You know the old desert island game that lets you pick only one book as company for the rest of your days? Most folks pick the Bible or Shakespeare, but if sports are your game, you'll need go no further than this sports anthology. Sure, there are better collections of golf and baseball, but no one book sweeps across the vast landscape of the sporting scene with such breadth--and depth--as this lively, essential volume. It begins with a terrific essay by the peripatetic Plimpton riffing on his "Small Ball" theory, and just gets better from there. You want a heavyweight lineup? How's about one that includes Mark Twain, Donald Hall, A.J. Liebling, Sir Edmund Hillary, John McPhee, Roger Angell, the Wolfes (Tom and Thomas), James Joyce, Carl Sandburg, Maxine Kumin, Ring Lardner, John Updike, Red Smith, Gay Talese, and Robert Penn Warren? You want all-star selections? How's about William Hazlitt's "The Fight," Roger Kahn's "The Crucial Role Fear Plays in Sports," Wilfred Sheed's "The Old Man and the Tee," Tom McGuane's "The Longest Silence," Paul Gallico's "The Feel," and Updike's monumental "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu." With stuff like that for company, you just might look forward to the marooning. --Jeff Silverman
From Library Journal
Collections of diverse sports stories are relatively uncommon, perhaps because the average fan is interested only in one or two major sports. The average sports fan would be the loser in this case, because editor Plimpton has assembled a "cracker jack" lineup of tales that will appeal not only to the sports enthusiast, but to the general reader. The classic modern sports writers (Roger Angell, W.P. Kinsella, Roger Kahn) are included, but one is pleased that writings of Robert Bly, Thomas Wolfe, James Joyce, and James Thurber are also included. The arrangement is unique, with four sections representing the four seasons of the year, the stories of which typify the sports of those seasons. Some readers may quibble with a few selections, but most are quite representative, and many sports are covered. This compilation is highly recommended for all collections, particularly those of public and school libraries.
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- William O. Scheeren, Hempfield Area H.S. Lib., Greensburg, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.