The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro

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9780316557368: The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro
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A journey to Castel Di Sangro, an Italian village that stunned the soccer world with its team's unexpected success, offers a portrayal of the emotion that swept the town

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We already knew Joe McGinniss could chill our blood (Fatal Vision) and arouse both our pity and distaste for the Kennedys (The Last Brother), but who knew he could be so funny? (Well, maybe readers who remember The Selling of the President back in 1968.) Even those who have no interest in soccer--the majority of Americans, he ruefully admits--will relish the author's vivid account of a team from Castel di Sangro, a tiny town in Italy's poorest region, that against all expectations made it to the national competition. Whether he's chronicling his ordeal at possibly the least-inviting hotel in Italy (the heat doesn't come on until October, no matter the temperature; he is assigned to a room up four flights of stairs though there are no other guests), or sketching a colorful cast of characters that includes the team's sinister owner and an utterly unflappable translator, McGinniss prompts roars of laughter as he reveals an Italy tourists never see. He also saddens readers with a shocking final scene in which he confronts the nation's casual corruption, which taints men he's come to respect and even love. Although not a conventional memoir, this stirring book reveals as much about the author's passionate character as about the nation and the players who win his heart, then break it. --Wendy Smith

From the Back Cover:

Master storyteller Joe McGinniss travels to Italy to cover the unlikely success of a ragtag minor league soccer team -- and delivers a brilliant and utterly unforgettable story of life in an off-the-beaten-track Italian village.

When Joe McGinniss sets out for the remote Italian village of Castel di Sangro in the summer of 1996, he merely wants to spend a season with the village's soccer team, which only weeks before had, miraculously, reached the second-highest-ranking professional league in the land. But soon he finds himself embroiled with an absurd yet irresistible cast of characters, including the team's owner, described by the New York Times as "straight out of a Mario Puzo novel, smoking huge cigars and trailed by bodyguards", and coach Osvaldo Jaconi, whose only English word is the one he uses to describe himself: "bulldozer".

As the riotous, edge-of-your-seat season unfolds, so, too, does McGinniss's transformation into a true Italian soccer fan, complete with the irrational and blinding passions for which such fans are known. Moreover his fervor for soccer intertwines and grows with his love for the courageous team, their village and its people, and their country. As McGinniss travels with the miracle team on the season-long tour that takes him from the isolated mountain region where Castel di Sangro is located to such gritty towns as Foggia and Cosenza, as well as to obscure nooks of such grand cities as Genoa, Venice, and Verona, he introduces us to an Italy that no tourist guidebook has ever described. The Miracle of Castel di Sangro is a spellbinding, true story of an Italy to savor.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780751527537: The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro

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ISBN 10:  075152753X ISBN 13:  9780751527537
Publisher: Sphere, 2000
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9780767905992: The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy

Broadw..., 2000
Softcover

9780316644730: The Miracle of Castel di Sangro

Little..., 1999
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