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- CANADA READS 2011 SELECTION, CHOSEN BY NHL PLAYER GEORGES LARAQUE
Digger, an 85 kilo wrestler, and Sadie, a 26-year-old speed swimmer, stand on the verge of realizing every athlete’s dream—winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Both athletes are nearing the end of their careers, and are forced to confront the question: what happens to athletes when their bodies are too worn to compete? The blossoming relationship between Digger and Sadie is tested in the intense months leading up to the Olympics, as demanding training schedules, divided loyalties, and unpredicted obstacles take their draining toll. The Olympics, as both of them are painfully aware, will be the realization or the end of a life’s dream.
"The Bone Cage extends past sport, exploring the tentative relationship between people and their bodies. Are we simply prisoners of our own "bone cage," predestined by our body, or can we overcome the limits of our body? Do we even want to overcome our body, or is it simply inseparable from ourselves? The Bone Cage's questioning of an inherent self-body dichotomy reaches out universally, involving not only sport, but also illness and death. Ultimately, because Abdou does not offer concrete answers for these questions, she shows that though the specific relationship between body and self is individualized, our struggle to reconcile them is universal."
"A compelling debut novel....The Bone Cage will appeal to a wide audience, offering keen insight into the physical and psychological challenges faced by Olympic level athletes."
"Through Sadie and Digger, Abdou captures the heroic quests of these hopeful Olympians in all their gritty pain and glory. Sequences describing Digger's wrestling matches and Sadie's grueling sets of lengths are vivid, intense, and authentic. . . .The Bone Cage is well paced and readable, memorable for its fresh perspective on the lives of athletes and the obstacles they must overcome."
"Angie Abdou's debut novel, The Bone Cage, finds its heart.. daring to question what happens to athletes who put everything else on hold for a chance at the Olympics. [....] What lurks in the shadows of elite athletics is what makes Abdou's follow up to Anything Boys Can Do, a book of short stories, so compelling."
"Beautifully rendered....The Bone Cage is a timely offering for Canadian fans of competitive sport, especially in light of the upcoming 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver."
"Abdou writes in The Bone Cage with the same insight and gift for character development that she displayed in her short story collection, Anything Boys Can Do. And only someone who's been in the pool at 6 a.m. could have written
such graphic descriptions of training."
"Abdou deftly infuses the actions of her athletes with palpable energy"
"Abdou eschews the standard sports story cliché of underdog-triumphs-in-the-end, and instead explores what goes into the making of an elite athlete."
"Neither a classic sports novel, nor a simple coming-of-age story, The Bone Cage offers a unique spin on both beloved genres."