- Series: Harperperennial Modern Classics
- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reissue edition (May 9, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060883960
- ISBN-13: 978-0060883966
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 162 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Boys of Summer (Harperperennial Modern Classics) Reissue Edition
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"At a point in life when one is through with boyhood, but has not yet discovered how to be a man, it was my fortune to travel with the most marvelously appealing of teams." Sentimental because it holds such promise, and bittersweet because that promise is past, the first sentence of this masterpiece of sporting literature, first published in the early '70s, sets its tone. What follows only gets better, deeper, more sentimental, and more bittersweet. The team, of course, is the mid-20th-century Brooklyn Dodgers, the team of Robinson and Snyder and Hodges and Reese, a team of great triumph and historical import composed of men whose fragile lives were filled with dignity and pathos. Roger Kahn, who covered that team for the New York Herald Tribune, makes understandable humans of his heroes as he chronicles the dreams and exploits of their young lives, beautifully intertwining them with his own, then recounts how so many of those sweet dreams curdled as the body of these once shining stars grew rusty with age and battered by experience. It is the rare sports book that cannot be contained by the limitations of its genre; it is equal parts journalism, memoir, social history, and poetry. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Roger Kahn has achieved the near impossible in his "The Boys of Summer" by writing two splendid books in one, neither of which, strangely enough, is a sports book although baseball is the central theme of both. To Mr. Kahn, 'people' is the name of the game, and it's a game he plays with brilliance, insight and thoughtfulness. To say that I 'enjoyed' the book is to say that winning a World Championship is 'interesting', owing a derby winner 'nice', and starring in the Super Bowl 'fun'."-- Bill Veeck"Kahn's book is marvelous...a splendid historical work. It is about youthful dreams in small American towns and big cities decades ago, and how some of these dreams where fulfilled, and about what happened to those dreamers after reality and old age arrived. It is also a book about ourselves, those of us who shared and identified with the dreams and glories of our heroes."-- Gay Talese"What most people look for in a book is a good story. Roger Kahn gives us about fifteen of them woven into one coherent narrative that is moving and funny and sentimental (about people and things that merit sentiment) and cynical (about those that don't)."-- Ring Lardner, Jr. "To writer Roger Kahn, the old Brooklyn Dodgers National League baseball team is a forever a priceless violin and he is the bow which must play upon it. This isn't a book; it's a love affair between a man, his team, and an era."-- "Christian Science Monitor""A work of high purpose and poetic accomplishment. The finest American book on sports. I commend it without qualification."-- James Michener"The "Boys of Summer" is a book of life . . . beautifully and above all . . . respectfully observed."-- Paul Hogan"A work of high purpose and poeticaccomplishment. The finest American book on sports. I commend it without qualification."--James Michener"The best team the majors ever saw, a team so extraordinary that Marianne Moore wrote poems to it--the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s...A moving elegy!"--"New York Times"Not just another book about baseball or a boy growing up to like baseball, but a book about pain and defeat and endurance, about how men anywhere must live."--Peter Prescott, "Newsweek
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Top customer reviews
The first half of the book is more akin to an autobiography of the author which I found a bit tedious. When the author does indeed get into the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and later to the player interviews the book becomes a joyous and quick read that leaves you wishing for more.
I've been a Dodger fan since the 70's and after reading this book I really do wish I was alive to see The Boys of Summer play.
It is a long time now since the Dodgers were in Brooklyn but each time I read about that era I get a lump in my throat. I loved Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Wait Till Next year about the same years, the same Dodgers, and what could have been (but wasn't, of course) the same father. I don't know if fathers still pass down the love of a sport to their children because sports are so different now, but it sure made a difference to these two Dodger lovers back in the day.
This is touted as the best sports book ever, and it is certainly one of the very best that I have ever read, but as other reviewers have said here, the book is about more than baseball, it is about a disparate group of men, and boys, coming together to play a game and to learn about themselves and life and love and loss and the social changes in the aftermath of World War 2. It is delightful and fun to read, and it rings of truth and packs a punch.
The rest of the book covers what happened to the main players after they left the game. I enjoyed that much more, as well as some history of the franchise.
Overall a good book for baseball fans.
Most recent customer reviews
By Roger Kahn
The Boys of Summer is the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers when the best came to play baseball: Pee...Read more