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The destiny of a young sportsman encouraged to always move forward

The destiny of a young sportsman encouraged to always move forward

Christian Dorson, novelist, blogger and contributor of the group reading 20 minutes Booksrecommend you The back heart by Arnaud Dudek, published on August 24, 2022 by Éditions Les Avrils.

His favorite quote:

He discovers those minutes that freeze or repeat themselves while time is no more, captured by the spells of a painful effort that resembles an ecstasy. It’s wonderful to run, it’s wonderful to jump because it’s unthinkable. And he already guesses it, that’s it and nothing else, it will be his whole life.

Why this book?

  • Because two years before the Paris Olympics, it is interesting to understand the course of a champion and to integrate his motivations. So much suffering to sometimes fail at the foot of the podium or be in the spotlight, success goes through a life of self-sacrifice
  • Because Victor’s itinerary from the pen of Arnaud Dudek is not only a physical training where the athlete must constantly surpass himself; the itinerary of this endearing character is also that of a child raised by a worker father and an absent mother, who wishes to offer himself a brighter future than his present. This is the story of an ambition made of passion.
  • Because of the associative trainer discovering talent to the sadistic coach who blows hot and cold on young people sensitive to emotions, the author offers us not always flattering portraits of the sporting world, because behind the medals, there are broken lives, extraordinary destinies like shortened careers. The body is a workable, malleable, fragile tool.
  • Because there is finally, in this kid that we follow until he was 21, a universal personal quest: that of living a dream, which can only please readers of all ages, with a style that is both restrained and poetic, a universe full of beautiful promises and expectations.

The essentials in 2 minutes

The plot. Victor lives alone with his father in a soulless city. One day he discovers athletics, the long jump, the triple jump. Since then, he has only one idea: to become the best.

Characters. Victor promised to the elite of the triple jump, his father who raises him, an intermittent mother, the coaches: Dubus the discoverer, Cousu the demanding and Forgeron the sadist; athletes of his age, Maël the friend and Calypso his lover.

Places. A soulless city, the institute, Lille, La Team Eleven, training tracks and competition stadiums.

The time. Current, covering Victor’s adolescence until he was 21.

The author. Arnaud Dudek is the author of a dozen novels including to stay wise, approached to obtain the Goncourt high school student in 2012. Its themes are family relationships and resilience.

This book was read with the desire to discover what is hidden behind a medal and to understand the pleasure one feels in surpassing oneself for a moment of light. All these answers are in this novel of a beautiful quality of style and great sensitivity. A book to offer to sports fans and teenagers who dream of glory.

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