- Paperback: 462 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1530373824
- ISBN-13: 978-1530373826
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,639,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Back of the Net: A Novel of International Football, Fashion and the Test of Friendship Paperback – March 6, 2017
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About the Author
David Caraccio drew his inspiration for Back of the Net from his lifelong fandom of international soccer and his personal experiences playing the game. He is also the author of Tiburico!—a novel that was named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016.
Caraccio holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Diego State University and is an online news editor at the Sacramento Bee newspaper. He and his wife live in Fair Oaks, California, with their dog and cats.
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Top customer reviews
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Just as he did in his first novel -- the compelling "Tiburcio!" -- Caraccio finds a narrative sweet spot in relationships that he spins into gently shaded interactions, colorful conflict and resolution and, ultimately, a satisfying tale.
Though "Net" puts an examination of the men and women obsessed by high fashion, top-level soccer and each other on a level pitch, in truth, this is as much buddy picture as romance. Relationships between teammates are as intense -- and sometimes brittle -- as those between a single-minded budding soccer superstar and his impossibly beautiful lover. The characters are well-drawn, and their depth anchors Caraccio's story, infusing his back-and-forth journey between sport and the world of haute couture with an unmistakable intensity.
Highlights are many, but the author's use of individual scenes showing the real-time experience of footballers immersing themselves in the "beautiful game" verges on poetry. Many of these scenes could stand alone as short stories, so detailed and well drawn are they.
Caraccio is unafraid to work in pulpy pot-boiling scenes featuring drug-fueled trysts, a drunken brawl and some pure, green-eyed jealousy. But it works, and in the end, the satisfying resolution doesn't put every character's house in perfect order, but it succeeds in eliciting real emotion, and maybe a tear.
As with the otherwise excellent "Tibercio!", the author sometimes allows dialogue to stumble, including overlong speeches that contrast with the sleek narrative that otherwise moves things along at a page-turning pace. Here's hoping that for his next novel -- soon, please -- Caraccio and his editor work off the conversational rough edges and leave in their place the same nuanced, knowing writing that characterizes the best of this very good book.
As a demi-travelogue and peek into high-fashion modeling and the cat-scratch posturing apparently required for success, "Net" scores. Caraccio knows clothes. And powerful movers and shakers. And beautiful women. When he puts them together in the same room -- or continent, even -- things crackle. You can tell the author has fun moving these chess pieces around.
But again, it's his encyclopedic knowledge of soccer -- Caraccio was an accomplished amateur player -- that gives this novel its real depth and humanity. His study of the players and their single-minded love of the game is the soul of "The Back of the Net." And his ability to convey his passion with such clarity is the real accomplishment.