DoP - Feb 2008
This remarkable book may appear to be more novel than biography. It is in fact the dramatisation of a real life: that of the late Neville Scott, an athlete good enough at age 20, to finish seventh in the close-packed finish of the 1956 Olympic 1,500m final..before his life began to spiral out of control. Scottie's early years embrace a traumatic childhood, the surprising discovery of running ability, the excitement and fear of competition, the attraction of drink and of women. It makes a volatile, unstable mix. An Olympic Games passes in a blur. By the age of 26 he is an alcoholic and the local "ratbag". But with the help of a Samaritan-like GP he embarks on rehabilitation that is perilous, sometimes even pathetic - but tenacious. His great goal becomes, again, the Olmypic Games - which brings a drama even greater than those Scottie has already experienced.