This Sporting Life by David Storey Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

This Sporting Life

When originally published this was described as an exceptional first novel because the characters are concerned with expressing themselves in physical rather than emotional or intellectual terms. The world in which the story is set is that of professional Rugby League in a Norther English industrial city, and spans several years in the life of narrator Arthur Machin.


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    Tfitoby

    Mar 15, 2013

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    The north of England in the 1950s, Arthur (not that other great Northern bellower given to us by Alan Sillitoe) wants out of the flat on your back, working yourself to death, working class lifestyle that he was born in to and the only way he can see to escape is through excelling at sport. He’s got some physicality going for him and he’s gonna make the most of it by running out for the local professional Rugby League team.

    Whilst there are some excellently written sporting sequences, they are few

    Whilst there are some excellently written sporting sequences, they are few and far between, Storey’s tale looking instead at the power of celebrity, the attitudes of the working classes and the differences between the classes in general, the psychological conflict of being a manly man struggling with his repressed emotions in a world where men are supposed to be one thing and one thing only and naturally something of the bildungsroman as Arthur faces up to getting too old for what he’s been doing.

    Along the way we come across debauched parties, political intrigues at the heart of running a professional sports team as a committee of powerful local businessmen, ill fated love affairs, misery, shame, and stand-up knock-down screaming matches, the whole thing written with great observational skill, presenting the self sabotaging attitudes that still prevail amongst the English class structures almost sixty years later and despite the shift towards the “famous for nothing” reality TV culture that people aspire to the distrust of the working class boy made good is greater than ever.

    As with all of my experiences exploring Britain’s Angry Young Men literature of the 50s and 60s I have been enthralled with the sense of time and place that is created by the talented authors and seemingly more so than other eras of literature these shine as priceless documents of social history.
    …more