By Celia Walden
As a tender reporter, Celia Walden gets an strange task: music down an international famous person and preserve him clear of all different newshounds. That guy is football participant George top, who made his debut for Manchester United at age seventeen and used to be the celebrity of a celebrity staff during the Sixties. vastly expert and ruggedly good-looking, idolized by way of women and men alike, he was once often called "the 5th Beatle," and nonetheless holds a company position one of the world's all-time most sensible players.
yet in 2004, George most sensible is nearing sixty and deteriorating like a far older guy. A infamous alcoholic and philanderer, he has simply bought a liver transplant and has Antabuse drugs sewn into his belly lining. His spouse has left him back. while Celia reveals him in a bar in Malta, he isn't precisely overjoyed to work out her. He's been chased by way of reporters all his lifestyles. but as Celia's project to "babysit" George round the clock stretches out over months, an not likely kind of friendship develops, and she or he will get to understand George as a humorous, risky, and intricate man or woman, an avid reader and member of MENSA, ravaged by way of alcohol and steadily withering lower than the consistent glare of the spotlight.
Babysitting George is a young account of a distinct courting among a tender journalist and a death megastar. It questions the exploitative nature of tabloid journalism; the terrifying, all-consuming nature of habit; and the incredible conferences which may swap one's lifestyles.
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Extra info for Babysitting George: The Last Days of a Soccer Icon
Insight and direction can still come to us as from outside our Selves. I have no memory of voices from that day on the Merkle Street steps, but I can imagine my grade-school right brain assessing the situation, worrying that the Coward might have a knife. Could this kind of “insight” have crossed my corpus cal26 | memor y ’s hill s losum as a whisper from my self to my Self, even as I pounded the stones with my narrow feet, so that now, years later, I realize that I never saw a knife in his hand but still felt certain he must have one?
That’s part of the horror of their near cannibalism, their feasting on the ﬂesh of the fallen men. Hand, arm, shoulder—and claw. This is the token of victory that Beowulf hangs in the hall, torn from the body of his foe. The claw seems animal. David Quammen, writing about bears in Europe, thinks suddenly, pointedly, of Grendel—but arm, hand—well, I think hand unmistakably suggests opposable thumb. This is the body that walks erect, even as it runs away, mortally wounded, toward the lake or the mere, under far marshy hills.
And in Europe, during millennia of climate ﬂuctuations that, when drawn on a graph, spike and plunge like stalactites or icicles, the anatomically modern people we call Cro-Magnon shared the Old World with another kind of person, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. For perhaps ten thousand years their cultures shared the same landscape. Is it possible that such memory could persist, far beyond the life span of any single language, beyond any people’s speciﬁc traditions or their stories of or42 | cold meditations igin?