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This Sporting Life Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite the often desolate content, David Storey's use of language is inspired and some of his descriptions are so beautiful and poetic that you are tempted back to read them again.
Flight into Camden is a brilliant depiction of the moral restrictiveness of the time, and the reactions that would have been provoked when an erstwhile dutiful daughter leaves home to live with a married man. Her decision, about which she becomes more and more determined and certain, almost destroys her family and shocks the neighbourhood, as these things did in the sixties. The ending is, I suppose, inevitable, but even though I guessed what must be coming, I thought it stunningly presented.
It's very much a novel of its time, but although I'd read Stan Barstow and the like back in the '60s, I somehow missed out on David Storey even though some of his books have been on our shelves for many decades. There seems to be a trend for re-releasing these gritty northern novels - A Kind of Loving, The L-Shaped Room, for instance - and Flight into Camden deserves similar exposure. Although I wouldn't say it was particularly enjoyable, I found it compulsive and worthwhile. If you're interested in the era or lived through it as I did, try to get hold of a copy if you haven't already read it.
Like much of Storey's ouput this novel is concerned with the destructive forces of the family- and the close knit community of which it is a part- on the members within that family. The conflict and tensions are often born out of the accute sense of guilt inflicted upon individuals as they try to break free of the constricting and oppressive stranglehold of their habitiat. In this novel Storey uses the insular Northern mining community as the base where these tensions are played out. The novel focuses on the life of Margaret, a hard working and obliging miners' daughter, who, at the start of the novel, appears to be fully absorbed in her role as daughter, sister, and office secretary. When she meets up with an enigmatic and married art teacher who persuades her to move to London with him, her whole sense of identity and being-in-the-world is thrown into turmoil. The novel is very successful in threading the perennial binary themes of lust/duty, liberation/oppression, feminine sensitivity/masculine brutality into the narrative. It follows her seemingly liberating journey to another part of the country, which, although sometimes filled with excitement and passion, is nonetheless undermined by her often unconscious sense of unease and immorality. The novel reaches a dramatic climax which is brilliant in emphasising how illusory and transient Margaret's hopes of love and freedom really were.Read more ›
The author writes with the typical gritty, straight-talking style associated with that part of England and cleverly portrays the subtle nuances and petty snobberies that used to exist within the working classes until the 1980s, as well as the emerging (at that time) clash between generations. It is, though, a rather depressing and dated book and depicts a vision of northern life and people that they are still struggling to shake off today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written in 1960, this raw and powerful depiction of life in a northern industrial town has lost none of its impact and doesn’t feel at all dated. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Amanda Jenkinson
One of those graet books which is set in the past but can be read and enjoyed at any time.Published on 12 Mar. 2013 by C D Murphy
Rugby League is only the backdrop, if you are a lover of the sport or someone with no experience of the game there is so much more to this book. Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2011 by Man of Beer
This novel was published in 1960 and it provides an interesting insight the impact instant fame has on a young working man. Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2010 by Kiwifunlad
I enjoyed this novel. I have played rugby and so I have decent knowledge of the sport, but this didn't make a difference, as the book is primarily about the main character's... Read morePublished on 12 Jun. 2007 by Rusty Shackleford