From Publishers Weekly
Every Tuesday for four years, Feinstein, the author of two of the bestselling sports books of all time, A Good Walk Spoiled and A Season on the Brink, played story collector, gathering tales for this, his 16th offering. During those four years, Feinstein lived for the Monday-night phone call that delivered five words to him every week: "Tuesday. Eleven oclock. China Doll." Those words invited him to the most exclusive lunch club in sports, led by legendary Boston Celtics coach Auerbach and frequented by coaches, secret service agents, close friends and Auerbach relatives, as well as by anyone in D.C. lucky enough to receive an invitation. Between bites of Mu-Shu pork and chicken-fried rice, Auerbach and his crew chewed on subjects from politics to womens basketball to todays coaches, and Feinstein jotted it all down. The Feinstein-Auerbach collaboration brings together two of the most sought-after storytellers in sports and gives readers their own invitation into the China Doll club. In more than 50 years with the green and gold, Auerbach collected countless friends, admirers and stories. Now 86, hes forgotten nothing and has an opinion on everything. "I ever tell you how I got to know Joe Dimaggio?" begins chapter three. "I ever tell you how I got thrown out of the all-star game in 1967? About the time I met Clinton and Gore?" These great storytellers make this book so effortless to read that you can almost hear Red reciting each line and smell him lighting up that famous cigar. Tuesday. Eleven oclock. Dont be late. And never, under any circumstances, offer to pick up the check. 8 pages of b&w photos.
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After meeting Red Auerbach, the legendary Boston Celtic coach and de facto father of the modern NBA, a few years ago, Feinstein wangled an invitation to a regular Tuesday lunch in Washington, D.C., where Auerbach and various of his cronies trade stories. Feinstein became a regular, which led to this anecdotal autobiography of a genuine sports icon. Auerbach won nine NBA titles as the Celtics' coach, and he added another seven as the team's general manager. Naturally, he has lots of opinions about the game of basketball, as it's played today and as it was played in his prime. He also has plenty to say about both Bill Russell, the key player on all of his championship teams, and Wilt Chamberlain, Russell's nemesis, and he discusses his Depression-era youth and early years as an itinerant coach. Many of Red's stories are familiar, but hearing the first-person versions is a treat. Auerbach's life and memories form the plot of Feinstein's book, but a strong subtext is the friendship among the dozen or so regulars who make it to the restaurant each week. In fact, the book is as much about the lunches as it is about Auerbach. We watch as a group of older men pass their wisdom on to those they have come to view as worthy successors. A fascinating life story, a terrific basketball book, and a compelling look at generations communicating around a modern-day campfire. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved