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Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities Hardcover – June 25, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most interesting man in the N.F.L." -- The New York Times

"The quirky and sometimes pugnacious ex-punter for the Vikings reveals a little more about his views on social issues, and a lot more about himself, his career and how his frenetic and far-ranging mind works....Kluwe proves himself to be, indeed, a man for all season--not just football season." -- The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"In a league (and sports climate) which has become one, long, repetitive sound bite, a guy who will actually say something meaningful." -- BleacherReport.com

"Chris Kluwe is a glimmering sparklepony of candor (and not afraid to dive fearlessly into the marriage equality debate)." -- Mother Jones

"It's a strongly worded, profanity laced political and philosophical manifesto from an unlikely new pundit: pro football player Chris Kluwe ... Mr. Kluwe's particular talent as a prose stylist lies in his creative use of inventive swear words." -- The Wall Street Journal's "Speakeasy"

"Kluwe is a genuine iconoclast.... Kluwe's writing makes for an entertaining read. He's as adept at the art of the take-down... but he is capable of toning it down when he has to.... His words present compelling arguments on myriad deep and unsolvable, yet relentlessly fascinating problems." -- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Intelligent and thought-provoking, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies is relentlessly honest; Kluwe pulls no punches, spares no language and writes a rip-roaring debut." -- Shelf Awareness

"A lively collection. In mixing the profane with the prophetic while using a variety of literary devices, the author succeeds at being both entertaining and enlightening. An intriguing assortment of work from an athlete with a lot on his mind." -- Kirkus

"Kluwe is a brainy loudmouth dyspeptic idealistic pessimistic utopian punter/gay rights activist/champion of free speech/family guy who plays guitar. He's sort of Charles Barkley meets Bill "Spaceman" Lee--but with more gravitas." -- ESPN.com

"Kluwe's combination of passion and intelligent self-deprecation has resulted in some must-read stuff....Kluwe is a talented writer with plenty to say. He just happens to kick footballs for a living." -- The Maine Edge

"Chris Kluwe writes much better than I can punt." John Scalzi, award-winning author of Old Man's War and Redshirts

About the Author

Chris Kluwe grew up in Southern California among a colony of wild chinchillas and didn't learn how to communicate outside of barking and howling until he was fourteen years old. He has played football in the NFL, once wrestled a bear for a pot of gold, and lies occasionally. He is also the eternal disappointment of his mother, who just can't understand why he hasn't cured cancer yet. Do you know why these bio things are in third person? I have no idea. Please tell me if you figure it out.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316236772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316236775
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I was skeptical. I loved following Chris' boisterous antics and "free-speech-athon" over the last few years, especially as he became one of the few advocates of marriage equality in ACTIVE professional sports - but in the back of my mind I wondered whether he could coherently bring together that sense of brash honesty in something longer than a blog entry.

He brought it. Spectacularly. His book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities (of which he covers ALL of that and more) is a joy to read. Amazon delivered this book today and I chewed thru it like a lineman at a bar-b-que. So eager was I to finish the book that, to its credit, I did not give it the amount of thought and attention it deserves. That will come upon my second reading.

Kluwe is both vicious in his take down of a multitude of issues and, surprisingly, sympathetic. Who else could both EVISCERATE a fellow player's "SEE SPOT RUN" mentality and compliment him on the observation that he can 'write pretty well'?

The shame (if there is any to be had) is that the very people who SHOULD read this book probably won't go near it. Those are the same "morons" that Kluwe alludes to in the title and then summarily chews up and spits out thru-out the book in unabashed logic. The same ones (are you reading this Archbishop Nienstedt?) that feel that their unabiding and limitless faith can not seem to encompass the very tenants upon which they are based (compassion and love), let alone a universe in which science, biology, and human instinct hold true.

If SparklePonies in anyway sends a message, its that Chris Kluwe and his opinions are not going away anytime soon, nor are mine, nor are yours and that the best love letter you can send to humanity is one that is true, compassionate, and cuts thru the B.S. like a laser.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While Chris's social media antics are hilarious and well written I wondered if he could pull off an entire book. Boy does he ever! His beliefs in social justice are on full display as he rips apart the sad arguements for denying people their rights. As a former professor of rhetoric I loved when he pulled apart an argument by pointing out the fallacies, the same fallacies I tried so hard to make sure my students avoided. Sure there is plenty of foul language, but it serves a well constructed purpose and is not inserted just for the heck of it.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone that wants to understand what is wrong with the United States. If I was still teaching this book would be required reading for my class.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a Packers fan who decided one day to follow a Minnesota Viking on Twitter because Chris Kluwe told ESPN talking head and professional troll Skip Bayless on Twitter to “French kiss a flamethrower” when Bayless had the Montezuma’s Revenge of verbal diarrhea one day on First Take. This was well before that infamous, profane letter directed towards a Maryland state lawmaker posted on Deadspin that started all of this.

If you’re thinking that I’m betraying Packer fandom by following a player who was a division rival on Twitter, first of all, you don’t know me, and second of all, when the only item in the negative column is “he plays for the Minnesota Vikings”, it’s easy to overlook that part when the items in the positive column are numerous. Third, he is one of the few athletes on Twitter who say things other than “rise and grind” or other quasi-inspirational tropes meant to inspire the masses (but just inspires nausea and/or the urge to facepalm repeatedly in me). Plus I only had to pretend I disliked him for a total of 9 hours last season whenever my Packers played the Vikings. And now I don’t even have to do that because he’s now an Oakland Raider.

What does this have to do with a book review? Probably nothing other than it should be known for the record that Chris Kluwe has a lot of Packer fans who follow him on Twitter and a good number of them will probably read his book, like I did.

Being a Twitter follower of his stoked my interest in reading this book when I heard it was coming out. I’m familiar with Kluwe’s sense of humor, his blunt honesty, his inventive use of profanity and zero-tolerance for bull excrement. Plus he’s a nerd and I have an affinity for nerds. I’m married to a nerd.
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He's opinionated bordering on arrogant. He's honest bordering on tactless. He's just and fair bordering on insufferably righteous. He's just plain smart and articulate, and funny as hell. If you've ever been even moderately entertained by Mr. Kluwe in any forum, but it now without hesitation.
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Chris Kluwe is a thoughtful, intelligent player in a game that doesn't expect much of either, but believing that he would be able to produce an entire book in a miniscule time-frame, based on a series of admittedly funny blog posts, was far too ambitious. This book is all over the place, the (previously published) blog posts are far and away the only things worth reading. Did he have an editor? Did they tell him that a few rambling diatribes about... something were fine, but that maybe people who bought a book by an ex-professional football player would expect, I don't know, some mention of playing football in the NFL? Overall, he's not quite as smart or as deep as he would like to be, but good call on including pictures.
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