is a story that could as easily be a novel, but it is the true story
of athlete Neville Scott. Above all, it tells of the human spirit,
of great ambition in conflict with weakness: a modern Greek tragedy
with a redeeming twist.
is a New Zealand story of a boy who
suffersa traumatic childhood but finds he has exceptional running ability,
of a youth who drinks to calm his nerves and feel “normal”,
of a young man for whom bravado and exaggeration bring success as a
party animal and womaniser.
Olympic and Empire Games pass in a blur, and by 26 he is an alcoholic.
The road back is fraught. His great goal becomes, again, the Olympic
Games, but it is in a saki bar in Tokyo that the most dramatic moment
of Scottie’s turbulent life plays out.
In Scottie, a strata of New Zealand life in the 1960s is brought sharply
to life by author Norman Harris, who had a privileged inside view of
a famous era and was close to its flawed hero.