Sporting Life, The: Horses, Boxers, Rivers, and a Russian Ballclub

Overview

Bill Barich's widely praised work doesn't get any better than these intimate glimpses into the stories behind the stories, the real lives behind the public facade of the sporting world. Barich delves into both participatory and spectator sports, examining three different types of horse racing: down-and-dirty bush racing in Cajun country; an elegant steeplechase at Ascot, England, and a big-time Santa Anita thoroughbred heading for the Kentucky Derby; two boxers from radically opposite ends of the spectrum: Pat ...

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1999 Hardcover NEW and Unread but some copies may have slight wear and /or a publisher's remainder mark! New and unread but may have some small amount of shelf wear possible ... including remainder marks. All orders ship quickly from our centrally-located warehouse! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Bill Barich's widely praised work doesn't get any better than these intimate glimpses into the stories behind the stories, the real lives behind the public facade of the sporting world. Barich delves into both participatory and spectator sports, examining three different types of horse racing: down-and-dirty bush racing in Cajun country; an elegant steeplechase at Ascot, England, and a big-time Santa Anita thoroughbred heading for the Kentucky Derby; two boxers from radically opposite ends of the spectrum: Pat Lawlor struggling to make it in San Francisco, and Mike Tyson battling his emotions; two fly-fishing adventures on legendary California rivers; and the world's strangest baseball club, the Moscow Red Devils, barnstorming the United States with Soviet trinkets for sale and skills on par with a good American high school team. Every piece shines with Barich's distinctive voice, and approach that splendidly balances both enthusiasm and intelligence with healthy doses of humor. The result is the very best kind of sports writing - from one of the master prose stylists of our time. (61/4 X 91/4, 164 pages)

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Editorial Reviews

SF Examiner
The Sporting Life: Horses, Boxers, Rivers, and a Russian Ball Club by North Bay-Based writer Bill Barich is a characteristically graceful, understated and witty compilation of selected stories....According to novelist Richard Ford's cover blurb, "Barich writes with superb intelligence, with sympathy, and unusual grace." We second that emotion.
Kirkus Reviews
A slim volume collecting the acclaimed New Yorker essayist's profiles of figures and phenomena from the sporting world. Normally a writer for publications with effete appeal, Barich in these previously published essays, dating back to 1985, explores unique facets of games with the manliest appeal—horses, boxing, fishing, and baseball. In the short essay that precedes the entries—the only new writing that appears in the book—the author reveals his connections to the events he covers. As it turns out, Barich rarely follows the obvious angles. In "Chasers," for example, he profiles the opening of England's jumping, or horse steeplechase, season by recounting his time spent at Ascot in the company of his friend, Andrew, a charming, eccentric jack of all trades. In "Going to the Moon," Barich heads out on the road with a barnstorming baseball team, the Moscow Red Devils, a Soviet squad who are crisscrossing America spreading good will, picking up valuable pointers on their beloved adopted game, and selling Russian souvenirs to make ends meet along the way. In "Feather River Country," Barich revisits a subject that often finds its way into his work, either literally or metaphorically: fly fishing. And in "In Prime Time," a 1988 New Yorker piece on the Mike Tyson–Michael Spinks prizefight in which the former won a heavyweight crown, readers get an insider's view of the circus-like atmosphere of a big-time prizefight and the curious demimonde of Atlantic City casino life. This time, Barich casts a somewhat jaundiced eye on the influence that pay cable television, crooked promoters, and uninterested competitors exert over the fight game. As ever, Barich's prose isstunning: even-keeled, observant, honest, though seldom trenchant. Since the entries in this book all appeared earlier in large circulation periodicals, there is nothing new here—but for those who missed them the first time around, they're new to you.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558219359
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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