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My Turf: Horses, Boxers, Blood Money, And The Sporting Life Hardcover – January 7, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this stellar, if at times formal, collection, longtime horseracing and sportswriter Nack takes readers through his career at the track, the ring and the stadium. He forgoes many of the thrills of the games themselves for the dramas of the people (and animals) who play them. A profile of a determined and nearly human Secretariat mixes easily with an account of Keith Hernandez's loneliness, Bobby Fischer's ambivalence toward celebrity, and Sonny Liston's poignant awareness of the effect his race has on his reputation, and vice versa. Nack can use too blunt an instrument in his attempt at psychological portraiture, as he does in a piece about Robbie Davis, whose horse trampled fellow jockey Mike Venezia. (The accident took him "back to all those years of biting anger, self-loathing and shame that sprung from [his] abuse"). But more often he hits the mark. Nack also sets himself apart from other sports scribes with his prose style; rarely does sportswriting veer so easily into poetry. There is, it should be noted, a courtliness to his tone that can give some of the pieces a mechanical feel. And his portraits of place, particularly those on Saratoga and Yankee Stadium, feel especially soulless and perfunctory. But he more than makes up for these flaws with his keen eye; the author has an uncanny talent for finding the anecdote that illuminates greater truths about an athlete, such as heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano's paranoid refusal to accept checks. Anyone who has tasted the drama of sports-that is, the drama of being human-will enjoy this book, finding in its profiles of the larger-than-life an abundance of small pleasures.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Nack has never...received the national attention, and approbation, that his writing deserves. Maybe My Turf can do something about that." -- Ft. Worth Star-Telegram 3/2/03
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Printing edition (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306812002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306812002
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Bill Nack reports the "back stories" of human and equine athletes better than anyone around and this collection of some of his best work kept me turning the pages for more. From Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston to Secretariat, interesting and important figures from the world of sports are shown as human (or animal) beings, not simply athletic commodities. Nack's writing is elegant without being flowery, and often ironic. This book is a terrific read. The best quote in the collection is attributed to Liston and the meanest person was Rocky Marciano.
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By A Customer on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book would be for sports enthusiasts only. Instead, it is actually a compilation of beautiful human interest stories that capture and inspire the hearts and minds of its readers. I highly recommend this book for boys and girls, young and old.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A remarkable collection of literary snippets detailing some of the most significant persons, places and events in the world of racing and boxing. A must read for those who follow the history and heritage of those sports.
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Format: Hardcover
I met Bill Nack once, and much enjoyed his company, so I bought the book. I planned to pass it along to my son who is very much into sports. I ended up not doing so, because although sports is the frame of reference, there is a strong preoccupation with death, dying, mortality and all of that. He writes very well and effectively, but this thread ran through much of the work and I at least found it depressing to be confronted with the grave so often. If you like that sort of thing by all means buy the book. I put my copy in a local book sale.
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By A Customer on October 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've always enjoyed William Nack on ESPN's Sports Century programs, and I'd read some of these selections in Sports Illustrated. It's great to have a collection of such eloquent sportswriting. The characters he writes about come to life. Even non sports fans would enjoy the features on Secretariat, Bobby Fishcher, and Bob Kalzu. In a nutshell, this is a treasure. Next how about a book of Gary Smith's SI stories?
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book on sports I have even read, and I have read plenty. No one writes with the insights, intimacy and clarity as does William Nack.
And the man with all this talent is always at the right place at the right time. These deep essays will tear you up, make you laugh, overwhelm you with their keenness and smooth reliable brilliance. I own four copies of MY TURF. I keep them in different rooms and on occasion give a copy away to my friends. This book is worth rereading and sharing.
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