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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best sports book ever written...
...and a strikingly vivid portrayal of the intricacies of big-time college athletics. Albom has the ability to make the story of five basketball players from inner-city America transcend race, culture, and sport, and he writes a book moving to fans and non-fans alike. His prose is elegant, his portrayals intensely realistic. I've read this book at least twenty times,...
Published on November 2, 1999

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good nostalgia, bad writer
I love the book, which reminds me of when I was little watching the Fab Five play. When read right before and after watching the documentary, it makes it even better. The thing that irks me is the tone of the old, white sportswriter (I know, Albom is more than a sportswriter now) portraying inner-city life and in-game trash talk. It makes me cringe and there isn't a page...
Published 20 months ago by Matty Bo


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best sports book ever written..., November 2, 1999
By A Customer
...and a strikingly vivid portrayal of the intricacies of big-time college athletics. Albom has the ability to make the story of five basketball players from inner-city America transcend race, culture, and sport, and he writes a book moving to fans and non-fans alike. His prose is elegant, his portrayals intensely realistic. I've read this book at least twenty times, and it never ceases to amaze. It is the best tribute imaginable to the young men who were the Fab Five and to the cultural phenomenon they induced. Albom perfectly captures what it felt like to be a fan of the Fab Five in the early '90s and reminds us all of the complexities involved when five strong, brash, and confident individuals take the court...and there's only one ball. A must-read for all individuals--I promise it won't disappoint.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Five Freshmen, April 9, 2006
This review is from: The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream (Hardcover)
"What scares you Jalen? Death, said Jalen,... because I can't imagine a world without me in it." The cockiness that was the Fab Five is captured perfectly by Mitch Albom in his book the Fab Five; Basketball, Trash Talk and the American Dream. Like Albom's other books Tuesdays with Morrie and 5 People You Meet in Heaven, his story telling engulfs the reader and transforms a normal story into a legendary tale. Albom recognizes the important interaction between people in their actions and conversations and captures that in his writing. This story, the Fab Five, was a great book and one of the best for any sports fan. The "Greatest Class Ever Recruited", as Albom called them, is a great story that is told from behind the scenes, during the Fab Five's historic career at the University of Michigan. The Fab Five by Albom is the finest sports book because Albom's humorous and stylish writing brings to life the events surrounding five freshmen that transformed college basketball.

The Fab Five is a book about Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, the fabulous five freshmen at the University of Michigan. A group assembled in many different ways, each contributing a unique story to what brought them to Ann Arbor. Albom takes his first few chapters describing the intricate lines that connected each player to Ann Arbor. Jalen and Chris were from Detroit and went to UofM because they were always best friends. Ray Jackson and Jimmy King are from Texas. Ray Jackson was noticed accidentally while scouts were in Texas recruiting other players. For Jimmy King, he came to UofM because Juwan Howard, his roommate on a recruiting trip, was going. And to put it all together, Juwan became a Michigan Wolverine because his recently diseased grandmother wanted him to go to UofM. Together they became the Fab Five and marched their way on campus and took the college basketball world by storm making it to back-to-back NCAA men's national championship appearances.

The caliber of talent that sounds this book is one for the history books. However, the Fab Five would not be the book it was without the writing and story telling ability of Mitch Albom. Albom has been voted the number one sports writer an unprecedented seven times by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has hosted a TV show on ESPN and written many famous books as well as a sports column for the "Detroit Free Press". His ability to touch every reader regardless of background is rare. He makes people cry reading Tuesdays with Morrie and people stand up in cheer for the `91 Michigan basketball team in the Fab Five. Undoubtedly, Albom is one of the best writers in American and is writing about one of the best sports teams America has ever witnessed.

Albom accurately describes the sequence of events leading five high school seniors to main-stream college freshman superstars. But one of the things that makes this story one for the ages is that while on many teams today it is rare to see two freshmen starting a game, in 1991 the Fab Five were five freshman players who all started on a team that made it to the NCAA men's Championship basketball game. Having five freshman start a national championship game is unheard of and still to this day, unmatched. Albom predicts, "There will never be another group like the Fab Five." Through what brought them to Michigan, through every behind the scenes event, through every exciting and electrifying game, this book comes to life in front of the readers' eyes. As the book progresses the plot thickens for these young athletes as if Albom himself wrote the story. Every big game and tournament game was commentated as if live from the radio. Albom writes, "And with 21 seconds left, Michigan lead by just a basket, 71-69. `No three-point-shots,' fisher yelled." The games brought a sense of involvement for the reader taking them back in time to the game. With writing style that is clear and descriptive, and while combined with the dazzling games provided by the Michigan Basketball team, this leads to a suspenseful, well illustrated book that makes the heart pump and adrenaline rush. While watching the suspenseful games, Albom knew greatness at the very moment it happened and was there to preserve ever moment of history in his book; a book about kids who became "The Greatest Class Ever Recruited."

They had become the most popular names and faces in college basketball. In Ann Arbor, they sold jerseys and shorts for a hundred and fifty dollars total; "They sold out in a heartbeat," Albom wrote. Stories like these make this book different than any other sports book, a book written while the events occurred with detailed stories nobody else could get. He also wrote about that one game they all walked onto the court with their fashionably baggy shorts, black socks and black shoes revolutionizing college basketball, and he was there to catch every story and detail. Black socks, black shoes and baggy shorts all surprised people watching college basketball. Later looking back, people would contribute these five freshmen as revolutionizing basketball and creating its image today. Albom knew this and felt it was necessary to capture their uniqueness in this book. Mitch Albom, like the rest of the world knew greatness while it was happening and the passion and enthusiasm that he wrote with to illustrate that greatness he was witnessing is another example of why this book is so fabulous.

Albom also included inside stories, taking the reader to a place only a few were able to see. Inside the games, inside the practices and inside the family that was the Fab Five. When Jalen walked in the first day as a freshman and announced, "Freshmen verse ya'll," everyone in the gym was stunned. Where most freshmen come in to find themselves at the bottom of the barrel, these freshmen came in and ran right to the top. After saying, "Freshmen verse ya'll," the five freshman went on to win three scrimmages against the upper classmen. Albom wrote, "The Fab Five has been born." While many people could watch the televised games and see for themselves the spectacle surrounding these freshmen, he took this audience backstage and incorporated these stories that give the reader more than they could otherwise see. Stories about crazy pranks to trash talking rants and bizarre interviews to the baggy shorts and black socks and shoes, is why Fab Five gives the reader more than a sports book. It gives the reader a legendary, and even though no previous knowledge is necessary a substantial amount of time is essential because putting the book down once the readers starts if difficult.

The Fab Five is a humorous, entertaining and well written book, but furthermore, it is an inside look at one of the greatest college basketball stories. Mitch Albom, as one of America's most heralded writers, gives one of his best writing performances for his perfectly illustrated, historical tale of "The Greatest Recruiting Class Ever." He captivated my attention and sparked my interest in Michigan Basketball because of his urban style humor and story telling ability. While most other historical accounts tend to be boring, Mitch Albom captivates his readers and provides one of the best books about sports; a must read for any sports fan. Albom quoted Jalen Rose, "they'll be talking about us for 20 years." This is true about the Fab Five and the Fab Five will be talked about for many years to come
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No doubt., December 23, 2004
By 
Steven Kempton (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
With all the kids going to the pros now this book just gets more and more interesting. College hoops may never be the same as it was when the fab five were together. Although it may be wrong to say they were the reason for so many changes, they were certainly style agents of the nth degree. No doubt about the power of youth and potential and Albom captures all of it with a lot of excitement and enjoyment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Univ of Michigan Fab Five Rules!!!, May 17, 1999
By A Customer
This is clearly the best sports book I ahave ever read in my life and would recommend this book to any of the college and NBA basketball fans out there. You will see how Chris, Juwan, and Jalen came about, where they are superstars in the NBA, while Jimmy and Ray had to try a little harder to become the stars, which they still haven't yet (but they will be in the NBA soon!!!). EVERYBODY, get this book its fun and fast reading, very informative, Mitch Albom did a great job in giving the reader an inside story of what was going on during the 92-94 Fab Five hype!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Five - The Story of the Baggy Pants Revolution, May 16, 2001
By 
Mark Pappas (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream (Hardcover)
The book covers the trials and tribulations of Michigan University's freshmen class of '91 (Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King). A remarkablely indepth "inside" story, Albom dives into each players lead up to limelight and their reception to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Friends, December 14, 2009
This review is from: The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream (Hardcover)
This... is... the... beginning...
Welcome to the hip hop entry into the NCAA. In a BIG way. Prior to the Fab Five, there were hip hop athletes on college teams. You even had some stars in the same conference. But NEVER this collection in one TEAM. Put it like this, what Michigan accomplished was something short of a minor miracle. The Fab Five became cultural icons, and introduced to college basketball alot of the trends it enjoys now. Proof? Ok, best friends going to same team, who can actually play (Rose/Webber) later became (Oden/Conley), Black socks, Black shoes, baggy shorts, above the rim (don't mention Phi Slamma Jamma, i'm talking all 5 starters will dunk on you, AT WILL), inside/outside perimeter players (King), pregame chants, big time Nike endorsements (specific shoes, quickstrikes, etc) the list goes ON... Keep in mind the top 4 players in the NATION went here (Howard- #1 C, King- #1 SG, Rose- #1 PG, Webber- #1 PF) and one all State (Jackson), from the same class. That will never be repeated. This book captures all the good, bad, and ugly in Michigan Hoops, from never winning a Title, to the conceived prejudiced IU-Michigan games, to the heated Duke games. Even the media portrayal and "dismissal" are discussed in this book. From Steve Fisher and his bosses acceptance, and reliance on the class, to how it changed UM financial fortunes for the basketball team, to the Nike-Webber recruitment, to the after effects on recruiting, it's all wonderfully laid out. Why no 5 star? easy, I went to IU :-)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars as good as they always said it was, June 10, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream (Hardcover)
I wanted to read this book for a long time and never got to it and then, when i was in the mood, it was hard to track down. i finally found it and it really is one of the best sports books ever. the team itself was a fascinating once-in-a-life collection of young talent, and albom does a very good job weaving all the personalities together. the 20 pages or so that describe the infamous game when chris webber mistakenly called timeout is one of the best prolonged pieces of sportswriting i have ever read. i've copies it to use in a writing group I belong to. great book, esp interesting now to see how the star players have fared in the pros. the book does not say nearly as much as the title purports about urban street life in america, but that's not the writer's fault. that shame goes to the hype king or queen who simply went too far in the title.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failures? I'd Disagree!, May 19, 2001
By 
Dave (Detroit, MI USA) - See all my reviews
Some say that the Fab Five were failures. The say that with the level of talent they had and not being able to win a championship they underacheived. I consider making it to the Final Four two consecutive years is accomplishing quite a bit. How in the world could coach Steve Fisher handle the pressure of having the nation's basketball spotlight on him and the Fab Five? Mitch Albom does and abloslutely phenomenal job following the Michigan basketball team through the ups and downs of the years with the Fab Five. Mitch goes through what is was like for all five of the freshman before they decided to come to Michigan. If you are remotely interested in basketball, read this book! It is excellent and keeps you interested the entire way through! If you are not a basketball fan, read the book anyways; you will become one. READ IT!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Five: Basketball, trash talk, the American dream, October 3, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream (Hardcover)
by Mitch Albom This book talks about the University of Michigan Men's basketball team, freshman class of 1992. They landed five of the best high school players in the country. The book follows each player from high school to Michigan. Then follows Michigan on a quest for a National Championship. Also it talks about the troubles a team with five very talented freshman would have to go through. Older players mad because theyr're not playing enough and vice versa. And what Steve Fisher, the coach, should do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Five: Basketball, trash talk, the American dream, October 3, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream (Hardcover)
by Mitch Albom This book talks about the University of Michigan Men's basketball team, freshman class of 1992. They landed five of the best high school players in the country. The book follows each player from high school to Michigan. Then follows Michigan on a quest for a National Championship. Also it talks about the troubles a team with five very talented freshman would have to go through. Older players mad because theyr're not playing enough and vice versa. And what Steve Fisher, the coach, should do.
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The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream
The Fab Five: Basketball Trash Talk the American Dream by Mitch Albom (Hardcover - November 30, 1993)
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