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The expression "it's lonely at the top" aptly applies to the tragic figures at the heart of Steve Friedman's examination of a selection of star athletes and their problems with depression, alcoholism, psychosis, crime, and even suicide. Friedman seeks to answer the question of whether these cyclists, runners, boxers and others have succeeded in their fields despite their problems or have somehow been driven by them. Full of anecdotes that are sometimes amusingly and often heartbreakingly personal this audiobook is performed with a stark and respectful journalistic tone by Graham Corrigan providing an engaging and intriguing listen.


What makes some men drive themselves to succeed in their chosen sport, no matter how daunting the odds? And what are the struggles that victory almost inevitably brings? Meet the swiftest and saddest cyclist of his time, a man whose craving for speed was outstripped by a terrible urge toward self-annihilation. Try to understand the most accomplished high-school runner in American history, whose long-distance records still astound and who, a few years later, abruptly abandoned his wife and three small children. Learn about the briefly glorious life of the leading scorer in Division I college basketball, one of the inner city’s great success stories . . . while it lasted.

This superbly narrated and insightful audiobook follows the paths of thirteen ravaged champions in solitary crafts such as cycling and running, bowling and boxing, hiking and golf. These men work at and master their sports, driven only by a burning need to prove themselves. Movingly detailed here are their painful journeys to grace, and their eventual realization that no victory brings lasting happiness. In short, here is the human experience, told in seconds and miles, scorecards and records.

©2013 Steve Friedman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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