Albert is 20 years old and works at the dock, but when he’s not working, he is practicing wrestling. All the time. He lives in a small, worn house with his mum and two younger brothers. He’s never known his father. The year is 1936. In Europe something is brewing. The dock is bustling. Most people are working with the cuttlefish, some aren’t as lucky and have to make a living making moonshine alcohol.
Albert only has one competitor in his own town: Johnny Wiik, a rich boy who’s also his boss at the dock. When they were children, they used to play together, now they fight together. Competing for a spot in the Olympic squad. And it’s not just any old Olympic Games we’re talking about, it’s the Olympic Summer Games in Berlin, where Hitler himself will be in the stands.
Arild Stavrum writes about sport and exercise, about two men on the mat, in such a way that we can smell the action, notice the muscles tensing, the bodies being thrown around, the sweat that flows, and the test of strength that costs everything.
Last Man on their Back is a different and entertaining historical novel which amongst other things poses the eternal question: Is it right for a young man to give everything he has got to what he loves, to want to become the best in the world, without any monetary profit in sight, when he has a family at home relying on him?
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