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This Sporting Life by [Storey, David]
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This Sporting Life Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 254 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Review

"Extraordinarily mature - technically as well as emotionally" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

An astute and compelling story about a rough and ready Rugby League football hero in an industrial northern city.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 687 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (7 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EYSXUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #113,935 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just the sort of novel I enjoy, don't know why I hadn't come across him sooner. Immediately found another of his to order. It was in better condition than I had expected it to be, being an ex-library edition. And somewhat cheaper than a local bookshop had informed me I would need to pay. All in all, a most satisfactory purchase.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good book
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Format: Paperback
This is one of those gritty northern novels, typical of the cheerless style that became so prevalent in the '60s. The story of Margaret, daughter of a miner living on a northern council estate who leaves her home and family and goes to live with Howarth, a married art teacher, is written in unusual, hard-hitting prose. In the way that it is portrayed, their love seems to afford them little joy and some of their interactions seem only to engender tension and unease. Throughout the book I was sensing shades of Lawrence.

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.
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Format: Paperback
This novel displays David Storey's flair for gritty Northern realism, most of which appears to be drawn directly from first hand experience. It is the believablity of his characters and the personal predicaments which they endure, which make his writing so penetrative.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Kitchen sink realism provided Post-war British culture with some of its finest moments in film and TV drama and fiction. David Storey's 1960 novel falls very much into that era and genre. The story takes place in the mud-and-macho world of rugby league in a grimy northern industrial town and opens with the narrator Arthur Machin getting his teeth knocked out during a match. He then double backs on his life to his initial trials for his local club side and we follow him through his years of ambition, struggle and low-level success. He continues to work at the local factory, though, the owner of which is one of the of the small-time capitalists who runs the club. Arthur lives in dingy lodgings where he develops a kind of inept physical relationship with his landlady, the recently widowed Mrs Hammond. As a rugby league professional he is a `glamour' figure to the locals and earns enough money to provide her and her two young children with a decent standard of living. However, Mrs Hammond, a pitiful and desperate woman, fails to understand or appreciate the sincerity of the affection that he gives her. Their pathetic and volatile relationship is the most frustrating and moving part of the book. Most of the other characters, mainly players, are, like Machin himself; ambitious, greedy, macho and insensitive (in public, at least). Women's role in society at that period is made cynically clear by Arthur Machin: `Women are never anything but mothers. There's never a wife been born yet...Mothers or prostitutes - that's women.'
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.
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