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4.2 out of 5 stars
Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is categorized for "young adults," but I would recommend these stories as much to an 18 year old as I would to an 80 year old. Crutcher's stories address the most sensitive aspects of society without any form of restriction. Don't read this book if you want a sugar-coat. There is no holding back as Crutcher drills to the bone of prejudice and other societal struggles. From the light-hearted tale of overweight Angus Bethune (who has four gay parents) to the dramatic story of gay teen with AIDs, every one of Crutcher's true stories make their impression. You will never forget these characters once you have met them.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Angus Bethune, a fat high school boy, is prom king. Will he be burning up the dance floor or have a sweaty moment? Johnny Rivers, a wrestler, is pushed to the limit every day by his father. Can he overcome the fear and wrestle his father or be laughed at by his friends? Johnny Rivers has to wrestle Chris Byers, a girl champion. Should Johnny back down to this challenge and look like a fool, or will he manage to suck it up and put on a show? Lionel Serbsousek, a great swimmer, has gone through many tragedies. He has shown great talent, but will this event be too much for him? Rascim, a telephone genius, moves to a new school. Sometimes people judge a book by its cover. If Rascim wants to get out of this hole he needs to take a better look inside. Louie Banks, a starting wide receiver, meets a guy with a huge problem. His girlfriend is dead and his friends think he is weird. How's Louie going to catch a touchdown now?

Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher, is a great book. It is made up of six short stories involving some of the characters from Chris Crutcher's other novels. This book shows how an average teenager goes through life. This book is a very easy read. If you like sports and enjoy drama, Athletic Shorts is the books for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All of the stories in Athletic Shorts were good. But there are two them that I liked the best. Those two are Lion's story and Louie's story. Lion had kept so much of his anger inside of him due to the fact that one of his friends killed his parents in a boating accident. He didn't realize that he almost did the same thing to his friends one time when they all got drunk and went for a drive out on the ice. Louie's story was both heart- warming and emotional. Even though I didn't cry, I was on the verge of tears at some points. He befriends a young man with AIDS, and they become pretty close over the next couple of weeks.Trying to decide whether he should stay friends with Darren is a tough choice that he has to make. It doesn't help that his best friend Carter( who I think Louie really truly loves and cares deeply about as a friend) doesn't like Darren. That makes his choice even harder. Chris Crutcher really makes you feel what all the characters in the different stories are feeling. Whether it be wrestling your father for more than just entertainment, or dancing with the girl of your dreams, Mr. Crutcher really makes you feel you are there witnessing every moment as you are reading the story. That is what I like most about his books. Will there be a continuation of Lion's story anytime? I really like his story the best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Another great book by Chris Crutcher -- this one containing six short stories with troubled or stressed teens facing difficult situations. The last two, on the themes of racial prejudice and sexual preference prejudice, are especially powerful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Even though Athletic Shorts is not my favorite book, it is still an exciting quick read. This is a book of six short stories that all relate to sports. Though all of the stories got my full attention, I will give you a quick taste of two that I liked most. The first story is call "The Pin", this is about Johnny Rivers who loves to wrestle, but the problem that Johnny's dad loves to wrestle just as much as he does. Johnny can't do anything good enough for his dad. So Johnny finds a way to prove himself to his dad. He challenges his dad to the mat. This next story is one to get your sense of humor up and running a little bit. In this story, "The Other Pin", Petey Shropshire is picked to wrestle Chris Byers. Chris is one of the best wrestlers in the state. The problem with this is that Chris Byers is a girl, and Petey doesn't want to get embarrassed and lose to a girl. Later Petey get together with Chris and they talk up a plan. This plan is made so that Petey won't get embarrassed and lose to a girl, and that no one with win the match. This plan is something that your going to just have to find out yourself. That was a little sneak preview of what good stories are in this book, now all you have to do is find out what happens in the other four stories.

Chris Crutcher does a great job of being short and to the point with these stories. This is why I enjoyed reading this book so much. I would rather read six short stories that are about something that I like, than to read on long boring novel that I only read because I could use a couple extra points here and there. Now that's just my opinion, but if your like me and enjoy a good short story, than this is a perfect book for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I thought Athletic Shorts was a good book because it was easy to understand since it was about sports. All the stories could hold my attention which made me want to read the next page. i thought that was a great way to write a sports book with 6 short stories all in one book. I could really relate to it because i like sports alot. I reccomend this book to anyone that like sports.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
In ATHLETIC SHORTS, Chris Crutcher presents original short stories involving characters from his previous novels. In the book's forward, Crutcher explains, "In my travels around the country and in letters from readers, I am constantly asked what happens to certain characters in my books. So once in a while I check in" (pp. ix-x).

Each of these short stories involves a central character from a previous novel, but, while Crutcher may have intended a particular story to be a prequel or an afterward, the stories remain independent. So a person who has not read RUNNING LOOSE will still be able to understand the storyline behind IN THE TIME I GET, in which Louie Banks looks into the eyes of a friend dying of AIDS and realizes the value of time. Additionally, after getting a taste of Crutcher's novels through his short stories, readers may well be inspired to go out and acquire the novels themselves.

Athletics are the uniting theme throughout these stories, but they also give Crutcher a medium to introduce physical, mental, and emotional challenges for his characters. Sports allow a safe setting for conflict and failure, while also providing a site for characters to achieve and excel.

Thumbs Up! Award Winner, 1992

Reviewed by: Mechele R. Dillard
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sports, sports, sports! Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful book packed with six short stories about sports. Not only is this book about sports but it is about life also. This book teaches you lessons while you read each story. The first story will keep you wondering what will happen next, it is quite suspenseful. The second tremendous story is very triumphant and will make you think what it would be like to be in the main character position. The third is very much like the second and will have you feeling for the main character. The fourth is very sad and makes you wonder what your life would be like in this person's position. The fifth is hilarious and will have you laughing every page of the marvelous chapter. The final story is very much like the fourth, sad and depressing.

I loved this book, and I think that anyone who enjoys a good book will like it as well. This book is just not for sports freaks but for other kinds of readers too. This book contains a wide variety of different subjects. If you read this book you will feel many different emotions throughout the book. This book is dynamite!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Being a high school athlete, this is a cook that I was really able to relate to. Each character in the story shows that he/she is able solve his/her problem through their sports. All of he characters display high morale, which leads them to what they want at the end of their story. an example would be Angus, from the story "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune." He believed that no one should be treated as he was, and at thet end of the story, this trait won over his high-school sweetheart. These stories all show good kids goig through their tough teenage years, and the ways that they cope with these tough times. This book was one of the best that I have read. It showed that no matter how bad the situation is, you can always get what you want in the end if try for it hard enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have made it a goal to read the 100 Band Books list. I took a glimpse at the title and decided that Chris Crutcher's Athletic Shorts would be a good read for the time being. All of the short stories in Crutcher's book touch on issues that may leave people uncomfortable. The uplifting component is that all of these issues happen in real life. The story that stuck out to me the most was "Telephone Man." The reason is because the tone of racism through the narrator is seemingly innate due to his upbringing. As the story progresses and the conflicts arise, his original stereotypes diffuse themselves. In the prologue of the story the author writes: "Racism speaks volumes about those who hide behind it, says exactly nothing of those at whom it is directed." This quote is a catch twenty two in this story because the narrator who is delivering racist notions also is being discriminated against.

The second thing I want to point out is the elite vocabulary this book uses. I teach several short story units in my English classes. I have not dived into stories that have tremendous meaningful depth like Athletic Shorts does. Reading words like: Impending, gouged, elegance, hoisting, coax and plurality are very beneficial to students. I can do two great things: One have a genuine discussion on these "Real Life" issues that Crutcher's book touches on and two, students can learn these new vocabulary words and use them as they reflect on the book's issues. Again, I only semi-analyzed one story from this book, but all stories are worth reading. Tying in the excellent vocabulary, this is a book that I will use in my future teaching.
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