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The Nolympics: One Man's Struggle Against Sporting Hysteria [Paperback]

Nicholas Lezard
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

13 Sep 2012

Nicholas Lezard loved London. Then the London 2012 Olympics came along ...

Suddenly his beloved city was invaded by über-people in branded sportswear who had contorted their bodies into odd shapes in order to run a bit faster, or throw things a bit further. Not to mention armies of reptilian brand-managers, chancers and corporate cheerleaders all wanting to cash in, as a blameless piece of the East End was turned (at tear-inducing cost) into one huge folly.

In The Nolympics Nicholas Lezard gives us the perfect antidote to Olympics fever with a hilarious blow-by-blow account of how he survived its highs and lows, triumphs and soul-destroying boredom. It is a book for anyone who would rather sit in the dark watching TV than ever wave a flag, who was last to be picked for PE, or who just feels that somewhere along the way the Spirit of the Games was smothered by wads of money. It is the only Olympic souvenir you'll ever need.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718197615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718197612
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Nicholas Lezard writes for the Guardian, Independent and New Statesman.He lives in London, the city on which the eyes of the world gaze during this Olympic summer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Mans view as to why the Olympics is rubbish. 27 Oct 2012
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a short illustrated book from journalist Nicholas Lezard. He was commissioned to write an antidote to the `sporting hysteria' that was engendered in London during the Olympics. Actually it was the whole bleedin country. I was one of those that helped make the games by sorting out a few background gaffs that could have been a bit of a problem. I too am not a fan so was looking forward to this book as I had to work in London throughout the summer of madness. Lezard takes us on a day by day account of what turns out to be mostly his watching of the games on his television. He has a very erudite writing style and is a lover of the English language as indeed am I. So he uses what some people refer to as `not plain English' or as others might say `big words' - and well done him for that.

The humour is that of a satirist but also an unwilling participant who strives to find meaning and point to the whole thing, I totally agree with the pointlessness of discus, synchronised swimming and that pommel horse thing. He does spend a lot of time on the equestrian stuff especially the `horsey dancing' and does actually attend a couple of events one of which was ladies epée; which I always think is short hand for a mental fit. But as mentioned a lot of the observations are directly from the old telly and or newspapers etc, with comment and critique of the same.

This was billed as hilarious and I think that was wrongly placed, it is amusing, it is well written it is well observed and for all the anti Olympic curmudgeonry he does try to be balanced. I saw how happy some of the people who attended and helped were because of their involvement and it was genuinely touching.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not remotely funny 1 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I guess the basic idea here is that everyone was all excited about the Olympics and the author represents the cynical outsider ranting about all the nonsense. It's an OK idea for a book, and if the commission had been given to someone like, say David Quantick or David Stubbs could have been worthwhile. But for the life of me I can't grasp how any publisher, no matter how shameless, could possibly present this slim piece of hackery as a work of humour with a straight face. It's a completely unfunny collection of cliched and obvious observations that might have been acceptable if you or I had stuck them up on our blogs after a few beers, but asking 6 quid for it is taking the p***.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfunny 26 Aug 2013
By BusyReader VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Advertised as funny and entertaining and as one who didn't enthuse about the Olympics last year I thought I would empathise and find it entertaining.
Bill Bryon it isn't and I quickly tired of it so gave up on it about a third of the way through.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was worried that this book would be something made immediately out of date once the Olympics are over, but it seems it is intended to be read after the games ended, and I was hopeful of this being a lively tale of a man successfully avoiding the London 2012 games by using his intelligence to find other things to do, spending time with other folks not interested in the games and generally not paying attention to something he claims to dislike. Nicholas Lezard has written about none of these things. He appears to have spent almost the entire games watching London 2012 on the television, reading about it in the papers, talking to other people who also claim they don't like the games (yet seem oddly obsessed by them) and on hold to BT.

The illustrations are dire. The author is mean, tiresome, dull, long winded and rather too interested in telling you about himself, his past and his family. He writes like he's not paying attention. There was, of course, a good deal about the Olympics to criticise, and the author does manage a few good swipes at the absurdities the games brought, at Boris and, unkindly, at the athletes but for the most part he seems to be complaining about the wrong things or about things he has just got wrong. I lost count of the number of times he suggested the only things you could eat at a games venue were McDonalds, an error which continued after he'd been to a games event and noticed other food on sale.

Lezard seems to want to show he's not one of `us' (the `us' depending on what he's complaining about on a given page,) is not part of any communal spirit and to is not quite taken in by any given facade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Nolympics is a short, illustrated book by Nicholas Lezard, a journalist, and was written to provide a satirical antedote to the hysteria surrounding the 2012 Olympic Games. Lezard writes in a manner that's intellectual and he's obviously a fan of the 'proper' use of the English Language. If you're expecting a choppy, witty, modern read you're going to be disappointed. However; if you weren't swept away by the hysteria/National Pride stirred up by the 2012 Olympic Games you might just enjoy this slightly pompous inquistion by a man attempting to make sense of something he didn't feel part of.

The Nolympics is Lezard's chance to question the Games in general and an opportunity to ask the reader to consider 'what's the point?'. He's not a fan of events such as discus or synchronised swimming and he's quite scathing about most things equestrian.

Lezard did attend the Games but; much of his comment comes from his experience of watching the TV, reading newspapers, talking to other people and is all rather contrived. I didn't find The Nolympics 'hilarious' as described though it's amusing in places. Where Lezard saves himself, and the book, is his empathy when dealing with those ordinary people involved in the Olympics. That sudden shot of warmth adds a lot of balance to what could have been considered a bit of a rant.

Was Lezard genuinely trying to make sense of the whole Olympic 'dream' or just intentionally rubbishing an event that shook Britain? Depends entirely on your own point of view. This is just one man's view and it's not one I took too seriously.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, even amusing, but not hilarious
Interesting, even amusing, but definitely not hilarious. Mostly a satirical and cynical read, and though interesting, it does not really take off as projected. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Not funny at all, mainly boring
I actually quite enjoyed the Olympics, even though I usually despise all sport, but I thought I’d give this one a go while World Cup fever strikes the nation and I attempt to hide... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Jennifer May
5.0 out of 5 stars Hallelujah
I dislike sport, so for me the 2012 Olympics left me almost untouched, apart from hearing the irritation of that awful music preceding each event. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sandford
2.0 out of 5 stars Very hard to like
There are some bits of humour when you look hard enough. Unfortunately the enforced irreverence and mean spirited nature take center stage. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jack Chakotay
2.0 out of 5 stars Tries too hard
I have some friends who share these views and can, on occasion, be entertaining on the subject. Sadly they are more entertaining than this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by John E. Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty book
This is a very jolly book taking a humourous look at the London Olympics. If you enjoy sport and watched the Olympics at the time, you'll enjoy this little book, enlivened with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Hilarious!
Much like the author, despite doing many sports as a child judo, archery, football and rugby to name a few ( one of those up to junior international level! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. George Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, wry and well observed.
Lezard manages in this book to continue the curmudgeonly attitude to London 2012 that many found washed away by the opening ceremony. Read more
Published 8 months ago by The Penguin
2.0 out of 5 stars Good points, Bad Comedy
As one of many who could only muster up contempt for the euphoria and hype that turned even the brightest bulbs into damp squibs at last years Olympics, I was looking forward to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Thomas Elce
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the Nolympian he claims to be
I was a fair example of a 2012 Olympic sceptic. I was proud to hear in 2005 that London had won its bid (an emotion immediately marred by the 7/7 bombings) and to see Team GB's... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Bob Sherunkle
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