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Quantum of Shale

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Quantum of Shale

More Tales from the Shale


Paperback / softback

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Quantum of Shale by Jeff Scott
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Like a medieval astrologer peering at the heavens, author Jeff Scott continues to interpret the cycles, epicycles, and motorcycles of the spinning planets of Speedway in this his latest book: Quantum of Shale. As he engages with the myriad social and cultural gears that power this unique engine of British working class sport, Scott seeks to determine whether the forces that turn these wheels within wheels are centrifugal or centripetal. Will Speedway adjust to the increasing challenges of 21st Century Britain and so plot an enduring course towards significance and survival? Or will it succumb to the general nihilistic inertia of our time and spin itself out into social irrelevance and extinction? As in his other critically acclaimed works documenting the current status of Speedway, Quantum of Shale follows Scott's travels around Britain as he visits Speedway tracks on race day. There he observes and participates in the sport's rituals, culture and traditions that have engendered the fierce loyalties of its primarily blue collar fan base. Yet, while he does this with respect and affection, Scott also acknowledges those trends that appear to conspire to knock Speedway from its orbit. Whether from aging fans to increasingly obsolete and inconvenient venue sites, complex rules, the idiosyncrasies and travails of management all set in the context of a pitiless economic calculus that scars the curve of a beautiful but undervalued sport. Quantum of Shale joins Jeff Scott's other critically acclaimed works on British Speedway: Showered in Shale, When Eagles Dared, Shifting Shale, Shale Britannia, along with Concrete for Breakfast, nominated for the 2009 British Sports Book of the year (Biography section). Together they constitute a body of work unique in its dedication to a sport as well as the social and cultural scope of its subject, and the compassion of its author.
Release date NZ
June 29th, 2009
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
190 b & w thumbnail photographs
Methanol Press
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