The definitive account of the rise and fall of South African Olympic and Gold Medal-winning Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, from his personal and athletic success to the murder charge that rocked the world and put both the man, and post-Apartheid South Africa, on trial.
Oscar Pistorius made history as the first amputee to compete against able-bodied runners at the 2012 London Olympics. A hero in his native South Africa, the “Blade Runner” as he is known for his futuristic prosthetic legs, became a global icon of resilience and determination.
But less than a year later, Pistorius rocked the world once again when he shot his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, through a closed bathroom door in the early hours of February14, 2013. Charged with murder, he claimed self-defense, contending that he had acted in a blind panic, imagining an intruder had broken in. But as the investigation moved to trial—during which the prosecution sought to prove that he killed her in a rage after an argument—a picture emerged of a traumatized individual fascinated with guns and assailed, behind the heroic facade, by anguish and self-doubt.
Acclaimed journalist John Carlin follows the trials of this fallen champion, detailing his fraught upbringing, his almost superhuman rise to athletic glory, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding Steenkamp’s death. At the center of Pistorius’s story is South Africa—a young democracy stained by a history of racial disparity and levels of criminal violence that are among the highest in the world.
Thoughtful and probing, Chase Your Shadow offers a piercing look at this intriguing modern tragedy, bringing to life a complex figure and the troubled land that shaped him.
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About the Author
John Carlin is an acclaimed journalist and author who was the Independent's South Africa correspondent from 1989 to 1995. He has also written for the Times, the Observer, the Sunday Times, and the New York Times, among other publications. His previous books include Knowing Mandela and Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, which is the basis for the film Invictus.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you want to hear a thinly veiled, heavily card-stacked telling of Oscar Pistorious’ version of events surrounding the death of Reeva Steenkamp, feel free to fritter your dollars on this heavily biased tome. It is clear to me that the otherwise reputable and eloquent John Carlin – well known for his writings on all things South African - essentially sold out in exchange for the highly coveted access to the klannish Pistorious family which most other authors on this subject were denied. If you want to hear what actually happened, featuring pro’s and con’s from both sides of the lectern, I would recommend the much more balanced, though at times stiflingly detailed, One Tragic Night by Mandy Wiener and Barry Batemen. Not surprisingly, they indicate in their narrative that they requested and were denied access to the Pistorious klan that Carlin was granted. Either out of family piety, financial concerns or some other reason I cannot guess at, it is obvious the Pistorious klan has circled the wagon and, by limiting access and deploying their financial leverage, are intent on spinning a narrative to not only minimize the impact of present legal proceedings, but also to lay the seeds for Oscars’ eventual release and resurgence. It is a blatant and well-funded foray and should be taken as such by readers of this book. I know none of these folks personally and have no particular stake in the outcome, other that I have learned over many years when to call a Spade a Spade, and that it raises my hackles when said Spade tries to disguise itself as a Heart, overlooking the Club and with an eye towards the Diamonds.
Offers rare insight into Oscars psyche as well as upbringing.
Kiss your hand three times repost three times
Kiss your hand three times and repost it three times