THIS SPORTING LIFE by David Storey

THIS SPORTING LIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Macmillan Fiction Award winner is a first novel by a young Englishman and it takes a somewhat sullen but uncompromising look at the anything but sporting life of a young professional football player in Yorkshire. Arthur Machin, inarticulate, truculent, calculating, is a familiar type who finds that there is room at the top as the local celebrity on the Rugby League team; it is a dirty game which he plays for its immediate returns- better certainly than working on a lathe. Immune, however, is Mrs. Hammond, his landlady, a widow with two children, beaten by the unfortunate conditions of her life but not to the point where she can accept with any pleasure the advances which Arthur makes-and his attempt to improve her circumstances. Arthur is crude and clumsy, and Mrs. Hammond remains fierce in her ingratitude and independence, so that his awkward efforts to ease her dying- as her living -- (the most and perhaps only moving part of the book) are unreturned and unrewarded.... The strength of Mr. Storey's novel is in its toneless air of truth which spares nothing or no one, a fact which may well rebuff his readers.

Publisher: Macmillan