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Down and Derby: The Insider's Guide to Roller Derby Paperback – July 13, 2010


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Down and Derby: The Insider's Guide to Roller Derby + EveryGirl's Guide to Roller Derby: A Navigational Guide through the World of Roller Derby + Roller Derby 101: The Fresh Meat Training Manual
Price for all three: $41.61

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762742
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Down and Derby

“As someone who has witnessed the many transitions of roller derby almost from the beginning, I can say that this chronicle isn’t just for fans of all the stages of the game, but for anyone who wants to enjoy an inspiring story about truly fascinating people.” —Jerry Seltzer, derby pioneer and owner of the original Roller Derby league

“Fast, dirty, seductive, kooky, cunning, foxy, cheeky, wicked, crazy, bad arse and most importantly, no bullshit. These are the words that tumble from my mind to my fingers having read Down and Derby. Veterans in the world of roller derby, Axles and Kasey are an inspiration to derby girls everywhere, myself included. The Whip It Hurl Scouts couldn’t have done it without them. I can’t say enough about these women or this book. Game on!” —Zoë “Bloody Holly” Bell, stuntwoman and star of Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof

“Roller derby is one of the most empowering and intriguing worlds I’ve ever come across. It’s amazing to encounter a sport where women get out there and do such extraordinary things. But derby is more than just a sport, it’s a sisterhood.” —Drew Barrymore

“A rock’em sock’em history and how-to guide by two roller girls about the derby they love to death. Told in a no-BS style that makes you feel like an insider sharing a beer after the match. This is sparkly, terrific, and bad ass!” —John Doe of X

“Feminism can come in the form of placards and protests, but Down and Derby proves that a girl’s liberation can also involve strapping on a pair of skates, taking on a kick-ass nickname, and throwing a few hip checks in the process.” —Marisa Meltzer, author of Girl Power

“Part manifesto, part how-to-guide, Down and Derby demystifies the world of roller derby, showing readers it’s as inclusive as it is cool. After finishing this book, you no longer have an excuse for keeping your boring name or for never trying on a pair of skates. This is required reading for anyone who's searching for new ways to be fearless.” —Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney

“Axles of Evil and Kasey Bomber are two of the most sincere, awesome, kick-ass women I’ve ever met. They are champions of roller derby—and not just in a flashy way but in a really smart way. Being able to have learned to skate under their wing has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Down and Derby is the next best thing to training with them personally. If you love derby this is the book you’ve been waiting for.” —Ellen Page, star of Whip It

“As the author of an old Roller Derby book, let me just say this to the new kid on the rink: up with Down and Derby. Whether you’re already a Derby doll or a doll wannabe it’s required reading.” —Frank Deford, , author of Five Strides On The Banked Track

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Ever considered joining roller derby, this is your WAY IN.
Ernessa T. Carter
Starting a new league from scratch is hard work with many ups and downs.
Charly
I got this book last Friday and got through it over the weekend.
J. Freppel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Freppel on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who has been around roller derby all of about 8 weeks, I wanted to learn whatever I could about the sport and its revival.

I got this book last Friday and got through it over the weekend. It's an entertaining and informative read - essential reading for anybody who wants to get up to speed on roller derby.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charly on November 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Being the founder of a new league it's sometimes hard to put the fun where it needs to be. Derby is a serious, athletic, full contact sport but above anything else - it's FUN! Starting a new league from scratch is hard work with many ups and downs. This book is the perfect thing to remind you that all the work IS going somewhere, all the downs you experience have been experienced many times before you and that it's absolutely going to be worth it. Down and Derby is an informative and often times comical book. I purchased several copies and used them with my skaters as incentive to do things they normally don't enjoy .. the endurance training. It put in that element of fun they all need to get through it.

I love this book and am so glad I found it.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Abruzzio on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm fresh meat, a feminist, and an athlete. I think this book is incredibly informative and certainly asserts the pro-female camaraderie within modern roller derby. I am, however, disappointed that this book persistently claims that derby girls are both athletes and hard drinkers.

Any serious athlete will tell you that when you start training with intent, drinking disappears- there is no time to waste on headaches. To be an athlete is to be a warrior, and this takes a certain asceticism. Down and Derby tells us that along with strengthening our bodies, we need to be ready to weaken our livers in order to fit in with the after party. Personally, I like staying sober and alert so that when bad things happen someone is actually there to bare witness or hold back the hair of our drunken derby wife.

They do mention one sober skater throughout the entirety of the book- Betty Ford Galaxy. Where I admire her sobriety, I do not feel that people who refuse to drink should be alienated or alienate themselves by denoting their state with a name that points it out. (Note, it's called Alcoholics ANONYMOUS for a reason) Drinking does not make people normal, not drinking does not make one weird. Please, for those of us who are fresh meat or hard-living vets: do not feel obligated to drink because it's part of a role you need to fill. This is called peer pressure, and this book lays it on hard. Why is it that in order to be a "bad ass" you must immediately have bad habits? Why don't we look up to the people who live life through clear eyes, no analgesic in sight? Let's re-adjust our perspective.

Party responsibly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BookNerd83 on July 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Whether you play Roller Derby or have no idea what it is, whether you go to every bout in your hometown or haven't watched a game since it was on TV in the seventies, this is the ultimate Roller Derby book. Fun and funny, while being totally informative, Axles of Evil and Kasey Bomber have written everything you could possibly want to know about Roller Derby. From its inception to its modern form, there is a history of the sport itself, a definition of terms and introduction to the game as it is played now. Interviews with players sprinkled through provide opinions and answers to the most important questions. And my personal favorite, the derby commandments give every aspiring derby girl and outline of what exactly it means to be down and derby. If you don't know if you are a derby girl, there's a quiz for that too! Great book, buy it now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After picking this book up and playing Derby for 5 years it brings a lot into perspective about the sport. Its incredibly well written and brings the reader right onto the track.

~Rev
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RollOn on July 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been in Roller Derby for just under a year and so many of the comment, interviews etc in this book just made me smile (and maybe get nearly teary) as this book is so perfectly real.

I loved the interviews and while I knew most of the history already, this is a great book for anyone in derby or just interested in derby.

You should buy this book... and I dont tell people that very often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Babyface on July 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only a well-written and entertaining read, DOWN AND DERBY presents information and insight that everyone can appreciate. Those new to Derby all the way to Vets will gain knowledge and more than a few chuckles reading this wonderful tribute to an amazing sport.

If you buy one book about roller derby, make it DOWN AND DERBY!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KK on April 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great history of derby with some "do's" and "don'ts" about getting involved in derby. It reads a little like a sports history written by a player as opposed to a writer, but it's still readable and well edited.
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