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No Blood, No Foul: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Charley Rosen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jason Lewis is a star college basketball player just back from World War II. He’s a hero, missing two fingers on his shooting hand. He can’t play any longer, so he makes the ultimate ballplayer’s sacrifice: he becomes a referee. Set in postwar New York during the founding of what will eventually be the NBA, No Blood, No Foul is the story of a man who must come to terms with a debilitating injury and chase after dreams of perfection in a decidedly imperfect world. Charley Rosen gives us not only a lovingly faithful insider’s look at the game of basketball, but a passionate story about what it meant to face life in an America that had lost its innocence.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Foxsports.com pundit Rosen (Barney Polan's Game) hits the hardwood in this entertaining sports novel. Pearl Harbor makes Jason Lewis, a promising senior guard for New York's Metro University, into an army enlistee. When he comes back from the Pacific missing several fingers, Jason is reduced to selling insurance for his father-in-law. Although he considers referees a necessary evil (rogue cops with whistles), he jumps at a chance to officiate high school games. Jason discovers that he enjoys just being around the game, but his elevation to the professional ranks coincides with a trifecta of personal and professional crises. Rosen's deep knowledge of basketball history and his nimble prose make this bittersweet sports novel a light swish. (May)
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From Booklist

Jason Lewis is a star basketball player at Metra College in New York. Then Pearl Harbor happens, and Jason enlists. He makes it home but without two fingers on his right hand. His playing days are over, and before he knows it, he is married to his high-school sweetheart, has a baby on the way, works selling  insurance for his father-in-law. But he misses basketball. To stay close to the game, Jason begins refereeing high-school games, then college, and finally pro games. Just being close to the rhythm of the game is a therapeutic respite from the residual terrors of war and his failing marriage. Rosen, a wonderful sportswriter and novelist who coauthored More than a Game (2001) with his friend and old coaching buddy Phil Jackson, has forgotten more basketball history than the best fans will ever know. He is also the game’s premier evangelist, preaching that basketball can be spiritual and redemptive. The message comes through powerfully in this moving novel about a man who finds peace, order, and a sense of self on the hardwood. --Wes Lukowsky

Product Details

  • File Size: 441 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1583228284
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (January 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003R7KZV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,876,108 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stay tuned for longer review March 11, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Charley Rosen has immersed himself in the first years of the NBA (atually the BAA) and produced two new, enjoyable books. One is best characterized as non-fiction (The First Tip-Off), and the other is best characterized (more or less) as fiction (No Blood, No Foul). Real-life characters and situations from the early history of the league inhabit both books, albeit painted in different ways. Not surprisingly, I'm finding that the two books go better together. The second book is about about the life-transformations of an all-too-human basketball-loving vet who through some of the book finds himself working as a ref for the BAA, warts and all. ("No blood, no foul" refers to how the refs in the league were supposed to call the games, at one point.) I hope to describe in a later review how the books jibe together. I'm a bit surprised that the books weren't marketed together more aggressively.

"No Blood, No Foul" certainly can stand on its own two feet without the other book. I've just posted my review of the other "The First Tip-Off"... I hope to say more about NBNF shortly, but here are a few observations...

This book caught my attention because (A) it is about a vet with an amputation (my research and clinical focus, professionallly, (B) it captures basketball history, even if it is "fiction," (C) its title is reminiscent of the late, great line used by Chick Hearn (Lakers announcer), "No Harm, No Foul", and (D) I'm a fan of Rosen's columns (formerly with ESPN, now with MSN/Fox).

This book seems to embody various dialectics that seem to emerge in all of Rosen's work... purity vs. impurity of the game; human excellence vs. human frailties; human limitations vs human transformation; fairness vs exploitation; individual quirks vs. selfless expression... etc.
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