Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Story by Tom Daley

My Story by Tom Daley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tears, tears, tears!

I loved this book. Living in Canada I knew nothing about Tom Daley until he came out. From there I watched Splash! and his Olympic performance and was captivated by his looks and charm.

I picked up this book to learn more about him, I had heard his father passed away but didn't know any of the back story. The book is very well written, full of pictures which were great, except once when his father is passing away in the story and there's a big shirtless glamour shot on the page. But once is okay.

I felt I really got a sense of who Tom the person is. One would expect an autobiography of an 18 year-old to be more flighty and self-serving but through his tremendous dedication to sport Tom has gained insight into the world.

As I was reading I considered the position he was in writing this book. For example, when his diving partner bad mouths him in the press, Tom can't write in the book that he hated him and he'd never liked him anyway and he smelled bad. It all has to be controlled, he can't be seen to be lashing out. Not that I thought he felt that way, but in his early teens people can get moody. So it was a challenge writing a story of a short life and making it interesting and not stepping on anyone's toes. Not an enviable assignment but Daley pulls if off well.

I finished the book on an airplane and I would recommend not reading the end in public. I cried and cried, more than I've cried in a long time, perhaps more than I've ever cried for a book. I like though that the book ends on an uplifting note and that some hope for the future can be found in tragedy.

I have never watched the Olympics, I have read only one book on sports, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game and it was great to learn about a whole new world. I enjoyed reading this and would always hurry to pick it back up.

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