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Expatriate Games: My Season of Misadventures in Czech Semi-Pro Basketball Hardcover – October 17, 2008
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“if he were a slow-footed, non-jumping, pump-faking point guard from Massachusetts who took his game to Prague on a dare to himself. Of hmmm, hard, but writes like a comic genius. --Will Blythe, author of To Hate Like This is To Be Happy Forever”
In his first book, lawyer and pro basketballer wannabe Fromm offers an entertaining and often hilarious account of his year in Prague playing point guard in a semipro league and attending political science courses at Central European University. Fromm was 23 years old and admits that he was unready for law school or the demands of full-time employment. So instead, in the fall of 1994, he embarked on a thoroughly unplanned trip to a country he barely knew, with somehow stumbled upon a league and a team, and while struggling to learn Czech and Czech customs, get along with his teammates, and earn a degree, Fromm found love, or what he first thought was love. Fromm recounts his adventures with candor and self-deprecating humor, crafting a modest, worthwhile book about discovering yourself and following your passions. The lengthy and numerous basketball game recaps can grow tiresome, but this is an otherwise brisk and breezy read. Recommended for public libraries.”
"Have you ever had a dream that was so crazy and seemingly unrealistic you never even tried to follow it? This book is about a guy who followed that dream all the way to Prague and discovered that, sometimes, the journey is more important than the dream itself. Read it and you might find yourself willing to take a few more chances."
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Top customer reviews
(One little quibble. Jaromir Jagr is not from Brno but Kladno. Kladno is a city of maybe 100,000 about 20 miles northwest of Prague in Bohemia. Brno has nearly a million people and is 200 miles to the east in Moravia).
Fromm is on fire in what appears to be his first book! There are a few places in the book when he's off his game, "losing the handle," "forcing up shots." But, for most of this book, he's in the zone! His witty, self-deprecating style makes for a gut-splitting romp through a season of semi-pro basketball in Eastern Europe -- this is before the explosion of basketball talent from that region. But, Fromm's tale is also about drinking in bars, hanging out at discos, and trying to find that unique form of casual romance that, by the time your 27, is forever out of your reach.
And, Fromm's adeptness at weaving into his story memories of NBA and college basketball lore from his youth (and my youth and, likely, your youth) is icing on the cake. At the same time you're revisiting Fromm's overseas exploits, your revisiting some of your own memories of the game.
This guy should be writing for Page 2 of [...]. He would be an instant hit.
And, even if you're not that former high school basketball player -- or former gym rat -- if you're just a regular old sports guy who's wife or girlfriend keeps asking him to read "Eat, Pray, Love," this is the book for you, too. This is "Eat, Pray, Love" for guys!
Fromm's basketball odyssey is a major part of the book, but he gives readers so much more. The fish-out-of-water explorations of a foreign country, the transition to delayed "real-life" adulthood, the awkward love stories, the half-hearted attempt at a questionable graduate degree--all of these are rendered in gifted prose and a vulnerable voice that earns readers' affection for his quirky choices.
As good as anything from George Plimpton's classic sports fantasies, Fromm takes his place with Pat Conroy's My Losing Season, Jay Atkinson's Ice Time, Melissa King's She's Got Next, and Mark St.Amant's Just Kick It as the best of a recent crop of memoirs that are partly about sports, but mostly about life.
The amount if humor is just right. I wish the author had more books; they would make great gifts for my hubby.
Only complaint was some of game descriptions were too long. But all in all a fun book.