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"The Perfect Mile" Written By Neal Bascomb

922 words - 4 pages

The world record of running a mile is 3 minutes 40 seconds, but back in the 50s, running a mile within four minutes was considered as beyond human capacity, or a mission that was impossible to accomplish. The Perfect Mile is a great classic sport book written by Neal Bascomb. The story is about three athletes training so hard to try to break the barrier of running a mile within four minutes. Neal has given every possible detail about the life and sport career of the three heroes. The plot is amazingly chronological and thorough, the characters are very realistic and the theme of sport spirit against the fate is newly presented in the book.As a sport book, the plot has to be very chronological, and Neal has done a pretty good job on it. Throughout the whole book, the plot was so carefully and cleverly organized. For example:While officials tried to get the meet running again, Bannister signed autographs, spoke to the press, and thanked the head groundsman, Walter Morris. Meanwhile, Chris Brasher, who had a talent for getting straight to the point, told the Daily Mail's Terry O'Connor what many were thinking: "Well, we did it," Brasher said. "That means Landy and Wes Stantee can never break the four-minute mile first." (Bascomb 191)This quote has shown that Neal has not only gathered up the facts, interviewed three athletes in their home, in United States, in England, and in Australia, but put the facts into vivid language. Also as Tim Layden of Sport Illustrated states:Neal Bascomb has written a book with a breathtaking sense of time and place. Through his rich prose, a reader can feel the wind die before the record-breaking race begins, see a rainbow form in the sky, and hear the lyrical and dramatic announcement of the first sub-four-minute mile. (Layden)Not only the place and time was very well presented, the characters in the book were also as true as realistic.Roger Bannister, John Landy and Wee Santee are the three main characters in the book. Neal has described them individually with an astonishing verisimilitude. For example, every single movement and thought of the main character in a race was recorded with incredible details:In the second lap Landy turned on the heat, his cut foot forgotten. For the first quarter he had held back, conserving his strength. But now he meant to stretch his lead yard by yard until he broke Bannister. As he rounded out of the turn the gap lengthened. He didn't want to see Bannister's shadow or hear his breath for the rest of the race. If Bannister was near him in the last lap, Landy knew he would have trouble holding off the English miler's kick. (Bascomb 248)Neal has also given very through...

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