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Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man: Guts, Glory, and Blood in the World's Greatest Game Hardcover – April 24, 2012


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Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man: Guts, Glory, and Blood in the World's Greatest Game + A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union + Odd-Shaped Balls: Mischief-Makers, Miscreants and Mad-Hatters of Rugby (Mainstream Sport)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312547692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312547691
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man

“Mr. Atkinson has written a hymn of praise for the rugby game and the rugby community that will ring true to anyone who has played rugby at any level, and will grip even those who haven't.” –Wall Street Journal

 

“Atkinson’s stylish, unabashedly macho memoir is fueled by two passions: his love of grind-it-out athletic competition and the obvious joy he takes in the high-testosterone, alcohol-fueled comradeship of his fellow rugby players…. Seeded throughout come lessons and insights gleaned from three and a half decades of broken bones and bruised hearts, soaring victory and stunning loss…. Nobody has better explored the game (and the life) of rugby better than Atkinson.” –Boston Globe

 

“As a thirty-five-year veteran of the sports, the author’s passion translates easily to the page, providing a reflective look at his entrance into what he dubs the ‘blood fraternity’ . . .  A testosterone-laden tale deserving of an audience well beyond the locker room.”---Kirkus

“Raucous… With intermittent nods to his fiction classes with famed novelist Harry Crews, the brash writer lists his many injuries from the game, but he remains loyal to this sport requiring commitment, skill, and discipline. There is a short stint in jail, drinking and brawls aplenty, and arguments that spill into the streets. Still, Atkinson, wised up from lessons on the rugby field and off, has created a brawny, engaging treat for followers of the sport and the curious.” –Publishers Weekly


“A reminder of what the game's all about: the friendships you make, the places you go, the lengths you go to to get your weekly fix, the financial sacrifices those of us not swept up into the white card-infested, gouging claim-ridden, money-infected world of professionalism have to make in order to play. It's a reminder that playing and loving rugby, from top level to bottom level, is a lifestyle choice from which few return and even fewer would want to: on that principle alone, it's a bloody good read. Find it and enjoy.” –Planet Rugby

Praise for Jay Atkinson

“Jay Atkinson, the bard of New England toughness, a cross between the poet Robert Frost and the Bruins’ Bobby Orr. Nobody writes about the thick-headed glories of sport with redder blood than Atkinson…. [He] evokes the true joy of kicking ass.” --Men's Health

"A bona-fide masterstroke." — Publishers Weekly on Ice Time

"[Atkinson] seamlessly weaves his past with current events, detailing the team's fortunes while lovingly recalling his own at that time of life." — The Virginian-Pilot on Ice Time

"An evocative, bittersweet, poetic journey of a grown man trying, as we all try, not to recapture youth but to remember the splendor of it." — H. G. Bissinger, author of the bestselling Friday Night Lights on Ice Time

“Atkinson keeps his plot moving at a good pace, offering enough twists to keep the reader’s attention, but it is the humor and insight of his characters that make the novel work.” --The New York Times Book Review on Caveman Politics

About the Author

A former two-sport college athlete, Jay Atkinson is the author of seven books, including the bestsellers Legends of Winter Hill and Ice Time, as well as the classic rugby novel, Caveman Politics. He teaches writing at Boston University.


More About the Author

Jay Atkinson is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, investigative journalist, and itinerant amateur athlete from Methuen, Mass. He is the author of two novels, a story collection, and three narrative nonfiction books, with a fourth, MEMOIRS OF A RUGBY-PLAYING MAN, forthcoming from St. Martin's Press. Atkinson's latest books are PARADISE ROAD: JACK KEROUAC'S LOST HIGHWAY (Wiley & Sons) and TAUVERNIER STREET (Livingston Press, University of West Alabama). His book, ICE TIME (Crown Publishers), was a Publisher's Weekly book of the year in 2001, and LEGENDS OF WINTER HILL (Crown Publishers) was on the Boston Globe bestseller list for seven consecutive weeks in 2005. Atkinson has written for the New York Times, Men's Health, Boston Globe, New York Post, and many other publications. A former two-sport college athlete at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada, Atkinson has competed in rugby for three decades and continues to play in exotic locales with the Vandals Rugby Club out of Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

It was an easy and fun read.
ahmad bahrami
His eye for detail and phrasing adds a literate spin to the tales without seeming pretentious.
shawph
He used to play rugby in California back in the 80-90s and said this book really hits home!
quickster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emmanuel Meyer on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
it is a good story, told in a good flowing manner
the only down note is the constant use of extensive list of names of rugby friends of the author in the text, which to the unrelated reader add nothing and are a bit annoying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vaanx on May 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a former rugger (rugby player), this book hits home on so many levels and brings back vivid memories of my playing days. Bravo Jay!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Jay Atkinson's highly entertaining new work,we see the lengths that grown men will go to in order to prove their mettle to others and to themselves. These are not the prima donnas of professional sports, but the guys who play ("play" hardly seems an apt term for the sport these guys engage in-maybe who "wage" the game)for love of the competition, and for the the beers and fellowship that follow. Atkinson is at times a wise-ass, at times a philosopher, (he was still a philosophy major when he played his first game in 77) and always a keen observer of the human condition and a story teller who can bring scenes and people to life. Hemingway's bull fighters got nothing on Jay Atkinson's rugby players, and you don't need to be a bull fighter or a rugby player to appreciate either.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Roehm on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Been waiting for Atkinson's book to arrive for several weeks now;it came today. I have only read two pages and I already know that this is a great book. Like Jay, I have had an intimate relationship with rugby for over 30 years. The introduction brings back all of the excitement and emotions of the first time I met the sport and how it was love at first sight. I am mentioned in the book and I hung around the fringes of the characters that make up the core of this memoir and that makes it fun to read. Jay is a gifted writer and a hard-working writer and I know there will be a lot more to this work than nostalgia.
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By K B. on July 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked it but I think you have to be an ex rugger to truly appreciate it. This guy took the sport far more seriously than I did and I was also on a New England select side.
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By ROY on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
run on sentences, tale after tale of common place goings on, if you have played rugby this book is boring at best
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By T. Kelly on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author skips more than 2 decades (his 30's and 40's) while spending a lot of ink on his few years at the University of Florida. These happen to be a typical rugby player's drinking years.
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By Rick S. on February 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't really enjoy this book, and actually ended up stopping reading it halfway through. Jay Atkinson is from the same area that I am from, and seeing as I played rugby for a while, I figured this would be a good book to read. It ended up not being much about rugby. It bothered me a little that he seemed to be the high values and characteristics or rugby and the people that play it into all these stories from his life. Although I generally agree with the message he is sending, one of the cool things about rugby is that you don't have to glorify what it means to be a rugby player. He seems to miss that point, i think.
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