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Thread: Book Review - Edge of Glory

  1. #1
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Book Review - Edge of Glory

    Boy was that an easy / fast read! I liked it better than Inside Edge.

    It was fun to read this book especially with the Olympics coming up next season. It just "gets me in the mood" for all the pre-Oly hype and speculation. And of course is a great reminder (like we need one!!) that ANYTHING can happen.

    Of course the Tara / Michelle outcome is what has mainly stayed in my brain since 1998, but it was great to be reminded of Moskvina's top pairs. I'm just amazed by a coach who can coach two medal contenders and put them on the ice without anyone killing anyone. Not sure that would be possible for a coach and two top elite contenders in the US. I'm just really impressed by all involved.

    Of course the Lipinski family saga added drama. What I found more interesting was the way Michelle was working in those days with Frank and Lori in what sounds like such a close knit fashion - making sure the music and choreography were just so. I wish I had MK's programs from '98 Nationals on tape. (maybe I'll go hunting on the net!) I know I saw it on TV, but it seems like that was forever ago.

    I also enjoyed re-visiting Weiss's "coming of age" years. What ever happend to Scott Davis? Is he still involved with figure skating?

    Anyway, just wanted to share some thoughts in case anyone else has read this (or is thinking about reading it) and would care to comment.

    Anyone have an opinion about how factual this book is on all the personal fronts that are discussed and quoted?

    DG

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggygirl
    I also enjoyed re-visiting Weiss's "coming of age" years. What ever happend to Scott Davis? Is he still involved with figure skating?
    Davis married a Canadian skater and is currently coaching in Alberta (he works with Amanda Billings who placed 11th at 2005 Junior Worlds for Canada). He also has trained to be one of the technical specialists for the U.S. in the New Judging System.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggygirl
    .Anyone have an opinion about how factual this book is on all the personal fronts that are discussed and quoted?
    Yes, indeed people do! Tara fans think that Christine Brennan totally trashed their gal and her family, especially Tara's mom. Brennan had to defend the accuracy of her quotes, saying that everything she reported from the Tara camp was rendered faithfully and without bias.

    I have my own pet theory about this book. Yes, it is much better than her first book, Inside Edge. Inside Edge, in my opinion, was kind of a standard, let's expose the seemy underbelly of this fluffy and bespangled sport, sort of thing. But (this is my own imagination at work here, LOL), in the course of writing it the author fell in love with the sport and especially with Michelle Kwan and her family. So she wrote Edge of Glory as a paeon to the Kween. Danny Kwan is especially held up for praise, with Brennan asserting that the USFSA would routinely send skating parents to study Mr. Kwan and try to be more like him.

    Alas for the Great American Figure Skating Epic, Michelle didn't win in Nagano. I don't think Brennan ever forgave Michelle for spoiling the grand climax that she had planned for her book!

    Anyway, this is my favorite skating book -- like you say, the pages just fly by, especially if you are a Michelle fan.

    Mathman

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    Interesting take on it Mathman!!

    Maybe since I'm not personally biased in a big way about the Kween, I didn't really read that between the lines. Yes, going into Nagano Michelle had more momentum to her credit (and more wins, etc.) than Tara. But in terms of Christine's depictions of the relevant competitions (where Tara prevailed, and where MK prevailed) I didn't personally see much that appeared unbalanced about it. I didn't get a "wuzrobbed" feeling based on the way she described the final round at the Oly's. I think the advantages Tara had in the draw were very real.

    I also don't get very worked up about the depictions of the skating parents. Maybe that's because I grew up as a child athlete, and there are a number of characteristics described about the Kwans as well as the Lipinskis that for better or worse, I could easily relate to. I think there were both similarities and differences in how each family did things. I can see where people who maybe have never had a similar experience might be "horrified" at the descriptions of things that Pat did. While I would agree she crossed lines at times (well, maybe many times), I guess I can understand where she was coming from in her best and worst moments.

    To the degree that the writing was credible, I'd love to read something about the "inner workings" prior to Salt Lake - especially inside scoop about MK's decision to drop Frank, etc. I would love to hear more about Sarah's experience in a comparative sort of way - i.e. in Edge of Glory the descriptions about Tara "experiencing" the WHOLE Olympic thing v. MK's decision to stay further away from all that.

    As a side note - just knowing how my own mother was "living through me" in a not so good way somtimes through my own experience, I can't even imagine how the separation from her daughter during the Olympics must have felt to Pat Lipinski. Ouch. But it worked out well for Tara in the end. I hope that both Pat and Tara can look back on the journey and recognize what valuable things they learned that they both benefit from today.

    And for MK? She will always be a skater for the ages no matter what her future holds. If she plans to compete in Turin, I hope she (and the other top contenders) accept the COC invite. I think it would be a great warm up for the games.

    GREAT pre-Olympic off season read!!

    DG

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Didn't Brennan write that Tara skated with a sugar rush in her LP or something to that affect?

    btw, I met her in Moscow. She's extremely tall!!

    Joe

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    I read this book a few years ago. I agree with you that it's a quick and easy read, not overly controversial, and it's an entertaining read for those of us who are avid figure skating fans.

    IMHO, Christine Brennan presented a pretty accurate picture of the 1997/1998 competitive season, and I do not think she "trashed" Tara, her parents, or anybody else, for that matter. I agree with her analysis that one of the key reasons why Michelle Kwan came away from Nagano even more loved by her fans than before the Olympics was the fact that she "lost" - she won "only" the silver medal, yet she accepted her defeat with grace, good humor, and a strong willingness to get back work to try again in 2002. She embodied the Olympic spirit to try to do the best you can do, accept the result graciously, and get on with your life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Didn't Brennan write that Tara skated with a sugar rush in her LP or something to that affect?

    btw, I met her in Moscow. She's extremely tall!!

    Joe
    Not that I recall. The focus regarding Tara at the Oly's was more about her approach to the whole Olympic experience - i.e. living in the Oly Village, interacting with the other athletes, participating in the ceremonies, etc. and having a blast doing all of that.

    How tall is Christine? I'm 5'9" and I suspect at nationals next year I'll feel like the Jolly Green Giant if I get too close to any actual skaters.

    Skatefan, ITA with your assessment!

    DG

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    According to this article, Christine Brennan is 6 feet tall.

    http://www.womenssportsfoundation.or...html?record=20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    According to this article, Christine Brennan is 6 feet tall.

    http://www.womenssportsfoundation.or...html?record=20
    That makes more sense. Having stood beside her, I was really tilting my head back to converse with her in Moscow at the Hotel, and she is quite attractive. A long stemmed rose?

    Joe

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