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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
A Feel-Good Book with a Bad-Ass Attitude
"I just basically look for four things in a player," says the general manager of the New York Hawks, the fictitious professional football team at the center of Mike Lupica's new book, Bump & Run. "Speed, intensity, instincts and an acquittal." Bump & Run is the funniest sports novel since Dan Jenkins's Semi-Tough. It's one of those rare works of fiction that overflows with unbelievable excess (in this case, excesses in professional sports of sex, drugs, gambling, and all other manner of unwholesome corruption) and stinks of authenticity at the same time. The NFL will despise it. If you like sports even a little, you will love it.
The hero of Bump & Run is a lovable scoundrel named Jack Malloy, known from his days as a Vegas hotshot as the Jammer, the black-sheep son of the legendary football man Big Tim Malloy and the brand-new owner of the New York Hawks. Jack inherits the team after Big Tim drops dead of a heart attack in his luxury box during a preseason game. He reluctantly takes the helm amid a riot of opposition -- from the press, the league, the other owners, his coach, his wicked siblings -- and embarks on a season of infamy and triumph. The central plot point, which comes right down to the wire and erupts in the perfectly orchestrated denouement, is that at the end of the season the other owners will vote on whether to allow him to keep the team or force him to sell it (probably to his younger brother and sister, but possibly to a number of other would-be usurpers). Before we get to that point, of course, there are a lot of football games to be played, victory parties to be thrown, strip clubs to be visited, underhanded deals to be cut, and scandals to be uncovered. There are also icons of pro sports, media, and business to be lampooned; Lupica knows the worlds he's writing about almost too well, and no one is spared.
The cast of friends and foes that surrounds Jack includes a dizzying array of familiar-feeling personages, and if I can register any complaint against this intensely enjoyable book, it might be that Lupica's characters are a little too obviously drawn -- closer to caricature than character. There is A.T.M. Moore, the holdout star wide receiver with the criminal background; Mo Jiggy, the rap star turned superagent; Bubba Royal, the veteran quarterback whose drinking problem is overshadowed only by his addiction to gambling.... The list goes on, full of silly names and recognizable people. But most of these characters go deeper than their one-sentence stereotyping suggests, and nearly all fit into the plot in clever ways, so it is really a very small gripe. This raunchy and remarkably funny story is a perfect football fantasy -- Mike Lupica's best work, fiction or nonfiction, by far.