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Scottie (ISBN 978-0-473-12852-4)

Norman Harris - 2008

scottie

Scottie is the story of 1960s athletic star, Neville Scott. It is a true story told with the style and pace of a fast-moving novel. Above all, it tells of the human spirit, of great ambition in conflict with weakness: a modern Greek tragedy but with a redeeming twist. It is a New Zealand story of a boy who suffers a traumatic childhood but finds he has an exceptional running ability, of a youth who drinks to calm his nerves and feel 'normal', of a young man for whom bravado and exaggeration bring success as a party animal and womaniser.

When Olympic fame beckons the young athlete is panic-stricken. Great events pass by in a blur. By 26 he is an alcoholic and the local 'rat-bag'. The road back is fraught. His great goal becomes, again, the Olympic Games, but it is in a Saki bar in Tokyo that the most dramatic moment of Scottie's turbulent life plays out. In Scottie, a strata of New Zealand life is brought sharply to life by author Norman Harris, who had a privileged inside view of a famous era and was close to its flawed hero. (Cover notes).

"Scottie is a story of rage, weakness and desire, told with a spare tenderness." (The Observer, London)