'Haunts of the Black Masseur'
by Charles Sprawson

Swimming references loom disproportionately large in the Western world's literature and culture, yet there's exactly one book that limns both the metaphor and the reality: Sprawson's lyrical, literary meditation on water and man, from ancient Greece to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe to the great Johnny Weissmuller. Sprawson's own passions for water and swimming are barely submerged throughout, and both the book and the sport are far richer for it.