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The Best of Frank Deford: I'm Just Getting Started

Deford, Frank

46 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1572433604 / ISBN 13: 9781572433601
Published by Triumph Books, Chicago, 2000
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Dated, inscribed, and signed on the title page by the author, to the late general manager of the Boston Red Sox Lou Gorman (1929-2011; was GM of the Sox 1984-1993, as well as GM of the Seattle Mariners from 1977-1980): "October 20th, 2001 / For Lou Gorman / With all good wishes / Go Sox! / Frank Deford." An interesting association copy for any fan of the Sox. The book is tight and unmarked; slightly cocked. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $24.95). Brodart protected. Bookseller Inventory # 003432

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Best of Frank Deford: I'm Just Getting ...

Publisher: Triumph Books, Chicago

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Whether Frank Deford is the voice you hear on National Public Radio's Morning Edition or the name you see in the Newsweek byline, you are sure to be highly entertained with the irreverent musings of this much-acclaimed sports mind. Deford possesses a witty and poignant take on the world of athletics that has earned him a wealth of fans, from the most ardent sports enthusiast to the greenest novice. In this best of the best compilation, Deford creates insightful, richly, drawn yarns on the human drama and the occasional high comedy of athletic competition. The Best of Frank Deford relates not only the specific and the spectacular events that make up great sports writing, but reflects through sports the larger world of American culture. This is a grand collection of his most vivid caricatures, colorful anecdotes, and out-of-left-field observations on the often humbling and humorous nature of sport. The Best of Frank Deford is a treasure of Deford's best writing and will make an instant fan of any reader.

Review:

After nearly 40 years in the trenches, Frank Deford's niche in the pantheon of modern sportswriters is secure, making the subtitle--I'm Just Getting Started--of his latest collection (tongue-in-)cheekily optimistic. Irony has always been one of Deford's best weapons; by putting his award-winning magazine work from Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and Vanity Fair beside his award-winning commentaries from National Public Radio, The Best of... shows how adeptly he's wielded it in two very separate mediums. Still, reading the recent magazine work along with selections from two decades of radio broadcasts--Deford insists the latter are really nothing more than written columns read aloud--makes for an odd coupling that has you wishing for a lot more of the printed Deford. Not that there's anything wrong with the radio version. Deford's commentaries are timely, pithy, clever, opinionated, and insightful, but they're ultimately as ephemeral as the airwaves they were delivered on. His magazine journalism, on the other hand, is anything but ephemeral. It is work that is rarely less than elegant, and often just plain exquisite.

His long looks at Bobby Knight, Bill Russell, and a former Connecticut high school football star who commits suicide at 24 are breathtaking. So is his exploration of University of Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson, spun out by Deford as a play in four acts. His intertwined profile of Roger Bannister--the first four-minute miler--and Sir Edmund Hillary--the first to climb Everest--is a tour de force, as is his personal journey into the world of bowling. These are all pieces to be savored again and again for their expansiveness, circumspection, reportage, heart, style, and wit. They remind you what is Best about a writer of Deford's caliber in ways the constraints of radio can't pull in quite as clearly. --Jeff Silverman

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