Peter FitzSimons is a prolific author and a well-known character. His books are known for their honesty and humour. In yet another book of sporting tales, he has written of incidents that are mostly never recounted. These short stories show sportspeople at their most witty and generous. They outline acts of bravery, as in the surfers who tuned around and swam for their mate who was about to be attacked by a shark, and acts of compassion. Quick witted exchanges between the West Indies cricket team and Sir Donald Bradman are also memorable.
The Contents section is brief in this book. The stories are covered under the headings, The Inspirational, Only in Australia, It was better in my day, and Local Heroes. In The Inspirational, there are stories about John Landy who stopped in a race to help a runner he had injured. Betty Cuthbert’s sheer effort to get out of her wheelchair, stand, and walk to the podium to give Raelene Boyle her gold medal was unforgettable and indeed brings a tear to the eye.
The Inspirational stories range from last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Michelle Payne, who defied odds and won the Cup on an outsider. In her speech to the nation she thanked the people who had supported her and told the rest to “Get stuffed.” Evonne Goolagong, Ron Clarke, and sculler Bobby Pearce feature in this section, and their dedication and determination are breathtaking.
“Only In Australia” is the place where we find the story of two brothers playing against each other in AFL. As one man marks the ball and goes back to kick for goal, his brother calls out, ” My father slept with your Mother,” Not sure if that’s why he missed the goal. There is a page of poetry which is very funny, and a page of short pithy sayings for a good chuckle.
Any sports person, would love this book, easy to read, easy to pick up, and you are guaranteed at least one laugh per page. Great Fun.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|