A rugby player finds fame and fortune in a bleak mining town, but he cannot outrun the emptiness he feels inside in Man Booker Prize–winning author David Storey’s seminal first novel
On Christmas Eve, Arthur breaks his two front teeth. A teammate on the rugby pitch is too slow with a handoff, and instead of catching the ball, Art catches an opponent’s foot right in the mouth. When he regains consciousness, the match is almost over, but he keeps playing regardless. Where else would he go? His entire life, Art has only cared about sports and nothing grabs his attention quite like the lightning-fast violence of Rugby League. He knows it could kill him, but it also makes him feel alive.
In this hard-bitten Yorkshire mining town, the warriors of the rugby pitch are treated like gods. Through the aggressive sport, Art finds money, friends, and countless women. But when his lust for violence begins to fade, will he have the courage to leave the game behind?