Parkour and the Art du deplacement: Strength, Dignity, Community

Vincent Thibault, trans. from the French by Casey Roberts. Baraka Books (IPG, North American dist.), $16.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-926824-91-8
Co-founder of the Academie quebecoise d'art du deplacement, the author presents a short, highly condensed discourse on the art of parkour, that sport made famous by images of graceful youths acrobatically free-running across and through urban landscapes. In 12 short chapters and three appendices, the author explains what parkour is, both as a sport and as an art, before launching into a discussion of techniques, benefits and the philosophy of the art du deplacement. Also included is a foreword by Dan Edwardes, director of Parkour Generations and Parkour UK, as well as a number of simple black and white illustrations. The translation by Casey Roberts is of professional quality. The book itself, perhaps too constrained by brevity or perhaps by the inherent difficulty of relaying a physical activity through the narrow keyhole of the written word, is steadfastly enthusiastic but frustratingly superficial, more an appetizer than a full course meal. Readers may well come away from this work with a determination to learn parkour, which the author makes sound fascinating, but even the beginning steps will likely require advice and training in a proper facility. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 10/01/2013
Open Ebook - 170 pages - 978-1-926824-95-6
Open Ebook - 170 pages - 978-1-926824-96-3
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-5195-3922-9
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