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The Mosquito Fleet takes readers through the golden years of the Carlton Football Club. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Football in the late seventies and early eighties was incredibly tribal. The game was yet to go national, so there were terrific suburban rivalries. In Melbourne, Victoria people lived and breathed the game, it was a religion. Matches were exclusively played on Saturday afternoons. The players were semi-professional, they all worked a normal 9-5 job and were able to relate and connect with the general public. I wanted to reconstruct those magical times again.
What was one of the fondest memories of that time?
Carlton had a team lacking height, just four players over 190cm. The Mosquito Fleet had the most gifted and talented group of small players in the competition that captured the football publics imagination with their breathtaking play. On Sunday nights the ABC had a weekly show The Winners that was must-see TV around Australia. It had the weekly results of matches; The goal of the day, Mark of the day, and Play of the Day, and Carlton seemed to feature nearly every week.
What were some of the ideas that were important to explore in this book?
Issues such as addiction to painkillers, depression and mental health were all important to uncover and explore. In the early eighties no one had the knowledge of stress and depression and ‘having a jab’ in an ankle or knee was commonplace. Mental health is a much stronger focus with professional sporting bodies today, but back then they just didn’t have the resources.
Concussion is another one. Several sportspeople have suffered post career with the affects of injuries to the brain.
When and where will you book be available?
The Mosquito Fleet is expected to be released in October this year and should be available in most bookstores and through Shawline Publishing. www.shawlinepublishing.com.au.
Author Link: Facebook
Posted in Interviews
Tags: australia, author, author interview, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, football, goodreads, history, kindle, kobo, Lachlan Waterman, literature, memoir, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, story, true story, writer, writing
The Mosquito Fleet, by Lachlan Waterman, leads us through Carlton Football Club golden years, from Alex Jesaulenko “Jezza”’s strenuous training to the rivalry with Collingwood to their victories and defeats. We are introduced to every member of the team, from the players to the coaches to the rivals and brought into the world of Australian football. Many obstacles are on the way to the win and many advantages are waiting for the team as they train, fight, party and play unforgettable games. All events are precisely recorded with their own date and often characters’ quotes mark the narration pace.
Waterman writes in a surprisingly engaging way and makes the reader part of Carlton’s team. He focuses on small details concerning the characters’ lives making the story heart-warming and intriguing, so as we can feel what both the players and their rivals felt at a given moment.
As a reader keen on details, I appreciated the vivid descriptions accompanied by shreds of interviews and the much-detailed games. Reading those parts felt like watching the game first-hand and adds a sense of reality to the book. In addition to that, focusing on the players life after their career plays an important role in this book as it shows what not being in the spotlight anymore might feel like and what it might lead to.
While I thought the book was an engrossing read, I think the pace of the book was a bit slow at times, long descriptions slow down the book’s rhythm, but the pace quickly picks up again afterwards.
Another interesting aspect of the book is the fact that it takes us through the golden era of the team, but also gives us details on what concerns the players’ lives at the end of their career and during the contemporary pandemic. In the afterword by the author, we go “behind the scenes” of the book and are given interviews and words exchanged between the author and the protagonists.
The Mosquito Fleet by Lachlan Waterman, with its rich and detailed descriptions and extracts from interviews, is an exceptional book that lets the reader explore Australian Football at its finest. I would recommend this riveting book to sport lovers, football lovers and non-fiction readers in general.
Tags: author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Lachlan Waterman, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, story, suspense, The Mosquito Fleet, writer, writing