Mayne, known for his sarcasm on ESPN's SportsCenter, submits in his debut a tongue-in-cheek sports encyclopedia, featuring such entries as rock throwing and Wiffle ball, along with facts mixed with dubious statements. For example, dodgeball ends "when the PE teacher gets back from hitting on one of the substitutes" and "tackle football is the greatest sport in the world and everyone knows it." Stories from Mayne's life as a sports-loving kid in Washington State, a quarterback and father to two little girls round out the book. On TV, Mayne might be entertaining; as an author, he is overbearing, often trying to get more play out of a single joke than it can bear. Other comedic observations, such as security lines at airports and the perils of getting the right order at Starbucks, read like stale standup routines. The book's best parts feature Mayne straying from his funnyman persona to reflect on his personal life. Glimpses of the man behind the mockery are far too infrequent within Mayne's relentless, tiresome attempts at generating laughs. (Apr.)Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Incomplete and Inaccurate History of Sportby Kenny Mayne
Painstakingly faithful to its title, Kenny Mayne’s book is neither complete nor is it particularly accurate. Ostensibly an A-to-Z encyclopedia of all known sports, many sports are never mentioned. There’s not a word about rugby, volleyball, Roller Derby, swimming, or (shockingly) Basque pelota or shinty. There is a chapter about sliding, but none about… See more details below
Painstakingly faithful to its title, Kenny Mayne’s book is neither complete nor is it particularly accurate. Ostensibly an A-to-Z encyclopedia of all known sports, many sports are never mentioned. There’s not a word about rugby, volleyball, Roller Derby, swimming, or (shockingly) Basque pelota or shinty. There is a chapter about sliding, but none about skiing. Competitive eating and rhythmic gymnastics will have to wait for another book. However, there are roughly eight chapters about tackle football–“the greatest sport in the world, and everyone knows it”–and a good four or five about horse racing, so quit complaining before you’ve even read the book. There will be plenty of time for complaining after you’ve finished it (about an hour from now–tops).
Those sports that are covered in the book are examined with exhaustive inattention to unretained detail. Many chapters have nothing to do with sport. For instance, the chapter on hunting is about hunting for a hassle-free triple tall Americano light on the water.
So, then, what exactly is this book-like thing you hold in your hands? Part nostalgic memoir (like the summer Mark Sansaver hit 843 home runs in backyard Wiffle ball), part Dave Barry—esque riffs (like explaining bocce to non-Italians), part scholarly tract (includes the origins of tackle football), and part metafiction (see “Time-outs”). . . all with illustrations drawn by Kenny’s daughters, it is what Kenny calls his anti coffee-table book, or Coaster. The publisher calls it $24.95. Reviewers like Michiko Kakutani may call it “insipid,” but because Kenny has included a revolutionary “backwords” following the book’s foreword, she’ll have to call it an “insipid breakthrough” of a book.
So what is this book-like thing? Like the great mysteries in life, you’ll have to decide for yourself.
*That would include a thought I just had. This thought had something to do with Wiffle ball. What a great chapter. But that’s not to say the chapter on hunting is terrible even though it’s mostly about coffee. Plus I wrote stuff about my children. There’s even a chapter on jai alai. This book has both still photographs and still illustrations. It doesn’t have any moving pictures. That would have required the inclusion of a projector and a big white screen in the book, and I’m trying to take a stand on energy conservation. Strangely enough, Ken Griffey Jr. asked me if the book would have video. This will make sense when you read the chapter on him.
I wish I'd written about the Seattle Pilots. I used to go to their games when I was nine. My favorite player was Tommy Harper. But this isn't just a sports book. It covers all sorts of things. I hope they place it in the Miscellaneous section. That should draw a lot of attention. I was told that the presence of a sub-title would sell more books. How am I doing with you? Make sure to tell people about this alluring and informative sub-title. This sub-title is longer than some of my chapters.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Random House
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 3 MB
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Sorry, but this book is not very good. The authors sense of humor is poor. Even though he is self-deprecating, he comes off as very full of himself. I have a lot more things to say, but I'm trying to keep this as nice as I can. I've read several thousand books on just about every topic one could imagine, and this is the first time I've ever considered asking for my money back. Please save your money. Do not buy this. If you feel you just have to read this book (I don't know why that would be but....), try to get it at the library. If you do buy this book, you will kick yourself. Sorry. I really wish I could write something else, but I can't. This book is horrible
Great Read. If you enjoy Kenny's brand of humor, and are interested in learning some about the man. This book is for you. He covers some sports. But like the title says it is incomplete so LOTS of sports aren't covered. But the important ones are. He uses the chapters to talk about stories from his past. My favorite parts are when he injects happy/sad (depending on how you see it) moments in his life amoungst all the humor. The prayer before Riley's conception, and a story about Mark Sansaver (one of Kenny's childhood friends) were my favorites. At some points in the book I was laughing out loud and at other points I could have been (if I wasnt an emotionless black hole) crying. A great book and I truly hope it sells well so he will write more.