of effervescent observation and hard-won insight makes “Lance Armstrong’s War” a must-read.”
—Allen St. John, Washington Post, July 21, 2005

“With a velvety mix of vivid, sophisticated prose, Raymond Carver’s unerring eye for nuance, and John Irving’s irreverent, unflinching humor, Coyle spins a yarn worthy of a Tolkien trilogy.”
—Brion O’Connor, Boston Globe, July 7, 2005

“Coyle, a wordsmith of uncommon talent with an eye for the telling detail, has given us a meticulously reported, beautifully crafted book. He has shown us an Armstrong more complex than the one we thought we knew – and no less a hero.”
—Michael D. Schaeffer, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 29, 2005

“This book will change the way I watch the Tour this year and the way I think about the sport from now on. It is intensely riveting, revealing, and fair. You won’t be disappointed.”
—Charlie Melk , Daily Peloton, June 29, 2005

“Coyle’s book paints a fascinating picture of Armstrong, gives life to the cast of characters around him and offers colorful detail and insight into the weight-obsessed, dangerous, ritualistic world of elite cycling. It does not duck the questions about doping that have dogged Armstrong since the 1999 Tour de France.” –
—Philip Hersh, Chicago Tribune, June 28, 2005

“Coyle delivers inside baseball, right from the dugout. His book includes the best description of a crash I’ve ever read.”
—George Vecsey, New York Times, June 26, 2005

“The most intimate portrait we have of the finest living athlete. It is a measure of Armstrong’s accomplishment that rather than deflating the myth, the infusion of reality Coyle delivers in Lance Armstrong’s War seems to endow it with even greater power.”
—Michael Hardy, Houston Chronicle, June 24, 2005

“Superbly written, deeply researched…Lance Armstrong’s War takes readers inside Armstrong’s inner circle….Coyle delves into the lives and minds of Armstrong’s main 2004 Tour adversaries….And he offers great insight to the minute details and head games that fuel riders in the international peloton.”
—VeloNews, May 23, 2005

“An intimate, insightful, unflinching look at the greatest athlete of our time. Daniel Coyle has given us a hugely entertaining, nuanced portrait of a larger-than-life figure and his turbocharged world. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Jon Krakauer, author of Under the Banner of Heaven and Into Thin Air

“Daniel Coyle chases the soul of the man, his sport, and the Tour de France, seeing so much that you wonder if he was drafting on the bike behind Armstrong. Through his book we understand, for the first time, the true dimensions of Armstrong’s unconquerable spirit––and what makes him such an unapologetically competitive beast.”
—Buster Olney, author of The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty

“In this brisk and brilliant book, Daniel Coyle captures the fabulous life and fast times of an international icon––and pierces the mystic heart of motivation itself.”
—Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers and Americana



On Hardball: A Season in the Projects:

“A landmark for its times, in the place called urban America.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Dazzling, disturbing. Coyle has crafted this, his first book, to perfection.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

“Extraordinary. An eloquent, searing tale that is part Brian’s Song and part Studs Terkel.”
—Ken Auletta

“A helluva story…a gripping book about a Little League baseball team in one of America’s worst housing projects.”
—New York Newsday

“A gutsy reporting tour de force.”  
—Bob Woodward, author of State of Denial and All the President’s Men 

“Hardball is a painfully beautiful book. Though it reads like a novel, it provides a wrenching portrayal of real kids with real dreams. It is one of those rare books destined to affect the way we think about, and feel about, life in our inner cities.”
—Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein and Benjamin Franklin



On Waking Samuel:

“With Waking Samuel, Daniel Coyle has established himself as a literary virtuoso, delivering a haunting novel with the narrative undertow of a winter storm.”  
—Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands

“A poignant, brooding first novel. Coyle tells Sara’s story with a graceful eloquence and authority, tracing the subtle trajectory of her return to a state of emotional equilibrium.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Moving…An impressive debut.”