Through 1996 and 1997 bestselling author Joe McGinniss followed the Italian football season from Castel di Sangro, a small town nestled in the Abruzzi region of Italy. The motley crew that comprised the di Sangro soccer team in the early 90s masked an unparalleled prowess for playing soccer. This is the story of a team and a town with no aspirations, just a passion for the game, and how that passion allowed this team to rise to the top of the professional Italian soccer league. With the lust for life of Robert Crichton's THE SECRET OF SANTA VITTORIA and the sporting dreams of modern movie classic FIELDS OF DREAMS, THE MIRACLE OF CASTEL DI SANGRO is an ebullient story of how a two-hour game transformed a dot on the map into a place of magic, miracles and wonder.
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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 SmithFrom the Inside Flap:
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 one summer, he merely intends 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," 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, McGinniss develops a deepening bond with the team, their village and its people, and their country. Traveling with the miracle team, from the isolated mountain region where Castel di Sangro is located to gritty towns as well as grand cities, McGinniss introduces us to an Italy that no tourist guidebook has ever described, and comes away with a "sad, funny, desolating, and inspiring story--everything, in fact, a story should be" (Los Angeles Times).
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Book Description Sphere, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX075152753X
Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. new ed edition. 416 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk075152753X