Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry by Bill Jones
first published 2014, hardcover
Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.
One winter's night in 1976, over 20 million people in Britain watched John Curry skate to Olympic glory on an ice rink in Austria. Many millions more watched around the world. Overnight he became one of the most famous men on the planet. He was awarded the OBE. He was chosen as BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Curry had changed ice skating from marginal sport to high art. And yet the man was and would always remain an absolute mystery to a world that had been dazzled by his gift. Surely, men's skating was supposed to be Cossack-muscular, not sensual and ambiguous like this.
Curry himself was an often-tortured man of labyrinthine complexity. For the first time, Alone untangles the extraordinary web of his toxic, troubled, brilliant and short life. It is a story of childhood nightmares, furious ambition, sporting genius, lifelong rivalries, homophobia, Cold War politics, financial ruin and deep personal tragedy. Alone reveals the restless, impatient, often dark soul of a man whose words could lacerate, whose skating invariably moved audiences to tears, and who after succumbing to AIDS, as so many of his fellow artists and friends did died of a heart attack aged just 44.