Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Review: Paul McMullen's Amazing Pace

Just finished reading Amazing pace : the story of Olympic champion Michael Phelps from Sydney to Athens to Beijing, by Paul McMullen (Emmaus, Pa. : Rodale, c2006).  It's a good read, pretty thorough overview of a time period in Michael Phelps' life, with just a never-ending listing of races, racers, meets, world records, etc. For someone like me that doesn't really know the history of swimming, it was almost too much, probably not the best first book on the subject. The other negative is that McMullen recounts all this history in a very detached, deadpan way, with emotional and charged moments presented no differently than a reounting of a typical brunch between practices. I wouldn't recommend this as a first read to learn about swimming and Michael Phelps, but it is definitely recommended as an exhaustively researched book that goes into the minutiae of this particular athletee, sport, and time period.


  1. Have you read W. Hodding Carter's book, "Off The Deep End?" Of course he doesn't have any Olympic gold medals, but it's a charming look into the world of swimming.

    -Tracy B

  2. Tracy, I did read Carter's book and enjoyed it a lot, more so than this book. He's a great writer! Quite the project he set for himself and the training he did for it was completely unlike what I would have expected. Any other books like Carter's you'd suggest?


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