The Dying of the Light

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ISBN 9780571269204 Format Paperback
9780571269204
Paperback
Published 15/04/2010 Length 190 pages
190

About Book

Len Rawlings was the greatest goal-keeper of his time, but that was long ago. In The Dying of the Light we see a great footballer in sad decline living in wretched obscurity in a Croydon semi-detached. Rejected by his son, he still lives with his wife. Although loyal, she is bewildered and ineffectual. It falls to his school-teacher daughter, Jenny, to be his support. Defying him in childhood, she now feels his plight seeing him as a man who has been cruelly exploited, encouraged to 'live his life backwards', a man off whose heroics other people once fed their fantasies, and who has been cast aside now he can longer fulfil them. It is Jenny too who cannot bear to see him slipping ignominiously into disgrace, misery and ultimately death, she who wants him to make one final clarion protest against 'the dying of the light'.

Though father and daughter they could scarcely be more dissimilar, and their joint narration of the story gives it a strange polarity, an unusual tension. For Jenny, professional football is something trivial, peripheral and adolescent. For Len, it is quite simply his life.

Len Rawlings was the greatest goal-keeper of his time, but that was long ago. In The Dying of the Light we see a great footballer in sad decline living in wretched obscurity in a Croydon semi-detached. Rejected by his son, he still lives with his wife. Although loyal, she is bewildered and ineffectual. It falls to his school-teacher daughter, Jenny, to be his support. Defying him in childhood, she now feels his plight seeing him as a man who has been cruelly exploited, encouraged to 'live his life backwards', a man off whose heroics other people once fed their fantasies, and who has been cast aside now he can longer fulfil them. It is Jenny too who cannot bear to see him slipping ignominiously into disgrace, misery and ultimately death, she who wants him to make one final clarion protest against 'the dying of the light'.Though father and daughter they could scarcely be more dissimilar, and their joint narration of the story gives it a strange polarity, an unusual tension. For Jenny, professional football is something trivial, peripheral and adolescent. For Len, it is quite simply his life.
  • About Brian Glanville

    Brian Glanville, novelist and journalist, is one of the best writers on football. He spent nearly thirty years as a football correspondent for the Sunday Times to which he is still a contributor. He has also written for The People as well as contributing obituaries of prominent players to The Guardian.

    Simon Barnes has said of him, 'Football has been better served than most sports with grown-up fiction, all of it from Brian Glanville, who has written some beautiful short stories and the classic Sixties period piece, The Rise of Gerry Logan.'

    And A. J. Ayer, 'Brian Glanville himself is a literary exception ... he is the best football journalist of recent times and the best writer of football fiction.'

    Faber Finds have reissued three of his novels - his two on football, The Rise of Gerry Logan and The Dying of the Light as well as The Olympian.

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