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The genre of serious fiction has been, if not inhospitable to sports, at least not the fount of countless, quality novels about athletes amateur or professional.
Baseball, the national pastime, has produced three notable works all made into films: The Natural by Bernard Malmud, Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris, and Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (movie Field of Dreams).
Gridiron football offers the novel and motion picture North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent.
And, boxing's classic The Harder They Fall by Budd Schulberg.
Rugby also shows a fiction shortfall with but two prominent British novels, the 1857 penned Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes, and This Sporting Life by David Storey, a gritty narrative about north of England rugby league made into a memorable film with Richard Harris.
Recently, author Cd Brennan (aka Corinne DeMaagd) has written an American-based rugby novel entitled In Touch, the realistic story of Padraig O’Neale, a top class Irish rugger addicted to oxycodone who leaves Ireland and country team to play for a D-I club side in Michigan, the Traverse Bay Blues RFC.
Traverse Bay employs Gillian Sommersby, a physical therapist, whose challenge is to wean Padraig off his pain killer dependency. Their conflict interaction and ongoing romance, parallel the authentic descriptions of rugby training and game day action. Both the love story and the rugby are superbly depicted, the prose writing vivid and imaginative. (Note: Adult situations and adult language.)
In Touch can be purchased online. Here’s the link:
In Touch marks the second, excellent book about rugby in the past three-years. In 2012, the non-fiction Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man by Jay Atkinson (formerly, Los Angeles Vandals RFC) appeared to favorable reviews. He has also received kudos for his just released Massacre on The Merrimack, a true chronicle of a 17th century New England woman abducted by Native Americans.
Rugby and romance meld perfectly together in Cd Brennan’s new novel, an exciting read for rugby aficionados and also readers interested in quality storytelling.