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Billy Fiske was an infamous daredevil, blessed with a natural talent for driving. He would later become the first American airman to die in the war - flying for the RAF. Clifford Gray was a notorious playboy and a player on both Broadway and Hollywood. Or was he? His identity was a mystery for decades. Jay O'Brien was a gambler and a rogue who, according to one ex-wife, forced women to marry him at gunpoint. And Eddie Eagan, a heavyweight boxer and brilliant lawyer, remains the only man to win gold at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
|Publication date:||14th January 2016|
'A tale of exceptional sporting bravery... genuinely thrilling. A gripping yarn.' Observer
'A wonderful story, told in marvellous style.' Literary Review
'A rich slice of history about courage and nobility... irresistible personalities. Unlike so many of his peers Fiske saw Nazism early for what it was. He became the first American to join the RAF, flying in the Battle of Britain. This is what makes him worthy of Bull's affectionate attention. It's also what gives the book its cohesion and its last act, which is far more moving than you have a right to expect given all the fun that precedes it. Fiske stays with you. He's the superhero you wish you'd been.' The Times
'If there's any justice, the winner of the 2015 William Hill Sports Book of the Year will be Andy Bull's Speed Kings which tells the story of the four larger-than-life characters who won bobsleigh Olympic gold at Lake Placid in 1932. The enormous research needed to bring to life the quartet has been a remarkable feat.' -- Charles Sale Daily Mail
'A marvellous study of the heroes of between-the-wars Olympic bobsleigh. By the time we meet Baron Walther von Mumm, we are two-thirds of the way through Andy Bull's account, and more or less convinced that we are being guided through the backstory to the famous party scene in The Great Gatsby. Hollywood stars, politicians, royalty, gangsters and other denizens of the demi-monde - hedonists and hucksters, harlots and heroes - flicker through a well-paced narrative... Such is the diligence of his research and his sensitivity to the story in all its many dimensions that few could feel that he has not done justice to their world.' The Guardian
Andy Bull is the Senior Sportswriter for the Guardian. This is his first book.More About Andy Bull