Thursday, September 25, 2008

Vision Quest / by Terry Davis


"...and I guess that's why we got to love those people who want it like there's no tomorrow. 'Cause when you get right down to it - there isn't [tomorrow]."-p.23
Louden Swain lives ‘over-the-edge’ caring little for rationale or moderation. A high school wrestler anticipating his career-defining match, he perpetually pursues his breaking point, eating just enough to sustain his body while pushing it to (and beyond) its natural limits. Mentally his concentration rarely deviates from the impending date and opponent Gary Shute. It’s his own battle but he’s never alone with a supportive father and live-in girlfriend not to mention his coach and dedicated teammates.

Before Cris Crutcher made it cool to be a triathlete, Terry Davis wrote Vision Quest. Published in 1979, this was a new kind of YA novel. Not really a sports book as there aren't any archetypal action sequences or 'championship' climaxes, it's more of an intrapersonal soul journey, a story of being not doing. Louden’s focus is the pain, his emotional and intellectual reflection the object rather than the culminating event itself. Like any 'YA' book, it's concentrated on adolescence but doesn't exclude other audiences and would be a great read for anyone.

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