Saturday, May 28

Book Review: The Bone Cage

Title: The Bone Cage

Author: Angie Abdou

Pages: 233

Summary: Digger, an 85 kilo wrestler, and Sadie, a 26-year-old speed swimmer, stand on the verge of realizing every athlete's dream—winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Both athletes are nearing the end of their athletic careers, and are forced to confront the question: what happens to athletes when their bodies are too old and injured to compete? The blossoming relationship between Digger and Sadie is tested in the all-important months leading up to the Olympics, as intense training schedules, divided loyalties, and unpredicted obstacles take their draining toll. The Olympics, as both of them are painfully aware, will be the realization or the end of a life's dream.

The Bone Cage captures the physicality, sensuality, and euphoric highs of amateur sport, and the darker, cruel side of sport programs that wear athletes down and spit them out at the end of their bloom. With realism and humour, author Angie Abdou captures athletes on the brink of that transition—the lead-up to that looming redefinition of self—and explores how people deal with the loss of their dream.

My Rating: 6/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This may not be my favourite read of the year, and I do admit, it's not my usual genre (sports related fiction), I doubt I read more of this type of fiction, but the book did surprise me - I enjoyed it far more than I thought. The book had far more depth to the story than I would have thought, fairly good characterization, and a good story line.

I did enjoy following the two athletes on their journey to the Olympics, it showed just how much they sacrifice to meet the Olympic dream - physical, psychological and emotional. I think it's ridiculous the things they do to get to that point, but the author did a fantastic job showing the story behind those we see standing at the podium, and just how much it takes to get there. This interested me far more than I thought.

Although the characters were well done, I wasn't a big fan of them. Especially Sadie, her whole personae bothered me. I enjoyed reading about her struggles as an athlete, but as a person, I didn't like her at all. Digger was a little more enjoyable to read, as were his friends, but they weren't very memorable characters - to me they were just there to move the story along. Their story was well told, but them as characters didn't stick with me. The author did do a good job at creating them, but I couldn't connect to them.

Overall not a bad book - a story that kept me interested, in a genre I usually avoid.

Would I recommend it to read: Not my favourite book out there, but I'd still recommend the book to some readers. I do think there are a lot out there who would enjoy the book, the story, the sacrifices etc.

What to read next: The other 2011 Canada Reads books - Unless, Birth House, Essex County, The Best Laid Plans

Challenges: 11 in 11 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, New Author Challenge

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