The Book of Seconds
The Incredible Stories of the Ones that Didn’t (Quite) Win
By Mark Mason
Fascinating stories and facts about lesser-known men and women who came second.
DID YOU KNOW that the second man to swim the Channel drank 20 drops of champagne every hour? Or that the second crew to land on the Moon danced to a pop song in zero gravity? Or that the second man to run a sub-4-minute mile once stopped to check on a fallen rival - but still managed to win the race?
You probably didn't - because seconds never get the attention they deserve. This book reveals the people and things who until now have been kept in the shadow of the firsts. We'll glory in the achievements of the nearly-men and nearly-women, not to mention nearly-skyscrapers, nearly-LPs and nearly-deserts.
Above all we'll see how so-called 'runners-up' can be exciting, intriguing and heroic. Step forward, seconds - your time in the spotlight has come at last.
Mark Mason is a lover of trivia and a compulsively obsessive hunter for those fascinating facts that slip down the back of life's sofa. He lives in Suffolk.
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- Publication date:
20 Sep 2018
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Posterity celebrates pioneers and record-holders, but the people directly behind them have stories worth telling, too. This excellent little book fills us in — Brian Viner, DAILY MAIL
[D]one with such verve and humour and telling so many good stories that you succumb to its manifest charms with a simple sigh of pleasure — Marcus Berkmann, THE SPECTATOR