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Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warmth and wisdom in the flat-out funniest sports novel, June 24, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Semi-Tough (Hardcover)
Take your great stylists of humor today -- your Molly Ivins, your Bob Shacochis, your Carrie Fisher, some would say your Dave Barry, you get the idea -- take those great writers and know that Dan Jenkins is second to none of them in creating his own universe of language, a convincing land where jocular wit reigns and finely drawn characters live, where the fun is wild but never eclipsed by love. Jenkins shows off best in "Semi-Tough," about ready for revival as a piece of hilarious '70s nostalgia. It's the story of a woman and her two lifetime friends, both Giants stars about to play the Super Bowl. It's told by Billy Clyde, taping some comments for a game-week diary with a hilarious casual honesty and the best eye for detail a reader could want. While the redneck backdrop and the laughing, cynical use of sexist, homosexist, ethnic and especially racist slurs might get hard to read even in this context, the ribald high-life and football hype life are a constant, sly hoot. Most important, though, is the subtly drawn family of friends at the book's center; love has seldom gotten such an affectionate treatment without too much sweetener. Careful readers will find layers of psychological meaning revealed in Billy Clyde's monologues, giving this book a depth to go along with its colorful lifestyles of the studs. If you're a football fan, or if you're a friendship fan, or if you just like to laugh out loud while you read a tightly paced book, "Semi-Tough" has got something for you. Join the readers who know this little book is one of the unheralded gems.
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