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Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank and the 2004 Paperback – Bargain Price, September 5, 2006
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"Destination reading for anyone who worships at the twin altars of pop culture and sports." -- Entertainment Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
Simmons starts the new section with an analysis of how Sox fans confronted a new and uncursed existence. He asks "What happens when your identity gets stripped away, when you get the chance to start from scratch?" He follows this with: a comparison of Larry Bird and Big Papi, coverage of the Dice-K acquisition, the 2007 championship, the Rocket and the Roids, a defense of Manny being Manny and the 2008 loss to the Rays. Through it all, Simmons writing is more about what it is to be a fan than it is about the team or the game.
If you strip away the occassionally on target pop culture references and the more accurately directed humor, this book is the story of the love affair of Simmons, his family and his city for a team. (Part of that sentence is stolen from Ken Coleman's 1967 Impossible Dream narration.) The Sports Guy proudly wears his passion on his sleeve: "I think like a fan, write like a fan and try like hell to keep it that way." It is a lifelong relationship: "You love sports most when you are 16, then you love it a little less every year."
Reading these columns, another diehard instinctively feels an affinity for Simmons and appreciates his commitment, knowledge and intermittant suffering. This is made easier because the author often recognizes when he has stepped across the line that separates the healthfully obsessed from the not quite well (One of his footnotes points out, "This paragraph made me sound like an a**hole.Read more ›
Bill's new book contains columns that he wrote for ESPN.com as well as those written before that time dealing with his obsession with the Boston Red Sox and their attempt to win their first World Series since 1918. If you started reading Simmons on ESPN.com, you'll get about 100 or so pages of columns you've never read before (written prior to mid-2001). The remaining 250 pages will probably seem familiar to you as they all appeared on ESPN.com, but Bill has added footnotes along the edges with additional obsevations, witty comments and thoughts on how he feels about what he wrote at this point in time. He also has appeared to rework his columns, with the most notable change being that he has added considerable profanity to his ESPN.com columns (which was not there when originally published). I thought that was an interesting twist to his reworking of the material.
The ups and downs of the Red Sox, with the gut-wrenching loss in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Yankees in 2003 chronicled as well as the joy he experienced from his team finally winning it all in 2004. He covers all the emotions well. When his 2004 season columns were originally written, I was genuinely happy for him and the other Red Sox fans, as they had gone through a lot over the years.Read more ›
Rather than being the typical sports retrospective play-by-play of the 2004 World Series, Simmons manages to tell a very personal and very funny story about becoming and staying a true believer. Sure, sure-we all know the ending of this story-the Sox finally win. In Simmons' hands, the ending is hardly the point. Rather, it's the five-year ride he takes us on, with stops in Hollywood, Fenway, matrimony, and even fatherhood. It makes no difference if you love the Sox, hate the Yankees, or even care about sports. Read this book if you enjoy sharp, opinionated, fast moving, and funny writing.
I truly can't put it down. (sorry, it's true).
It's like reading his column for hours. Fun footnotes on the side of the pages are basically like a running diary of him narrating the columns and giving you funny and enlightening asides.
I am unhealthily addicted to reading it (just ask my wife). I'm telling you, it's like intellectual crack. Buy it if you like the Sports Guy. Buy it if you like to sit down with your buddies and crack jokes and watch sports. Buy it if you just appreciate a fresh writing style unencumbered by the need to be "literary" in the hoity-toity sense.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bill Simmons is an awesome writer and this book was great! I went on a sort of sports book reading binge over the last month and a writing reviews for all (7) of the books I read,... Read morePublished on June 25, 2014 by Abigail
If sports books were treated like works of art, then "Now I Can Die in Peace" probably could be considered the first post-modernist book of its kind. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by WDX2BB
Funny and insightful. However, it is mostly a collection of historical writings. That being said, I did enjoy this book.Published on November 10, 2013 by Steve Jones
Absolutely loved this book. Can't believe I read it so quick, literally couldn't put it down. Gave it to my friend who wasn't a red sox fan and he loved it tooPublished on October 29, 2013 by Conor Cosgrove
As much of Bill Simmons' work does, this book displayed the Boston-based sports writer's love of his hometown Red Sox and was written from the perspective that only real Simmons... Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by Peter James Schauer
I would've loved to have a book about the Red Sox championship season from Bill Simmons' POV. Unfortunatley what I got was his old columns copied and pasted, with some fresh... Read morePublished on March 19, 2013 by Usni
Raised a Sox fan and I can truly relate in a VERY funny, quirky, familiar way to The Sports Guy!Published on January 21, 2013 by Stephanie
Obviously, if I was a Seattle Mariners fan I would probably give this one or two stars just because I wouldn't know what the hell was going on. Read morePublished on January 20, 2012 by Nathan Webster