In Lionel Shriver's entertaining send-up of today's cult of exercise--which not only encourages better health, but now like all religions also seems to promise meaning, social superiority, and eternal life--an aging husband's sudden obsession with extreme sport makes him unbearable. After an ignominious early retirement, Remington announces to his wife Serenata that he's decided to run a marathon. This from a sedentary man in his sixties who's never done a lick of exercise in his life. His wife can't help but observe that his ambition is "hopelessly trite." A loner, Serenata disdains mass group activities of any sort. Besides, his timing is cruel. Serenata has long been the couple's exercise freak, but by age sixty, her private fitness regimes have destroyed her knees, and she'll soon face debilitating surgery. Yes, becoming more active would be good for Remington's heart, but then why not just go for a walk? Without several thousand of your closest friends?
As Remington joins the cult of fitness that increasingly consumes the Western world, her once-modest husband burgeons into an unbearable narcissist. Ignoring all his other obligations, he engages a saucy, sexy personal trainer named Bambi, who treats Serenata with contempt. When Remington sets his sights on the legendarily grueling triathlon, MettleMan, Serenata is sure he'll end up injured or dead. And even if he does survive, their marriage may not.
The Motion of the Body Through Space is vintage Lionel Shriver written with psychological insight, a rich cast of characters, lots of verve and petulance, an astute reading of contemporary culture, and an emotionally resonant ending.
About the Author
Lionel Shriver is a novelist whose books include Orange Prize winner We Need to Talk about Kevin, The Post-Birthday World, A Perfectly Good Family, Game Control, Double Fault, The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, and Ordinary Decent Criminals. She is widely published as a journalist, writing features, columns, op-eds, and book reviews for the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Marie Claire, and many other publications. She is frequently interviewed on television, radio, and in print media. She lives in London and Brooklyn.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University, Laurence Bouvard trained at LAMDA and made her professional debut creating the role of Maria Elena Holly in the original cast of the West End musical, Buddy. Since then she has appeared in a variety of leading roles in Britain, including Cathy in Wuthering Heights, Persephone in Stravinsky's Persephone with BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Roxane in the French version of Cyrano de Bergerac. Her film and television credits include The Flying Camel, The Tomorrow People (Nickelodeon), and Eastenders (BBC). An experienced voice artist, Laurence has recorded over fifty audiobooks to date, with other recent audio work including Jo in Little Women (BBC R4), Joanna Dark in Perfect Dark Zero (Microsoft Xbox360), and the voice of Nico in the Dolmio ad campaign. Laurence voices both Lola and the title role of Robotboy in the international hit cartoon series Robotboy for Cartoon Network. Laurence has been selected for 2016 BAFTA Crew, a program that recognizes rising talent in the Film/TV/Games industry.