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The Sculler by Leon Fletcher book

(1 customer review)


Rowing stories need a ring of authenticity – you know when someone has experienced what they are writing about.

Leon Fletcher gives his all not just in the telling of this tale abut also in the (quasi-autobiographical) nature of the actual story itself.

It tells the tale of a feisty athlete who doesn’t quite fit the “mould” which the selectors seem to want.  He seeks perfection in his sculling boat and has a dream to scull like his hero, Chris Baillieu.  The story takes us from his training base on the Tideway Thames in London to international training camp in Italy and a regatta ‘show-down’ in Germany.

The short story is a delightful read which any rower will find engaging and an authentic voice for the sport.

Peter Moir Haining – World Lightweight Sculling Champion

Leon is a natural waterman and I used to race him from Kew to Putney in my London years.  I couldn’t put it down, his style reminds me of the Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day”  Leon envelopes the concept of sculling and his story takes the context and moves on well with a rich vocabulary to boot!  Recommend.

Note this is a print book:   For the ebook version is here.

SKU: SCULLERBOOK Category: Tags: , ,

Note this is a print book – for the ebook version go to The Sculler eBook

1 review for The Sculler by Leon Fletcher book

  1. John Herbert Scott

    A strangely powerful book, this. A few hours after reading it, I found myself trying to work out where lies its power. Is it because of the author’s imagination – the way he likens racing a single scull in a swell to “running fifteen hundred meters on a water bed” or, in a phrase that will probably mean most to rowers, how sculling well is like “tapping a bike wheel along in the dark with a knitting needle”? There’s no doubt Fletcher’s way with words proves as compelling as it is (often) amusing. But there’s also something else going on. The way the prose reads as if it has fallen from a great height and splashed straight onto the page, creating deep dark puddles, and done so without any po-faced editing getting in the way or, as Fletcher himself might say, unfettered by any elitism (literary or otherwise…). Because this is a poetic polemic, one that rails against the perceived elitism in GB rowing at the time and against elements of Fletcher’s upbringing yet which, on the way, manages to convey the poetry, the purity of the single-minded sculler searching for that perfect stroke (again and again…) and that victory in the U23 world championships. The structure of the story is clever, the telling even more so. But this short story is about more than a mere sculling race. It’s about a man confronting and ultimately beating his demons. And it’s this that makes The Sculler so powerful.

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