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Punk in the Gym
Andy Pollitt's Biography
||Punk in the Gym
|| (3.00 of 5)
|Punk in the Gym starts with a look at Andy's early life and how he got
started climbing. After comprehensively covering his earlier climbing exploits in the
UK and Europe, things towards the end move to Australia - and more familiar crag
names with a far more sensible ratio of consonants to vowels. Finally, there's an
entire chapter dedicated to Punks in the Gym and the infamous birdbath.
Andy's book is a warts and all look at the grungy life of a pro climber in the 80s and
90s. Drinking, smoking, carousing and a little climbing thrown in here and there.
Andy's writing heavily utilises a Tarantinoesque non-linear style - if that's not your
thing don't despair, there's plenty of notes and letters from other people who knew
Andy back in the day giving their perspective on the scene, breaking things up and
adding some additional colours to the literary palette. If the descriptions aren't vivid
enough for you, there's a multitude of full colour photos to help your imagination
along - lots of loud tights, big walls and even bigger hair. The pictures are even better
when you find the captions at the back of the book.
Before I read Punk in the Gym, I didn't know very much about Andy Pollitt.
I'd seem him around a few times and heard a few two line stories about Around the
World and Punks in the Gym, but that was about it. His book has filled in a lot of
the blanks for me and had some interesting insights into the workings of his mind. I
think the book would be far more interesting to people more familiar with all the
crags covered - particularly in the UK - as the chapters covering the Grampians and
Arapiles were some of my favourites in the book. It's worth saying twice, the
pictures are fantastic.
3 stars, 4 if you know the UK crags.
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