Final scores are less important to Smith than personal journeys. He doesn't write game stories; he writes stories about compelling people who happen to play our games, some famous--like Ali, Magic Johnson, Mike Tyson, Jim Valvano, and a series of world-record holders in the mile--some hardly footnotes, like John Malangone, the "Damned Yankee" in the title of the volume's leadoff piece. Malangone's saga is unforgettable. Once a sure-fire bet to replace Yogi Berra behind home plate, he carried enormous expectations, which seemed to crush him. But it wasn't the expectations that derailed him; it was a childhood memory he couldn't shake, "the whip," writes Smith, "he has used to flog himself for 60 years." With great understanding, Smith explores the horror encased in the memory, how carrying it corroded Malangone's potential, and how, ultimately, Malangone confronted his psychological baggage and, in his 60s, rediscovered his passion for the game he once walked away from. It is a tour de force of writing and reporting, set within the game but expanding well beyond it. But then every piece in this exceptional collection manages to do the same. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Perhaps the most fascinating piece in Smith's book is his view of the young Mike Tyson growing up in Brooklyn.
His compassion and understanding of his subject is so complete that I feel as if I know these people better than most of my friends.
As much as the critics like Frank Deford and Rick Reilly, Gary Smith is by far Sports Illustrated's best writer.
Heard about Gary Smith through Chick Klosterman. This book has an awesome collection of his best articles. He writes in a fluid manner with relevant details.Published 2 months ago by ASG
Gary Smith has a unique gift of insight and a way with words that can make anyone, sports fan or not, interested in his topics he chooses. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dana Taylor
Radio with Cuba Gooding was the first movie I watched the full credits for to find out the source of the movie/screenplay. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Christopher Adams
Mr. Gary Smith in my opinion is the greatest sports feature writer of all time. Beyond the Game is a collection of some of his best work therefore the book has no weaknesses. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Donnell Suggs
Gary Smith is a wonderful long form sports writers, perhaps the best at S.I. since the days of Dan Jenkins and Bud Shrake. Read morePublished 10 months ago by olingerstories
Gary Smith has always set the standard for great sports writing.This book exemplifies his genius.Doesn't matter which sport he covers,he manages to make the story about the person... Read morePublished 10 months ago by david