Top 5: Sports novels - The Damned United, Dead Cert and more

Chris Cleave brings Olympics-based novel Gold to Edinburgh Book Festival


This article is from 2012.

Top 5: Sports novels - The Damned United, Dead Cert and more

Chris Cleave

As Chris Cleave brings his Olympics-based novel, Gold, to the Book Festival kicks off the search for some sporty fiction

The Damned United

David Peace upset Brian Clough’s family with his ‘fiction based on fact’ take on the 44 days the idiosyncratic manager spent in charge of a Leeds United team which still pined for former boss Don Revie. Later made into a pretty decent film with Michael Sheen as Cloughie.

Double Fault

Before Lionel Shriver hit the big time with We Need to Talk About Kevin, she served up this tale of a tennis-playing married couple who become far too competitive about their various successes on and off court.

There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock

Jerry Spinelli’s 1991 novel for young adults features Maisie Potter, a girl who tries out for her school wrestling team in order to get close to Eric Delong. But soon she discovers that her passion for grapples and full nelsons far outweigh her feelings for a silly boy.

End Zone

Don DeLillo’s second novel is somewhat lightweight in comparison to his later deadly serious works. Its narrator, Gary Harkness, frets about nuclear annihilation and girls while trying to hold down his position on his school’s American football team.

Dead Cert

We could have picked any number of Dick Francis books set in the world of horse racing, but this 1962 one was his debut in the field. When jockey Alan York unexpectedly wins a race, he suspects sabotage being committed in his favour, but his search for the truth might uncover a few dark secrets.

Chris Cleave, 25 Aug, 2pm, £10 (£8).

This article is from 2012.

Chris Cleave: Literary Feat Of Olympian Proportions

From the author of Incendiary and The Other Hand comes Gold, the story of Zoe and Kate, world-class athletics rivals and life-long friends. Now on the eve of London 2012, both women will be tested to their physical and emotional limits. The big question in the book is what do people sacrifice for the ones they love? Part…


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