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Last Dance: Behind the Scenes at the Final Four Paperback – Bargain Price, February 2, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
However, I felt there were two fairly significant flaws in the book. First, the book is remarkably repetitive. Within the first 15 pages of the book I learned that the Duke class of '86 was Coach K's first "great" recruiting class, that they had a great team in '85-'86 and were stunned, disappointed and impacted by losing in the Final game to Louisville. Great. But I did not need to hear versions of literally the same sentences 3 or 4 more times in the book. Likewise, outside of Harry Potter, I never thought I would see the phrase "Lord Voltemort" 3 or 4 times in a sports book. These were not the only examples.
It seemed that this was a very good 220 page book extended into 330 pages. The book felt like it was made of discrete chapters, but not to be read together due to the repetition. I am no literary critic, but I am curious about the editorial decision to compose the book in a way that so frequently repeats the same stories.
The second, and perhaps more disappointing critique, is that it is not as interesting as I had hoped. Missing from this book, that likely will be read by fairly serious college basketball fans, is any sense of basketball strategy that the Final Four coaches employed during the 2005 games. I presume Feinstein did not have access during the tournament or after to the coaches that could have added detail to the game flow and strategy. With a greater level of "technical detail" the book would have been more interesting to me.Read more ›
The sporting event has become one of the biggest in the country, aided by increased media attention that now includes coverage of all the games, not just those among the teams fighting to be involved in the final face-off.
John Feinstein captures all the tumult in his typically illuminating fashion in LAST DANCE: Behind the Scenes at the Final Four. As in his other books, which encompass baseball, football, basketball, golf and tennis, he focuses on the buildup of the excitement leading up to the championship game rather than dwell on the athletic accomplishments of individual participants.
Feinstein has the ability to entice even those who don't consider themselves sports fans. He makes his subjects human, making them accessible to the level of the average person, while at the same time telling us what makes them remarkable. For example, this anecdote about legendary UCLA coach John Wooden:
"The lobby was still crowded and, as often happens when Wooden crosses a room or a lobby, people stopped what they were doing to watch the great man. At that moment, what they saw was heartbreaking: Wooden pushing his wife's wheelchair, everyone knowing that her time was short.
"To this day, no one is certain how it began, but someone started to clap. Then others did the same thing. By the time the Woodens had reached the elevators, everyone in the lobby was turned in their direction, clapping. It was one of those unrehearsed moments that become remarkable ones.Read more ›
However, the book needed more editing. Mike Krzyzewski's foreword doesn't say anything that isn't said later in the book, offering little insight worth the time to read it. Nothing is said about the academic challenges facing the players who are on the road for days at a time. I, for one, would be interested in seeing something about that. Also, more from the coaches on strategy during the games could have offered insight.
That said, it's full of entertaining stories from the years of the tournament and worth a quick read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a fan of John Feinstein and college basketball, I was looking forward to this book. Had I been able to find the unabridged version of the audio CD I would have bought it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by James C. Chapman
worth reading with some interesting stuff but nothing new (Bobby Knight threw a chair!), Feinstein mailed this one inPublished 17 months ago by Daniel Solomon
good read, good stories, a bit too long on some chapters where you forget what the chapter was aboutPublished 21 months ago by Gerald W. Hayner
Enjoyed the 'behind the scenes' at the Final Four, as well as the historical perspective on different coaches and teams.Published on May 15, 2014 by Bob
Wow! Talk about what it means too get to the Big Dance. The author did a super job explaining more than college basketball. Read morePublished on April 14, 2014 by Jim Serger
I am a big fan of John. I especially like his golf books. I thought this book got to granular on details that really weren't that interesting. I will still read his future books.Published on March 3, 2014 by Kelly T.
A decent, quick read about March Madness and the Final Four. The depiction of the coaches meetings during the last weekend in March is what makes this a worthwhile work. Read morePublished on May 30, 2011 by J. Smallridge
Roxanne and the team at HangingWallBooks really took care of me and my order! Their superior customer service is rarely seen nowadays. Highly recommend!Published on January 16, 2011 by A. Carroll