All but the most dedicated hermit will have noticed the Olympic juggernaut that has recently rolled in to take over the town. If this mass spectacle leaves you somewhere between decidedly underwhelmed and foaming at the mouth, as Steven Poole writing in the Guardian points out, "this bolus of weaponised French spleen will be the perfect literary antidote":
The author gloomily observes the strange contours of the familiar (why is sport also news?), and is very funny in the fury of his denunciations: sport, he says, is violent, a kind of damaging slavery imposed on young children who become, as athletes, "outlandish monsters of mingled fat and muscle", and it renders its "fans" brutish and depoliticised. It is a "planetary religion", the sole project of a "society without projects", and – yes – "the opium of the people" ... This is a polemic that, like a charismatic pole-vaulter, always goes entertainingly over the top.
Visit the Guardian to read the review in full.