Hot Best Seller

Godspeed: A Memoir PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

Godspeed: A Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

File Name: Godspeed: A Memoir .pdf

How it works:

1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.

2. Download as many books as you like (Personal use)

3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.


Godspeed: A Memoir PDF, ePub eBook Longlisted for the 2019 PEN/ESPN Literary Sports Writing Award “Raw and poetic…lean and ferocious.” —The New York Times “I swim for every chance to get wasted—after every meet, every weekend, every travel trip. This is what I look forward to and what I tell no one: the burn of it down my throat, to my soul curled up in my lungs, the sharpest pain all over it—it seizes and st Longlisted for the 2019 PEN/ESPN Literary Sports Writing Award “Raw and poetic…lean and ferocious.” —The New York Times “I swim for every chance to get wasted—after every meet, every weekend, every travel trip. This is what I look forward to and what I tell no one: the burn of it down my throat, to my soul curled up in my lungs, the sharpest pain all over it—it seizes and stretches, becoming alive again, and is the only thing that makes sense.” At fifteen, Casey Legler is already one of the fastest swimmers in the world. She is also an alcoholic, isolated from her family, and incapable of forming lasting connections with those around her. Driven to compete at the highest levels, sent far away from home to train with the best coaches and teams, she finds herself increasingly alone and alienated, living a life of cheap hotels and chlorine-worn skin, anonymous sexual encounters and escalating drug use. Even at what should be a moment of triumph—competing at age sixteen in the 1996 Olympics—she is an outsider looking in, procuring drugs for Olympians she hardly knows, and losing her race after setting a new world record in the qualifying heats. After submitting to years of numbing training in France and the United States, Casey can see no way out of the sinister loneliness that has swelled and festered inside her. Yet wondrously, when it is almost too late, she discovers a small light within herself, and senses a point of calm within the whirlwind of her life. In searing, evocative, visceral prose, Casey gives language to loneliness in this startling story of survival, defiance, and of the embers that still burn when everything else in us goes dark.

30 review for Godspeed: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Doyle

    This is an astonishing book. It's a memoir like On the Road is a memoir. Or Close to the Knives. Which is to say this is LITERATURE. Legler breaks sentences wide open — it's intensely poetic. Closest thing to it, in terms of sports literature, is "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" — but where that work is claustrophobic, this work is psychedelic and intensely sensual. It's much much more than an athlete's memoir  — it is a document of an experience with the world, with being a body in This is an astonishing book. It's a memoir like On the Road is a memoir. Or Close to the Knives. Which is to say this is LITERATURE. Legler breaks sentences wide open — it's intensely poetic. Closest thing to it, in terms of sports literature, is "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" — but where that work is claustrophobic, this work is psychedelic and intensely sensual. It's much much more than an athlete's memoir  — it is a document of an experience with the world, with being a body in motion, a being desiring body, with liminal states.

  2. 4 out of 5

    TiSh

    Not at all what I was expecting. Tireless and heartbreaking. Style and tone are vastly different from how Casey comes across in interviews.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I always have a hard time giving a negative review to a memoir - I know how incredibly brave it is to share one's story. I greatly appreciated Legler's honesty and willingness to share painful memories that don't always present her in the best light. However, this book was extremely difficult to get through (despite it being short in length). Legler's writing is hard to follow and doesn't always have appropriate punctuation to help guide the reader. I felt like I was stumbling over sentences and I always have a hard time giving a negative review to a memoir - I know how incredibly brave it is to share one's story. I greatly appreciated Legler's honesty and willingness to share painful memories that don't always present her in the best light. However, this book was extremely difficult to get through (despite it being short in length). Legler's writing is hard to follow and doesn't always have appropriate punctuation to help guide the reader. I felt like I was stumbling over sentences and trying to grasp her meaning throughout every page. Legler does have a unique perspective: living in France and the US, struggling with what would later be diagnosed as Asperger's, becoming an Olympic athlete. The bummer is that she spends very little time talking about any of these things - the book is mainly a muddled account of her drug and alcohol abuse and hookups with a different person on nearly every page. There's certainly no judgment here - I would have just loved to learn more about how her experiences shaped her instead of just getting details of the events and an abrupt ending while she's still in the midst of her addiction. I was even more disappointed when I read the author's note; it seems the most captivating parts of her life were not described at all (competing in the Olympics, being one of the first women to model men's clothing, graduating from college despite her rocky early adulthood, etc.). This memoir was such a mess, which is a shame since Legler has led such a fascinating life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessie (thatchickwithabook)

    I have conflicting feelings about this memoir. A lot of the times depicted in this book, the author was either drunk, high, or both. And seems to have perfect recollection of everything, including really tiny details. It’s set in her mid/late teens going into her very early twenties, and now in her forties, had written this almost like it was her glory years. Obviously this is only my personal opinion. But it struck me wrong. Also, it came across as very much like that outcast who just thinks the I have conflicting feelings about this memoir. A lot of the times depicted in this book, the author was either drunk, high, or both. And seems to have perfect recollection of everything, including really tiny details. It’s set in her mid/late teens going into her very early twenties, and now in her forties, had written this almost like it was her glory years. Obviously this is only my personal opinion. But it struck me wrong. Also, it came across as very much like that outcast who just thinks they’re so much cooler and exciting than all the other kids who follow trends and dye their hair and blah blah blah. Considering it definitely plays out as an extremely difficult part of her life, I just couldn’t wrap my head around that viewpoint (though it’s never explicitly stated. Plus, I watched some interviews with the author and the way she writes compared to the way she speaks is vastly different. The book is very artsy. Overall not the worst memoir I’ve read regardless of this review but unfortunately this one was all a bit too confusing for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scribe Publications

    Reading Godspeed is an experience as invigorating, beautiful and punishing as standing under a waterfall. Legler is an unflinching chronicler of light and darkness, loneliness and embodiment, and the deep enchantments of sensation. Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk Godspeed is a memoir for our times — an urgent, hypnotizing account of growing up and growing into ones skin under extreme circumstances. As brutal and original a telling as I can remember — of loneliness, of coping until the cen Reading Godspeed is an experience as invigorating, beautiful and punishing as standing under a waterfall. Legler is an unflinching chronicler of light and darkness, loneliness and embodiment, and the deep enchantments of sensation. Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk Godspeed is a memoir for our times — an urgent, hypnotizing account of growing up and growing into ones skin under extreme circumstances. As brutal and original a telling as I can remember — of loneliness, of coping until the centre cannot hold. There is darkness here but in Casey Legler’s deft hands it serves the light. A cut-to-the-bone blues song in chapter form, these pages are touched, as she is, with lightning. Michael Stipe Exceptionally talented, reckless, separated from a true sense of herself, Legler could so easily have not survived her early life. The tension here is in how close she comes — by choice, or by default, in settings both elegant and ruined — and is still able to restore herself, her soul, and renew language itself to tell of it. Many of us would be well served by reading the last sentence of this memoir every day. Amy Hempel A coming-of-age drama captured through poetic prose and convincing honesty. Kirkus This is a heart-wrenching, coming-of-age memoir by a talented athlete who is street-smart, lonely, and painfully broken … A poetically written account by a resilient rebel who skillfully captures what it is like to feel the world through her skin. Brenda Barrera, Booklist [A memoir] with so much power and transparency. Julia Vitale, Vanity Fair [T]he book does offer a bold and innovative glimpse into a fascinating mind and the surreal life of a prodigy athlete … Legler is a writer of obvious talent. There are images and turns of phrase that are truly lovely, and that remind us of her keen observational powers … Legler’s story and poetics can be powerful. Emma Rault, Lambda Literary Raw and poetic … The book is lean and ferocious — not unlike Ms. Legler’s attributes as a competitive swimmer — and offers an unflinching account of the “dogged devotion to routine and repetition” required of Olympians. Alex Hawgood, The New York Times A tale of an unusual and distressing girlhood marred by drug addiction, self-loathing, sexual abuse, rebellion, and intense loneliness amid sporting success. It is short and unorthodoxly prose-like, and it punches hard and dark. Rachel Olding, Sydney Morning Herald [A]n intense memoir ... Legler succinctly captures her descent into alcohol and drug addiction ... The raw effect of the prose lingers ... This is a raw story of teenage addiction, and it’s beautifully told. Publishers Weekly

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    I wanted to read this book from the moment it was announced and I am not disappointed. That was definitely the best birthday gift from me for me I have ever made. The language and the style was deeply moving, very picturesque, sad, cloudy and poem-like at many parts. There were also lines where it was more informal which has made the text more realistic. I have never even learnt how to swim in my life and it was never a goal for me. I used to be scared of going into the water, of chlorine and st I wanted to read this book from the moment it was announced and I am not disappointed. That was definitely the best birthday gift from me for me I have ever made. The language and the style was deeply moving, very picturesque, sad, cloudy and poem-like at many parts. There were also lines where it was more informal which has made the text more realistic. I have never even learnt how to swim in my life and it was never a goal for me. I used to be scared of going into the water, of chlorine and straightening my hands under the water without touching the ground when I was a kid. Nevertheless, the story felt closer to me than I expected. Even though this book made me see the author in a different way I am still certain that Casey Legler is one of my most important inspirations and that I am glad I wrote a part about her in my bachelor thesis. I am waiting for the continuation.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Mcmillan

    I found it hard to find anything to latch onto in this book, which reads like a series of breathless vignettes. The swimmer who doesn’t want to swim. The drug dealer. The rebellious teen. The promiscuous woman. Rape. Depression. Suicide attempts. Rehab. It’s all there but it washes over you like the endless laps the author swims in the pool in long trailing sentence that hint at meaning that’s never quite uncovered. Novel as metaphor for the swirling waters of addiction, trauma and depression.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    What did I just read? Why is it over? What? Have I told you lately that I wish I was tall enough to be a menswear model? Taller than the moon, and fluently French-speaking.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marykay Pogar

    I tried to like it, but I had no idea what she was trying to say for half the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    MGF

    An interesting book written in an unique pacing and style. I enjoyed it, but I feel like it was kind of a slap-dash effort that covered a lot of ground but still seemed to only scratch the surface. I was also hoping for a bit more on competitive swimming and the Olympics - esp since that is likely a key reason many people picked this book up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Raw, visceral, disturbing. Not an easy read, but a powerful one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    I devoured this book and look forward to reading it again. It is both a heart breaking and uplifting memoir. Knowing and accepting yourself is difficult. No matter who you are. I am thankful that Casey shared her story and I hope she shares more in the future. Thank you, Casey Legler.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Avery Sandborn

    Won this book from a giveaway with Atria. Started reading it because I thought it’d be a short read between book club books (160 pages). Ended up taking ten days to read... All over the place. Feel like I just read a 160 page poem about nothing I can relate to.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mistiqueblue

    This book was disappointing for me. I enjoyed its poetic nature, very visual, with an emphasis on noticing supremely fine details within a moment. Those moments were vulnerable, quiet, intimate and relatable. To me though, the book lacked sequence or structure or much of a story line, and the writing could have had more impact with more utilization of grammar - too many sentences which just went on and on with no commas, and short sentences which didn’t make sense. Characters came and went, it w This book was disappointing for me. I enjoyed its poetic nature, very visual, with an emphasis on noticing supremely fine details within a moment. Those moments were vulnerable, quiet, intimate and relatable. To me though, the book lacked sequence or structure or much of a story line, and the writing could have had more impact with more utilization of grammar - too many sentences which just went on and on with no commas, and short sentences which didn’t make sense. Characters came and went, it was hard to keep up with who was who, or where or what she was talking about most of the time, or the relevance. The book ended abruptly and left me feeling like I hadn’t taken much from it, I wasn’t sure what the author intended for readers to take from it. It kind of felt like it serves as an emotional purge for the author, and that’s all. It was honest and real and gritty, and delved into the dark places of the mind to talk about things which I feel we don’t talk about enough. The dark reality and tone of the book was often overwhelming, and offered the reader little hope. I just feel it could have been really powerful, but just fell short.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This was just a brutal autobiography. Godspeed tracks Legler's youth from a swimming prodigy to Olympian to addict, and the prose style follows her mental status: as an awkward teenager with undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome who begins to make questionable choices in order to feel "normal," the prose is also awkward and confusing; as she begins to spiral into depression and nihilism where even her Olympic experience feels meaningless, the writing nonchalant; as a college student who descends into This was just a brutal autobiography. Godspeed tracks Legler's youth from a swimming prodigy to Olympian to addict, and the prose style follows her mental status: as an awkward teenager with undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome who begins to make questionable choices in order to feel "normal," the prose is also awkward and confusing; as she begins to spiral into depression and nihilism where even her Olympic experience feels meaningless, the writing nonchalant; as a college student who descends into horrifying addiction and madness, the story is chaotic and nearly incomprehensible at times. Throughout it all, Legler writes with a profound detachment, as if she is only watching all of these things happen and not actually experiencing or participating - and this does make it a little difficult as a reader to feel engaged with the story. Regardless, Legler definitely has a way with words.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is a slim book, but it took me a bit to complete. This one wasn't quite my style, but I stuck with it and it paid off. In her fragmented style, Legler conveys her experience as a lonely teen addict (and world class swimmer - talk about juxtaposition) in a way that feels honest to the experience itself. Ultimately, I am glad I stayed with this book. Legler learned after she wrote the book that she is on the autism spectrum and, in retrospect, this book also serves a peep into how some people This is a slim book, but it took me a bit to complete. This one wasn't quite my style, but I stuck with it and it paid off. In her fragmented style, Legler conveys her experience as a lonely teen addict (and world class swimmer - talk about juxtaposition) in a way that feels honest to the experience itself. Ultimately, I am glad I stayed with this book. Legler learned after she wrote the book that she is on the autism spectrum and, in retrospect, this book also serves a peep into how some people on the spectrum may experience the world around them. When reading, pay attention to the sensory emphasis in her descriptions of events and emotions.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J

    This was a hard book to read based on the fact that the period of time the author wrote about she was mainly drunk, high, or suffering from Aspberger's. The book was often written with paragraph after paragraph of run on sentences that were "stream of consciousness" (or near unconsciousness) that I simply could not grasp. Sad story, which will probably make me look at all Olympics swimmers & other Olympic athletes in a different light.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Interesting read. It's hard to imagine one person doing so much in 9 years. This spans the time from when Casey was 12 until she's 21. She practices and swims internationally and finally in the Atlanta Olympics all while abusing drugs and alcolho. How she made it to where she is now is anyone's guess.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Littrell

    Optimistic because this one came to my TBR stack via Belletrist. A jumbled, whingeing mess that couldn’t end fast enough. I wanted to abandon it but pushed through to get it over with. I want my money and time back.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne-Marie

    I’m officially over the drug narratives.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    Competently written memoir heavy on the drugs and sex, light on swimming in comparison.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    DNF

  23. 4 out of 5

    Donita

    I was interested in her story. Sadly, I was way out of her target audience.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adriana Kincaid

    I really wanted to like this book because Casey’s story seems so interesting. Unfortunately, the writing is terrible. Couldn’t even finish it

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bea Elwood

    Lyrical, and rambling. I enjoyed it but also found it lacking. Amazing to see how you can make a verb out of anything, a bit too self aggrandizing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Les Reynolds

    Haunting, searing art. So raw, and painful, and poetic. Affected me strongly while reading, but not sure I'd read it again. Not like anything I've ever read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Polley-Peters

    A difficult read but worthwhile. I love to hear read the next chapter now, the clean chapter, and its trials and tribulations. Thanks for sharing Casey.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Interesting writing and story but couldn't connect.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Desiree Fernandez

    Legler is painting with words— her writer’s hand is so unique and beautiful. This book is both tragic and stunning— it’s one of those books that you’ll want to read from cover to cover immediately. I’m anxiously awaiting the next thing she writes!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.