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The Boys of Summer First Edition (first thus) Edition
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"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
"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
"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
"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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Kahn's memoir of his life in Brooklyn and in the world beyond is really three books in one. First, it's an evocative story of growing up in the '30s and '40s in an intellectually challenging household that somehow (much to his mother's disgust) centered around the exasperating study of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Second, it's the tale of a young writer who at an astonishingly young age found himself covering the team he loved during two bittersweet seasons ('52 and '53) that ended in agonizing seven-game World Series losses to (who else?) the New York Yankees.
Third, it's the story of how this no-longer-young writer went back to find the Boys of Summer long after their careers had ended. This is the most poignant section of the book: Kahn's finely etched portraits of the heroes of his youth, now ordinary men leading ordinary (but compelling) lives.
What sets this book apart from the vast majority of books written about baseball (sports in general, really) is Kahn's respect for his subjects. Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Carl Erskine, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, et al., emerge as three-dimensional characters capable of heroism and strong-willed determination as well as bitterness.
To recount the individual stories contained in this book even briefly would not do justice to the book or to its subjects. It's a book best savored slowly, allowing its resonance to work its magic. The story of a vanished world and a vanished team, "The Boys of Summer" recreates both so vividly that between its pages, neither will ever die.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too much nostalgia and not enough sports stories and action. He interviewed people I had no interest in and were not very interesting. But it was fun to go back in time.Published 23 days ago by James R. Duckett
Not bad, not great. Got this one because it is on several of the 100, 80, 50, etc books everyone must read lists. Reads quick. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Matt B.
Whenever you read a book by Roger Kahn, you're reading a book about Roger Kahn -- and Roger Kahn thinks quite highly of himself.Published 1 month ago by Sully
The interviews in the second half are more compelling than Kahn's own story in the first half, and one can't help wishing that the player section had been expanded and that Kahn... Read morePublished 2 months ago by LH
This is L O N G, but I loved it. You have to like baseball to enjoy this.Published 2 months ago by M. Lynch
Although I knew nothing, and still very little, about baseball, I found this a great sporting read. Extremely well written and really captures the essence of a bygone era.Published 2 months ago by Alexander O'Farrell
Great book that is not just about baseball; it tells how the writer intermingled with the players and his road to writing the book. Very interesting, heartfelt and entertaining.Published 4 months ago by K. Frederick
I can't begin to tell you what a great book this is. Not only does it account the great Brooklyn Dodger's teams of the early 50's, but provides an eyewitness account of growing up... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Thonza