Start reading The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available
 

The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry [Kindle Edition]

Pat Butcher
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £5.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.00 (33%)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
This price was set by the publisher
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  
Kindle Books Summer Sale
Kindle Summer Sale: Books from 99p
Browse over 600 titles from best-selling authors, including Neil Gaiman, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Veronica Roth and Sylvia Day. >Shop now

Book Description

The definitive, fully authorised story of the record-breaking rivalry between London Olympics organiser Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett.



Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe presided over the golden era of British athletics. Between them they won three Olympic gold medals, two silvers, one bronze and broke a total of twelve middle-distance records. They were part of the landscape of the late seventies and early eighties -- both household names, their exploits were watched by millions. As far apart as possible in terms of class and upbringing -- Ovett is the art student, the long-haired son of a market-trader from Brighton, a natural athlete; Coe's formative years were spent under the rigorous training routine of Peter Coe, a self-taught trainer who referred to his son as 'my athlete' -- their rivalry burned as intense on the track as away from it. The pendulum swung between the pair of them -- each breaking the other's records, and, memorably, triumphing in each other's events in Moscow in 1980 -- for the best part of a decade, until the final showdown at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 . . .



The Perfect Distance is both a detailed re-creation and a fitting celebration of the greatest era of British athletics.


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description

Review

Butcher weaves interviews with nostalgia, capturing the mood of those heady days for British middle-distance running. (THE HERALD)

a magnificent book (EL PAIS)

Book Description

The definitive, fully authorised story of the record-breaking rivalry between London Olympics organiser Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, published to coincide with the 2012 games.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3324 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New Ed edition (18 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096NFI68
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping and enlightening read 13 July 2005
Format:Paperback
As somebody who was inspired as an eight year old watching the Moscow Olympics to take up athletics, I bought this book with not a little excitement. I read it in a single sitting.
As a predominantly Ovett fan, it was great to read in detail about Coe and Ovett's early careers as well as the drama surrounding the rivalry of the pair.
I remember vividly the tv coverage in 1984 from the Los Angeles Olympics when Steve Ovett was having his breathing difficulties. What I didn't know until I read this book was quite what was wrong, or how incredible it was that he still managed to make it into two Olympic finals. Nor did I know that it was none other than his great rival that made sure he received medical attention and waited around afterwards. Nuggets from interviews and touching anecdotes like this make this book the great read that it is.
The only thing that could have made this book any better would perhaps have been a final chapter on what Coe and Ovett have been up to since they retired.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this one will run and run 5 Feb. 2005
Format:Hardcover
This has got be one of the best books ever written on athletics. And given the subject matter, the rivalry between two such different characters as Seb Coe and Steve Ovett, the book strays well beyond its sporting context. As the author points out, it was a touchstone for a formative era in Britain, Coe representing the Thatcherite strand in politics, and Ovett harking back to the good old labour days, which were about to disappear forever.
Books on sport have developed enormously over the last few years, since Nick Hornby's appraisal of the cultural significance of fandom, whether Cambridge Utd or Arsenal, and Butcher's book contributes to an update of a genre that has never really been given much serious treatment beyond relatively shallow biography.
As a journalistic enterprise, it succeeds admirably, both principals were obviously interviewed in depth, as were all their rivals, domestic and international, from the guy who beat them both as schoolkids, to Steve Cram and Peter Elliott, to John Walker, Eamonn Coghlan, Steve Scott and Thomas Wessinghage.
But where Butcher scores is he does not take the quotes at face value, rather he evaluates them, puts them into context, and gives his own, often ascerbic view. He also puts it all into an historical perspective, with lots of trenchant (and amusing) opinion. This is exactly what biography should be. It would be an insult to call this a sports book or a book on sport. It's far more than that.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Athletics 20 Feb. 2005
Format:Hardcover
Pat Butcher's finely researched book on Coe and Ovett is simply the best athletics book I've ever read. His sparkling prose style combined with in-depth research makes it a far cry from the usual hackwork of the average journalist. It fair zips along and takes you with it and even the non-aficionado will be caught up in the lives, the successes and the defeats of these two great runners. The books works through the years when Britain's runners led the world, and everyone knew their names. A thrilling time and a thrilling read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one will run and run 4 Feb. 2005
Format:Hardcover
This has got to be one of the best books ever written on athletics. And given the subject matter, the rivalry between two such different characters as Seb Coe and Steve Ovett, the book strays well beyond its sporting context. As the author points out, it was a touchstone for a formative era in Britain, Coe representing the Thatcherite strand in politics, and Ovett harking back to the good old labour days, which were about to disappear forever.
Books on sport have developed enormously over the last few years, since Nick Hornby's appraisal of the cultural significance of fandom, whether Cambridge Utd or Arsenal, and Butcher's book contributes to an update of a genre that has never really been given much serious treatment beyond shallow biography.
As a journalistic enterprise, it succeeds admirably, both principals were abviously interview in depth, as were all their rivals, domestic and international, from Steve Cram and Peter Elliott to John Walker, Eamonn Coghlan, Steve Scott and Thomas Wessinghage.
But where Butcher scores, he does not take the quotes at face value, rather he evaluates them, puts them into context, and gives his own often ascerbic view. He also puts it all into an historical perspective, with lots trenchant (and amusing) opinion. This is exactly what biography should be. It would be an insult to call this a sports book, or a book on sport, it's far more than that.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling read 6 Sept. 2008
Format:Paperback
Bought this book on holiday to Greece and couldn't put it down. The book provided insights into these two great characters that were otherwise not public knowledge, e.g. Ovett's dominant mother, Andy Norman's views on Cliff Temple, Ovett's change of views from racing to record-breaking, Coe's aid to Ovett after Ovett had collapsed in the LA Olympics. This book was much more than an account of the Coe v Ovett saga, it was a history lesson, documentary, mini-biographies, and fast-paced thriller all rolled into one. The chapter on the historical mile rivalries of Walter George v Willie Cummings and Arne Anderssen v Gunter Hagg is superb. I cannot speak highly enough of this book. The phrase "unputdownable" is not lost on Pat Butcher's excellent work.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read about a great rivalry
enjoyable trip back to yesteryear, before drugs took away athletics for good.
Published 2 months ago by Jerapah
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great sale fast to
Published 3 months ago by alan thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read.
Published 5 months ago by Matthew Harvie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent
Published 7 months ago by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars Stodgy Read
Any book about athletics runs the risk of becoming a list of races and times; a risk which this book does not really manage to avoid. Read more
Published 20 months ago by jabt
4.0 out of 5 stars V Good
A very insightful look into the lives of the two greatest and much loved middle distance runners in the world. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into these two greats beginnings, their achievements and...
Really enjoyed this read. Fascinated how these athletes started, their achievements, failures, what lead up to the 1980 and 1984 Olympic games. Read more
Published on 10 Feb. 2013 by Mr Steven J Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story
A story that is actually more amazing than I remembered though I followed it at the time. The season after their Moscow Olympics, 1981, was the biggest eye-opener: these guys were... Read more
Published on 30 Dec. 2012 by J. Philip Magnier
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Coe or Ovett...both!
This is a very enlightening and informative book about Messrs Coe and Ovett. I do think the protagonists themselves do continue to have a laugh about this 'rivalry'. Read more
Published on 16 Sept. 2012 by Jonathon M. PRICE
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read that keeps up the pace!
Detailed chronological account of Coe and Ovett's background, rise to world class and their major races. Read more
Published on 12 Aug. 2012 by Andy Checketts
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category