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Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball Hardcover – May 4, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
A day at the ball park prompts a meditation on family ties in this loose-limbed, beguiling memoir. Sports journalist Leitch (God Save the Fan) recounts a 2008 game at Wrigley Field at which he and his father watched their beloved St. Louis Cardinals lose to the Chicago Cubs, who were on the brink of clinching the divisional title. His sprightly color commentary covers the bases with adroitly analyzed play-by-play, awed encomiums to Cards slugger Albert Pujols (an alien using superior technology to mock us feeble humans), and rabid incitements against the hated Cubs. As in any ball game, there's plenty of downtime for arcane statistics, ruminations on drug scandals—who cares, Leitch asks, as long as steroids mean more homers?—and commercial interruptions (I'm a subscriber to the MLB At Bat application, which allows you access to... real-time score updates with full box scores and stats). Most of all, Leitch delivers an homage to his dad, a laconic stalwart brimming with manly truths—some imparted while driving a pickup with an open container—that sports bring to the surface. The result is a jaunty, heartfelt, Father's Day–ready celebration of baseball as the ultimate bonding rite. Photos. (May)
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About the Author
Will Leitch is a writer based in New York City and the founding editor of the Gawker Media sports blog Deadspin. Leitch is a contributing editor at New York, a contributor to The New York Times, GQ, Fast Company and Slate, and has published three books, Catch, a novel; Life as a Loser, a memoir; and God Save the Fan, a book of sports essays.
Top customer reviews
This is a book about baseball and its not. If you don't know a force out from a hit and run, don't be put off. Buy this book.
Will Leitch has constructed a multi-tiered book that resonates at every level. It is about baseball, sure, and the die hard baseball fan will love his passion and observations on the game. But, to say this book uses baseball as a metaphor for life would be selling it short. The passion for baseball Will shares with his father, Bryan is merely the vehicle to get to the bigger stuff: family, adversity, coming of age, small town life, college friendships, sibling interaction, whew-that's just the first chapter.
Will handles all of this and more with humor, sarcasm, and a self-deprecating style. He writes well and the book has an easy conversational flow to it. When Will digresses, and he does digress with reckless abandon, he always circles back on the point he is making. He uses the artiface of this book being a message to his future son and it works. The little "what we have learned" chapter summaries are also an interesting touch.
Ultimately this book is about fathers and sons and I have passed my copy along to my son, Bryan, in hopes tht he finds it as compelling as I did.
Such is the case for the author of this book, Will Leitch. His commentary on the quirky rivalry between the Cardinals and Cubs, and the equally quirky perspective of his dad, is a joy to read. Leitch's narrative is at times hysterical; at times poignant; but always entertaining.
Capturing the essence of what baseball represents for fathers and sons everywhere; especially those engaged in that friendly rivalry between Cards and Cubs fans; this book is most definitely "a winner". I loved it.
So many baseball books, even the good ones, are either overly sentimental, overly technical or an extended game summary. Leitch falls into none of those traps despite the fact that the book oozes with sentimentality, has some great technical discussions and actually is, in fact, one long game summary. Neat trick.
'Are We Winning' lets a love for baseball, tradition, and family shine through with great humor. It is a very funny, honest and insightful book.