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Far Afield: A Sportswriting Odyssey Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599211440
  • ASIN: B005Q8I9NQ
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,994,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Price, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated for 13 years and author of Pitching Around Fidel: A Journey into the Heart of Cuban Sports, finds his past in the most unfamiliar places when he moves to the south of France to report on European sports for a year. Inside his coverage of every new competition in every new city lurks Price's profoundly American self-consciousness. Lambasted at every turn for Bush's war on terror, Price's American identity is formed defensively as he spars with European opponents over the war, politics and history. Luckily, Price couldn't be further removed from the ugly American stereotype. He's perceptive, open-minded and intelligent, transcribing Europe with the confident, lofty lyricism of an American sportswriter who has found his voice. His metaphors hit the mark, whether summing up the doping accusations against Lance Armstrong, eating eggs with Ted Williams, experiencing the fanaticism of the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry, exploring Europe's obsession with soccer or sitting down with prospective NBA centers from the former Eastern bloc. Price is aware that the biggest action has a way of following him wherever he goes. Indeed, his memoir is a stroll through a minefield of recent European headlines—the train bombings in Madrid, the Le Pen vote scare in France and the 2004 Athens Olympics. The personal becomes political and the political gets personal in this travel memoir, as national identities and sports collide. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A masterpiece."--Chicago Tribune
 
Price blends an unerring eye for detail and nuance with fresh, crackling prose that gives these insights a startling authenticity." Boston Globe 
 
"One of the year's five best reads."--Esquire
 
“The seasoned reporter behind this memoir is a master of the new journalism developed by Hunter Thompson, Gay Talese and Price's personal paragon, Pete Hamill. Whenever he writes about sports--or about the craft of writing--he hits it over the fence."
--The New York Times
 
"[Price is] perceptive, open-minded, and intelligent, transcribing Europe with the confident, lofty lyricism of an American sportswriter who has found his voice."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"This isn't a great sports book. It's a great book."
--Bill Littlefield, Host, Only a Game
 
"I'd pay to read a grocery list if Scott Price wrote it."
--Sefan Fatsis, NPR sports commentator
 
"A social commentarry of the first order. Highly recommended."
--Library Journal
 
 


"In FAR AFIELD, S.L. Price displays the full range of his formidable talents -- then pushes further into new territory.  This book has the intimacy of a memoir, the global reach of a terrific travelogue, and the firm spine of gifted sportswriting.  As Price transcends one genre after another, the reader is carried along on an exciting ride."
--Michael Mewshaw

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bottomofthe9th on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written memoir by an SI writer; nothing Earth-shattering, but I really identified with his perspective as an American living in Europe--talks about the flaws of both places, and the perspective gained from living there; interesting personal reflections on earlier parts of his life, and does not think too highly of himself; have added other books by him to my list
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By WDX2BB on December 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Far Afield" never should have worked as well as it does.

Way back in 2003, S.L. Price was looking for something of a new challenge, a little adventure in his life. He was a top writer for Sports Illustrated, and sought a little freshness. Living in the Washington, D.C. area around 9/11 will do that.

When SI asked what he wanted at that point in his life, he seemed to surprise himself a bit with the answer, "Send me to Europe for a year or so."

That's what he did. He packed up the wife and kids, plus some belongings, and moved to Southern France for about a year. That certainly qualified as an adventure.

"Far Afield" is a journal of that trip. It's consistently interesting, even today.

The book has a variety of different elements. Price gives something of a reporter's notebook about his impressions of covering the Olympics in Athens, the French Open in Paris, a cricket series between India and Pakistan, the Tour de France in, well, France, and some other events. We were fussing about Lance Armstrong and his alleged doping then, and we still are today.

Price also takes plenty of time to discuss his personal life. It's not easy to move to a new country with a different language. The author probably had it easier in some ways than his wife because he was doing some traveling, while Mrs. Price stayed home and navigated three children through the transition. (She did have the advantage of speaking more French, at least.)

And finally, Price reviews his own life and career on a somewhat limited basis -- his search for a writing voice, job jumps in his career, etc. One of the most interesting parts concerns Michael Jordan; the two both attended North Carolina at roughly the same time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Price is a superb writer but this book just never grabbed me. Afterwards I was surprised I had even finished it and wished I had given up much earlier in the book. I guess when a book isn't entirely about baseball or (American) football it loses my interest.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Wung VINE VOICE on November 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was not what I expected in numerous ways. When I read the initial previews I had expected something along the lines of Peter Mayle meets Peter King romp: a travelogue and a litany of sports related observations. This book gave me that and more.

The travelogue is your typical Innocent Abroad themed descriptions peppered with humorous anecdotes. This was better done by Twain. The sports stories went a lot deeper than what Price did at SI. This was the original intent of his adventures in Europe afterall: write more in depth about non-American sports. And it was very well done, Price is a great writer.

There are basically two things that strikes me. One is the confessional aspect of this book: he lays out all the unpleasantness in his life and he lays it out bluntly. He chastises himself for his own perceived blindspots and shortcomings. A major theme is how he deals with his families -the one he has with his wife and the one he was born into- during this short trip and for all of his life.

The circumstances, travel and personal confessional, reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. Her's has more food, meditation, and sex , his has more sports. Much like her book, the reader gets drawn into his thought process, his pain and suffering, and his moments of transcendance. I am not all that sure that the milieu of Europe and sports writing quite did the same thing for Price as Italy, India, and Bali did for Gilbert.

The other revelation is the process of writing.
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