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The Poet: The Life and Los Angeles Times of Jim Murray Hardcover – February 1, 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Comedian Fred Allen said that California was a great place to live if you’re an orange. It also became a great place if you loved prose told by a man who knew, to paraphrase Churchill, that words are bullets the writer uses as ammunition. That man was Jim Murray. As Steven Travers recounts, Murray moved sports’ media center to the West Coast. He also moved beyond balls and strikes into business, politics, and culture, using language as beautifully as Jascha Heifetz played a violin.”—Curt Smith, author of Voices of the Game: The Acclaimed Chronicle of Baseball Radio and Television Broadcasting and Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story
(Curt Smith)

About the Author

STEVEN TRAVERS, a University of Southern California graduate and former professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Oakland A’s, is the author of twenty books, including the bestselling Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman (Sports Publishing, 2002), nominated for a Casey Award as Best Baseball Book of 2002; and One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game that Changed a Nation (Taylor Trade, 2007). A former prep sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times, he lives in California and has one daughter, Elizabeth.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159797854X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597978545
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,687,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a brand new book on the writing and life of the late sports columnist Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times (1961-1998). There is some repetition of other books on Jim Murray regarding the blindness he suffered with for several years and the personal problems he had with one of his children.

Jim had a gift with words and his background in history enabled him to weave the subject in a humorous way with the individual he was writing about. There would be times a reader may lose the significance of his humor if they did not have his history background.

Jim Murray was fortunate to cover teams in the southern California area such as the Dodgers and Lakers at a time they were dominant in addition to college teams such as USC and UCLA. Koufax and Drysdale, Magic Johnson, Kareen Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West,and Elgin Baylor ("who is as unstoppable as a woman's tears") were just some of the subject matter available to Murray.

The book flows in a chronological manner from childhood until his death in 1998 and includes snippets of his writing regarding those he wrote about. Murray also enjoyed gently chiding cities such as Cincinnati, Green Bay, and St. Louis. It became somewhat of an honor for a city to be "insulted" by Murray.

The book also includes several of his "funnies" he said about various individuals or events. Examples are: "Ricky Henderson's strike zone is smaller than Hitler's heart." Regarding the start of the Indianapolis 500 race: "Gentlemen, start your coffins." The book concludes with Appendix C which is his column regarding the loss of a friend which is the sight in his good eye. It's worth the price of the book.

Jim Murray has always been my favorite columnist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stopped reading this one, it is not well written, jumps around madly and contains almost no language from his columns. The author lavishes praise on Mr. Murray, which is well deserved, but he fails to explain why this praise is so justified. Much description, but no actual text from Mr. Murray, making it impossible to understand why he was so loved. Poor sonofagun went blind, almost, kind of sad.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our family have been longtime fans of Jim Murray. It provided a very interesting journey into our past. A good read. An appropriate gift and continuing to make its way through the family.
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