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Fab Five: Basketball, Trash Talk, The American Dream Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1994

62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mitch Albom is the author of nine books. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven , is the most successful U.S. hardback first novel ever and has to date sold over 8 million copies worldwide. Tuesdays With Morrie, (1997) his chronicle of time spent with a beloved but dying college professor, spent four years on the New York Times bestseller list and is now the most successful memoir ever published. Both books were eventually turned into celebrated TV films. The critically acclaimed Five People You Meet in Heaven aired on ABC in winter, 2004. Oprah Winfrey produced the film version of Tuesdays With Morrie in December 1999; starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria. The film garnered four Emmy awards, including best TV film, director, actor and supporting actor. An award-winning journalist and radio host, Albom wrote the screenplay for The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and is an established playwright, having authored numerous pieces for the theater, including the off-Broadway version of Tuesdays With Morrie (co-written with Jeffrey Hatcher) which has seen more than 40 productions nationwide, and several recent comedies which have been produced and performed in venues across the country. Albom has founded three charities in the metropolitan Detroit area: "The Dream Fund," established in 1989, allows disadvantaged children to become involved with the arts. "A Time To Help," founded in 1998, brings volunteers together once a month to tackle various projects in Detroit, including staffing shelters, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, and operating meals on wheels programs for the elderly. “S.A.Y Detroit,” Albom’s most recent effort, is an umbrella program to fund shelters and care for the homeless in his city. He also raises money for literacy projects through a variety of means including his performances with The Rock Bottom Remainders, a band made up of writers which includes Steven King, Dave Barry, Scott Turrow, Amy Tan and Ridley Pearson. Albom serves on the boards of various charities and, in 1999, was named National Hospice Organization's Man of the Year.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446601195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446601191
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Mitch Albom is an author, playwright, and screenwriter who has written seven books, including the international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, as were For One More Day, his second novel, and Have a Little Faith, his most recent work of nonfiction. All four books were made into acclaimed TV films. Albom also works as a columnist and a broadcaster and has founded seven charities in Detroit and Haiti, where he operates an orphanage/mission. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...and a strikingly vivid portrayal of the intricacies of big-time college athletics. Albom has the ability to make the story of five basketball players from inner-city America transcend race, culture, and sport, and he writes a book moving to fans and non-fans alike. His prose is elegant, his portrayals intensely realistic. I've read this book at least twenty times, and it never ceases to amaze. It is the best tribute imaginable to the young men who were the Fab Five and to the cultural phenomenon they induced. Albom perfectly captures what it felt like to be a fan of the Fab Five in the early '90s and reminds us all of the complexities involved when five strong, brash, and confident individuals take the court...and there's only one ball. A must-read for all individuals--I promise it won't disappoint.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jason D. Bowman on April 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"What scares you Jalen? Death, said Jalen,... because I can't imagine a world without me in it." The cockiness that was the Fab Five is captured perfectly by Mitch Albom in his book the Fab Five; Basketball, Trash Talk and the American Dream. Like Albom's other books Tuesdays with Morrie and 5 People You Meet in Heaven, his story telling engulfs the reader and transforms a normal story into a legendary tale. Albom recognizes the important interaction between people in their actions and conversations and captures that in his writing. This story, the Fab Five, was a great book and one of the best for any sports fan. The "Greatest Class Ever Recruited", as Albom called them, is a great story that is told from behind the scenes, during the Fab Five's historic career at the University of Michigan. The Fab Five by Albom is the finest sports book because Albom's humorous and stylish writing brings to life the events surrounding five freshmen that transformed college basketball.

The Fab Five is a book about Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, the fabulous five freshmen at the University of Michigan. A group assembled in many different ways, each contributing a unique story to what brought them to Ann Arbor. Albom takes his first few chapters describing the intricate lines that connected each player to Ann Arbor. Jalen and Chris were from Detroit and went to UofM because they were always best friends. Ray Jackson and Jimmy King are from Texas. Ray Jackson was noticed accidentally while scouts were in Texas recruiting other players. For Jimmy King, he came to UofM because Juwan Howard, his roommate on a recruiting trip, was going.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven Kempton on December 23, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With all the kids going to the pros now this book just gets more and more interesting. College hoops may never be the same as it was when the fab five were together. Although it may be wrong to say they were the reason for so many changes, they were certainly style agents of the nth degree. No doubt about the power of youth and potential and Albom captures all of it with a lot of excitement and enjoyment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is clearly the best sports book I ahave ever read in my life and would recommend this book to any of the college and NBA basketball fans out there. You will see how Chris, Juwan, and Jalen came about, where they are superstars in the NBA, while Jimmy and Ray had to try a little harder to become the stars, which they still haven't yet (but they will be in the NBA soon!!!). EVERYBODY, get this book its fun and fast reading, very informative, Mitch Albom did a great job in giving the reader an inside story of what was going on during the 92-94 Fab Five hype!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dave on May 19, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some say that the Fab Five were failures. The say that with the level of talent they had and not being able to win a championship they underacheived. I consider making it to the Final Four two consecutive years is accomplishing quite a bit. How in the world could coach Steve Fisher handle the pressure of having the nation's basketball spotlight on him and the Fab Five? Mitch Albom does and abloslutely phenomenal job following the Michigan basketball team through the ups and downs of the years with the Fab Five. Mitch goes through what is was like for all five of the freshman before they decided to come to Michigan. If you are remotely interested in basketball, read this book! It is excellent and keeps you interested the entire way through! If you are not a basketball fan, read the book anyways; you will become one. READ IT!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pappas on May 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The book covers the trials and tribulations of Michigan University's freshmen class of '91 (Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King). A remarkablely indepth "inside" story, Albom dives into each players lead up to limelight and their reception to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gebre Menfes Kidus on January 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of the 3 best sports books that I've ever read, along with "Friday Night Lights" and "The Courting of Marcus Dupree." Mitch Albom does a masterful job dispelling the myths and getting to the heart of these fascinating players and this particular team. I'm not a Michigan fan, but I was a huge fan of the Fab Five. I had heated arguments with many of my friends who - like Bill Walton and many others during that time - unfairly stereotyped these passionate young athletes as "thugs" who were bringing disrepute to the sport of basketball. I am a huge sports fan, and character and class are paramount virtues for me. But some people can't differentiate passion and enthusiasm from unsportsmanlike behavior.

The Fab Five loved playing basketball. They played with joy. They played with flair. They were trendsetters. But nothing about those things was unsportsmanlike. I am a white man married to an African American woman, and we take racism very seriously. Nothing bothers me more than false accusations of racism, which is far too prevalent these days in our politically charged society. But I have to say that I think the unfair mischaracterizations of the Fab Five were steeped in racism. If five white guys from Duke had accomplished the same things the Fab Five did at Michigan, Bill Walton and my friends would have praised them as one of the greatest teams ever.

But leaving my personal opinion about the Fab Five aside, this book is objectively written and absorbing from start to finish. I couldn't put it down. Whether you loved them or hated them, Mitch Albom has done a remarkable job of revealing the truth, beauty, struggles, successes and failures of five remarkable athletes and a historical team. I've worn black socks ever since. ;-)
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