Book reviews: Two super Christmas gift books from Simon & Schuster
Unexpected: The Autobiography by Greg Rutherford
When Greg Rutherford won long jump gold on Super Saturday during the London Olympics, his critics claimed it was a ‘fluke.’
But when her went on to complete the grand slam of major titles – European, Commonwealth, World and Olympics – few could deny that he had established himself as one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes. It was an achievement matched by only four others… Linford Christie, Jonathan Edwards, Sally Gunnell and Daley Thompson.
In a revealing autobiography, written in conjunction with journalist Sean Inge, Rutherford tells us that his route to the very top was anything but smooth. From humble and often difficult beginnings in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Greg rebelled during his reckless teenage years, sometimes sleeping rough, and dropped out of school, telling his teachers he was going to become a professional athlete.
He was determined to succeed despite having no job, no money and little more than a belief in his own raw talent. He had always believed in himself as an athlete and sportsman but for many years could not find an outlet that allowed him to truly excel.
Eventually he found the focus that would help him to get to the very top but even then, there was a series of setbacks and injuries. But when he fell short in the Beijing Olympics, it served only to spur him on.
When his dream date at the Olympic Stadium in London arrived in 2012, Rutherford faced a race to be ready but, confounding expectations, he became a part of ‘Super Saturday’ when he joined Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis in winning gold in 45 astonishing minutes of British glory.
Suddenly, as an Olympic champion, a new world opened up to Rutherford, offering many distractions, but he knew that he had more to achieve and kept on driving for the top. Still dismissed by some as a ‘lucky' winner,’ he went on to complete his clean sweep of major titles.
In this long-awaited memoir, Rutherford, now aged 30, provides a frank and revealing insight into the world of top-level athletics where it is important to speak out for what you believe in. He tells us the secrets of his remarkable success and has plenty to say on the issues that are currently dominating athletics like the scourge of doping.
Rutherford also writes movingly about how fatherhood has changed his life and given him a new focus while still leaving space for new opportunities such as the chance to appear on TV’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Passionate, entertaining, honest and unexpectedly defiant, this is a fascinating close-up of one of the most successful British athletes of all time.
(Simon & Schuster, hardback, £20)
A Shore Thing by Scotty T
When MTV’s Geordie Shore star Scotty T won this year’s Celebrity Big Brother, he confirmed his place in the nation’s heart.
But who is Scotty T (real name 28-year-old Scott Timlin from Newcastle upon Tyne) and what turned him into a reality television star?
In his first ever book, a tell-all memoir, we discover the tearaway Toon’s exclusive, behind-the-scenes account of the MTV show and if you thought Scotty T’s outrageous behaviour on Geordie Shore was just for the cameras, think again.
Long before starring in the show, Scotty was a club promoter, living life to the full and getting up to all sorts of shenanigans. In this hilarious, earthy page turner, Scotty T lets slip scandalous secrets from Geordie Shore, MTV’s Ex on the Beach and Celebrity Big Brother, and opens up about his antics when the cameras stop rolling.
But it’s not all sex, fights and getting mortal… Scotty also reveals a surprisingly softer side and tells his readers about living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), coping with the breakdown of his parents’ marriage and picking up the pieces after the loss of a loved one.
He also reflects on the ‘lasses’ who have tried and failed to tame his heart and introduces us to the love of his life who has been living in the shadows all this time.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Scotty explains why he loves maths so much, what it was like to join the Neighbours cast, finally admits what he really thinks about his cast mates, reveals why he was nearly kicked off the show by producers and what life has in store for him after Geordie Shore.
Irresistible reading for all Scotty T fans…
(Simon & Schuster, hardback, £16.99)