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Rough & Tumble: A Novel Hardcover – September 2, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312375743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312375744
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A former New York Giants tight end and two-time Pro Bowler, Bavaro turns in a gritty, behind-the-scenes look at life in the NFL for his debut novel. Dominic Fucillo (tight end for the Giants, natch) is having a bad week. The commissioner is fining him $50,000 for attacking a referee, his estranged girlfriend won't talk to him and the team doctor tells him that he has a hole in his knee that will need career-ending surgery after the season. Worse, Dominic's hopes of capping his career with a Super Bowl ring are threatened when star Giants linebacker James Moze, a drug user who consorts with gamblers, is found severely beaten. As the gamblers and other parasites circle the team, the Giants make an improbable run for a championship, with Dominic fighting all the way. Bavaro's dark vision of the NFL won't shock most pro football fans, but they will find much to cheer in his colorful characters, insider revelations and lively storytelling. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Dom Fucillo, a tight end for the New York Giants football team, has enjoyed one of his better years in a 10-year career. In the space of a week, however, with the play-offs and a potential run to the Super Bowl on the horizon, his world begins to disintegrate. He learns he has a deteriorating condition in his knee that will end his career; his longtime lover mysteriously refuses contact with him; and the team’s star defensive player is severely beaten and left in the parking lot. Dom, who is focused only on football, is forced to examine his life more broadly. Are his off-field friends really his friends? Why has Emma rebuffed all his attempts at reconciliation? Who is behind his teammate’s beating? And most importantly, how will he come to grips with life without football? Bavaro, a former New York Giant tight end himself, has written a fascinating rookie novel. He absolutely gets the football right, but more surprisingly, he has created a thoughtful, credible narrator and an intriguing mix of full-bodied secondary characters who exist in the shadows of professional sports. --Wes Lukowsky

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
I picked up the book because I liked the cover and I try to read a wide range of genres.
Jacqueline
Rough and tumble is a must read for anyone who has played sports or has any interest in the life of a professional athlete.
Lv Angioletti Jr. MD
Excellent insight and we hope Mark Continues to develop more stories from an insiders perspective.
Robert W. Hecht

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joe Average Football Fan on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A fast paced funny, witty, thought provoking and shocking look at life of an aging NFL player. You think you had a bad week, try this one on for size..A great book for the traveling commuter, vacation read or for enjoyment..no self respecting sports fan should miss Bavaro's book. For a quiet guy that scared the likes of the Big Tuna he has a lot to say with a style and eloquence the reader wouldnt expect from a first timer. If you like Dan Jenkins Semi-Tough this has much more substance and is nearly as funny without the "colorful" language. Couldnt put it down..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
4.5 stars
I am not a football fan of any sort. I only understand the bare rudiments of the game. I had never heard of the author as a football player. I picked up the book because I liked the cover and I try to read a wide range of genres. I really enjoyed the book. I felt that the scenes that took place on the playing field were very well written and conveyed the essence of the game in a very clear style to a non football fan. In addition I liked the story of a man who has more or less lost his way who knows it and tries to find himself again and correct some of the errors he's made. The writing was very good for a first time author, spare and clear even if some of the things that happen were not huge surprises. I definitely will try Bavaro's next book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The other five star reviews on this site are certainly justified. Previous to this novel, we knew Mark Bavaro as a quiet man who played football with passion; he never quit on his teammates, his fans, or himself - the consummate team player in an era of ego-driven stars. Now, we see that Bavaro was a keen listener who has a good command of language, and an amazing ear for dialog. The comparisons to Peter Gent's "North Dallas Forty" are legitimate, and in interviews Mark has acknowledged his admiration for Gent's groundbreaking novel.

The two books intersect, not just in their insiders, helmet's off view of the world of the NFL. Like Gent, Bavaro is a real writer, and uses a craftsman's skills to unravel a compelling, highly believable story that stays with you (I won't reveal much of the plot as it reads best without prior clues). Peter Gent is clearly one of the most underrated author's around, although he has never been forgotten for "North Dallas Forty," his equally strong books: "The Franchise," "The Conquering Heroes," and "Magic Last Summer" are jewels that have never gotten their just due. It remains to be seen if Bavaro can follow this fine novel and maintain the kind of artistic consistency that Gent did, but I would never bet against Mark. His has shown the ability to create real characters (some of them with just the right amount of fragments of his former mates), and to mix a sense of spirituality and suspense into a novel. That's quite an accomplishment! Do yourself a favor and read a real novel that happens to deal with America's Pastime, you won't be disappointed nor will you forget it.
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By C. Albano on December 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a commuter train reader who reads mostly fiction (Grisham, Connelly, Koontz, DeMille, Flynn). This book was recommended to me, but as a Patriots and Cowboys fan I was reluctant to read something written by a Giant. However, I gave it a shot as it IS about football. Boy, am I glad I read this book. Bavaro really did a great job conveying the finer points of being an NFL player while telling a great story. This author does a great job of bringing the reader into the locker room and showing us the NFL behind closed doors. Additionally, the reader is shown what life is like for an NFL star when he leaves the confines of the stadium and is vulnerable to the fringes of the fooball life. Only somebody who had starred in the NFL could have written this book so well. I also recommended this book to my 73 year old mother and she loved it and read it in two days.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the ultimate book about the life of an NFL player. Written with gusto and style, Bavarro not only takes you on the playing field and the locker room, but takes you inside the head of a end of the line football player. Not since North Dallas Forty has there been such a fine novel.

Dominick is a troubled football player- alcoholic, pill popper, temper issues and bad relationships with women. He is a wounded guy, with many faults, but a guy with a heart and man who is tortured by the game he plays and the football life that could soon be over for him due to age, bad knees and bad decisions. Spending time with Dom and his story is a guilty pleasure, that all should take. I loved this one.
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Format: Hardcover
Rough and tumble is a must read for anyone who has played sports or has any interest in the life of a professional athlete. Mark Bavaro's character "Dom Fucillo" is a prototypical tight end; tough, silent, and strong. His morality and character win out over the odds, in a game of performance enhancing drugs, with mobster and gamblers hanging on. Plus lots of laughs when he describes the 300lb defensive monster playing across from him in "clean size 17 shoes." Give this book to your boyfriend or husband for Valentine's Day !!!
Louis V. Angioletti MD
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never knew how tough football is until I read this story and experienced the heart and soul of the players and the locker room. They risk it all to win.
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