This is a short illustrated book from journalist Nicholas Lezard. He was commissioned to write an antidote to the `sporting hysteria' that was engendered in London during the Olympics. Actually it was the whole bleedin country. I was one of those that helped make the games by sorting out a few background gaffs that could have been a bit of a problem. I too am not a fan so was looking forward to this book as I had to work in London throughout the summer of madness. Lezard takes us on a day by day account of what turns out to be mostly his watching of the games on his television. He has a very erudite writing style and is a lover of the English language as indeed am I. So he uses what some people refer to as `not plain English' or as others might say `big words' - and well done him for that.
The humour is that of a satirist but also an unwilling participant who strives to find meaning and point to the whole thing, I totally agree with the pointlessness of discus, synchronised swimming and that pommel horse thing. He does spend a lot of time on the equestrian stuff especially the `horsey dancing' and does actually attend a couple of events one of which was ladies epée; which I always think is short hand for a mental fit. But as mentioned a lot of the observations are directly from the old telly and or newspapers etc, with comment and critique of the same.
This was billed as hilarious and I think that was wrongly placed, it is amusing, it is well written it is well observed and for all the anti Olympic curmudgeonry he does try to be balanced. I saw how happy some of the people who attended and helped were because of their involvement and it was genuinely touching.Read more ›
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