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4.5 out of 5 stars41
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2013
Choosing to begin reading this after the Valentine's tragedy was probably not the best idea, but I'm glad I did. It reveals a dedicated young man with no volatile traits, no violent streaks. Some may say that, because he wrote it, he could have left memories & incidents out. But I don't think so. He talks of loves that have come and gone, his hardships, his ambitions. This book is worth reading, if you're not one who doubts his story of what happened on that fateful night.
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on 18 March 2013
I really liked this book it was very well written. I find it interesting to read this at this time as I find it so hard to believe someone who has worked so hard has done something to ruin his whole life. The book shows that it is possible to do anything if you put your mind to it, also it shows he would not have have achieved as he has if he had not been born with the disability.He sees the possitive things that come from his disability.
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on 4 January 2010
I really enjoyed reading this book. It has a really good emphasis on Oscar being an athlete, and the attitude expected of him. There too are some surprising bits of information and how he has become the fastest lower limb amputee sprinter in the world.

Naturally, the book includes the cause of the disability up until the trial against the IAAF in 2008. There are also some nice family pictures and some official pictures.

This book is really good to read if you want to gain another perspective of disability sport and how different media act on his (dis)ability.
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on 28 May 2014
After following the trial assiduously I gained extra insight into Oscar with this book and from believing he was totally guilty I then revised my opinion as he comes out as someone with a good heart but basically a little gung-ho and risk-taking due to his childhood and his believe that he can overcome anyone or anything - not someone to run from danger, basically! I think this attitude and total self-reliance which also comes out in the book tragically meant that he avoided involving Reeva in the 'intruder' scenario that fateful night which sadly meant that he didn't know it was her in that bathroom...
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on 5 December 2014
This autobiography ends just before OP's historic run the 2012 Paralympics and Olympics. It is very readable, OP's life was a lot harder than he makes out and so the book is mostly upbeat and positive, though it deals with family breakups and his mother's death. It is a deeply inspiring story of a life spent overcoming physical and mental barriers.
From an early age Oscar was amazingly active and adventurous on his very basic prostheses. Sometimes he was housebound for long periods when his stumps were worn away but he glosses over the suffering and does not ever regret the amputation. If I had a child with the same leg problems then this book would help to make the difficult decision to have the lower legs amputated. If I had prostheses, this book would make me feel so positive and ambitious.It is clear he especially enjoyed helping other kids with amputations, and helped parents too. I am an ordinary unfit person, and this book inspired me to be more resilient and gutsy.
Oscar preferred team games at school and it was an accident that set him on the path to athletics. Oscar worked very hard to be such a successful runner with a can-do and don't-moan philosophy.
At the end of the book are a letter from his dad and one from his brother; the latter is very sad and reveals the awful effect their mother's death had on the children and how it changed their relationships with each other.
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on 18 November 2011
Great read, has quite a few funny stories and good photos in it too. This book makes you think about disability differently. Amazing guy, really down to earth too.
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on 3 March 2013
I received this book as a Christmas gift and when Oscar hit the news headlines on St Valentine's Day I moved the book forward on my reading list. It is a very interesting read and particularly so in the light of recent events. Oscar is still only 26, the middle child of 3. His parents sought many medical opinions before reaching the decision to have both of his legs, rather than just one, amputated before he reached the age to walk. It is pretty clear from Oscar's story that he was close to his (20 month) older brother Carl; he doted on his mother; and respected his disciplinarian father. His father's view of small children was that only wimps cry and he forced on them the attitude of self-reliance. That in part may account for Oscar's competitiveness and sporting success, though probably explains more than that.

Oscar's parents divorced when he was about 7 years old and this caused a radical change in his life. He lived with his mother though spent time with his father too but his lifestyle was greatly reduced and money was tight in his mother's household. The boys were sent to Boarding School in Pretoria and while they were there their mother dropped a bombshell. she remarried. That was a major negative event for both boys, Carl viewed it as betrayal. It got worse however because very soon after the marriage their much-loved mother died.

There are many comments in this book which make one think. He touches on his long and stormy relationship with Victoria the love of his life which eventually bust up after one row too many. The book finishes with two letters to Oscar for inclusion in the book. The first is from Carl and the second from his father, Henk. There is much to be gleaned from both of them. However one quote from Carl's letter will suffice. "Part and parcel of our family's approach to life is the lesson that if you lose your way in life, no one can find it for you, you have to do it yourself. Only you can help yourself. You have to rely on yourself to find your way and to stay true to that way."

Whether that is an admirable or sterile recipe for life is best left to the reader. However Oscar has never got over the loss of his mother and he comes back again and again to the unhappiness it caused. He has her birth and death dates tatooed on the underside of his arm. I am sure he longs greatly for the love and support of his mother in his current circumstances.
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on 26 June 2010
This should be read by anyone who is feeling hard done by or down on themselves.

It shows how we really can overcome anything that life throws at us. The guy really is an inspiration!

It's a very readable book that describes his emotions very well especially when he talks about his ban from 'able-bodied' competition. His fight against it shows how we should all react to things put in our path to stop us.

I love his philosophy on competition that it is only ever with yourself and that is the person you are trying to better.

I adore Oscar and definitely think his story should be shared with everyone. This book made me think and it made me admire this amazing guiy even more than I did before.
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on 20 September 2012
I just finished reading 'Blade Runner' and highly recommended it to everyone whether a fan or not. Don't expect a morose sob-story though, it was a totally positive and uplifting (and humorous) account of his life so far. He does give glimpses of his private life though there's no tacky dirty-laundry airing here, it's all very tasteful. It was also a great insight into his athletics and what goes through his mind during these meets.
Hopefully there will be a follow-up book covering his post-2008 years (I know this latest edition has been updated with Chapter 12 covering the last couple of years but it's too brief. Still, I am glad he explained his tattoos as I did wonder what they said). It would definitely be worth reading about his London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic (which I was lucky enough to go to) experiences!
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on 26 January 2013
im a big fan to start with, but this book is amazing! im not a huge reader, but could NOT put this down! read it in 3hours! and many many times since! buy and read this incredible and inspiring story, you will not be disappointed and is beautifully illsutrated with many personal family photos too.
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