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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book and a Great Guy, March 7, 2001
By 
erik peterson (NY, NY United States) - See all my reviews
i'm thrilled to see gary smith's work in a nice collection like this one. in an age of writing catered to us as if we have attention deficit disorder, it's refreshing to have such illuminating work readily available. in college a few years back i was working on a very touchy feature about an athlete, so i called sports illustrated just hoping to consult with mr. smith to get a better understanding of entering intimate and personal boundaries. amazingly enough, he called me back the following day and we talked for about a half an hour. and for a young writer to speak with one of the greatest, i was deeply inspired. needless to say, the story ended up winning a feature award and i am very grateful to him. i hope he not only gets his writing out to more people now, but that he makes a nice buck off it too! the book is worth every cent!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Sportswriter of the Past 20 Years, November 5, 2001
By A Customer
Gary Smith is a great writer who happens to write about sports. My only complaint: I wish the collection was twice as long as it is. Whether or not you're a sports fan, you should read this book to get a feel for what a master prose stylist can accomplish. Terrific reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, August 26, 2003
By 
Dave Rosenzweig (Redwood City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith (Paperback)
I recently received this book as a gift, after having raved for years about the quality of Mr. Smiths writing. Sports happens to be the world in which these stories are set, but he writes about what it is to be human. 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. His ability to indicate the unspoken thoughts and feelings of his subjects leads the reader to a deeper understanding of humanity, triumphs and failures both.
My only disapointment, as pointed out by an earlier reviewer, is that the collection is not long enough.
I recently re-read a story he wrote for Sports Illustrated back in march of 2001, about a black man who became the basketball coach for a high school in a small Amish community and how he affected the entire town.
I challenge anyone to read this article without feeling uplifted.
A must read for anyone who enjoys great writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and brilliant, December 28, 2000
By 
Jim DeFilippi (Colchester VT USA) - See all my reviews
Read the first paragraph of any article in any sports magazine or newspaper and you'll know if Gary Smith wrote it or not. His work is brilliant and unique. Fans of his Sports Illustrated writing who have been waiting for years for a compilation will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Beyond the Game, May 10, 2001
By 
J.Geer (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
Gary Smith, a veteran of the sports writing game has brilliantly pieced together this collection of past articles that have made him the most popular sportswriter in the business. A gift to Sports Illustrated Magazine, Smith goes beyond the game to capture the truth in situations the reader never knew about sports legends as well as sports tragic failures. Smith writes about John Malangone a.k.a. the "Damned Yankee," who was foreseen to be the next Yogi Berra. Malangone's story shows Smith's ability to add emotion to his writing, especially in this first instalment to this collection. Muhammad Ali's story is a great one but in Smith's book, he looks at the lives up the people around the public life of Ali. The lives of Ali's entourage according to Smith had it's ups and downs through Ali's struggles and triumphant moments. Perhaps the most fascinating piece in Smith's book is his view of the young Mike Tyson growing up in Brooklyn. From Tyson's ill-temper, and petty theft to his encounter with the great Cus D'Amato, Smith shows the reader what made Tyson a raw and gritty character in the boxing world today. Smith's magnificent collection of sports writing takes the average sports fan to a new level as he truly takes the reader beyond the game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent, excellent, July 1, 2008
By 
Amazon Shopper 99! (Center of the World!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith (Paperback)
What a great book. Gary Smith isn't a writer, he is a poet. His articles are something to be savored, not skimmed. Each and every word has a purpose. In today's world of "blurbs" it is refreshing to read a book by someone who has honed his craft so superbly you never want to finish reading the book. He's not a sportswriter, he's a writer of human nature. By far the best book of collected articles I have ever read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just sports reporting, November 29, 2000
By A Customer
You don't have to be a sports lover to enjoy the amazing human stories that Smith brings to life. His angle on the athletes, as well as the circumstances in their lives that have molded them, make you think long and hard about their lessons well after you have finished the book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of SI's best writer, December 28, 2000
By 
As much as the critics like Frank Deford and Rick Reilly, Gary Smith is by far Sports Illustrated's best writer. It's too bad that this anthology couldn't include any of Smith's pre-SI writings as he did a lot of outstanding work for other publications. One of the highlights of this collection is Smith's article on Tyson which came out in '88 and is probably one of the most insightful pieces on Tyson ever. There's no way that a writer today could come close to getting the same story. The only regret about this collection is that it doesn't include "Adrift on a Sea of Choices", his amazing article on Alexis Arguello. In any case, Sports Illustrated has now become a magazine for people that have short attention spans so they don't print as many long, thoughtful articles. Here's to hoping that Smith will be able to keep up his terrific work and that SI will keep printing it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I consider him great. I found the book engaging and mesmerizing, November 4, 2014
By 
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This review is from: Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith (Paperback)
Radio with Cuba Gooding was the first movie I watched the full credits for to find out the source of the movie/screenplay. Discovering that Gary Smith had written the inspirational story, I had to see more of his writings and was near knocked off my feet. Example: how many people find the boxer Mike Tyson a sympathetic character? After some of his ring antics, how could I? Gary Smith, a senior editor of Sports Illustrated, spent time with him and I began to walk a mile in his shoes. When a writer can do that, make me pause and put on another's shoes, I consider him great. I found the book engaging and mesmerizing. I am not a big sports person, but Smith made me appreciate that world and its people. I have since recommended the book to my high school sports people and got back very good reviews from them. I used it in readalouds. Likewise, good reviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Long Form Writing, June 16, 2014
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This review is from: Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith (Paperback)
Gary Smith is a wonderful long form sports writers, perhaps the best at S.I. since the days of Dan Jenkins and Bud Shrake. I enjoyed revisiting this collection which appeared first in S.I., but I must admit that after a while the stories started to sound alike. Smith always goes for the emotional reversal, the unexpected turn. That's okay when you are reading him four times a year, but back to back to back in a volume on a nightly basis takes a little of the luster off. Even in writing that, I feel a little picky and too hard on such a talent. These are first-rate and are light years ahead of much of the current sports writing.
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Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith
Beyond the Game: The Collected Sportswriting of Gary Smith by Gary Smith (Paperback - September 2, 2001)
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