Caddie Was a Reindeer: And Other Tales of Extreme Recreation

Caddie Was a Reindeer: And Other Tales of Extreme Recreation

by Steve Rushin
     
 

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Steve Rushin, a four-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, has been hailed as one of the best sportswriters in America. In The Caddie Was a Reindeer he circumnavigates the globe in pursuit of extreme recreation. In the Arctic Circle, he meets ice golfers. In Minnesota, he watches the National Amputee Golf Tournament, where one participant tells him,

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Overview

Steve Rushin, a four-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, has been hailed as one of the best sportswriters in America. In The Caddie Was a Reindeer he circumnavigates the globe in pursuit of extreme recreation. In the Arctic Circle, he meets ice golfers. In Minnesota, he watches the National Amputee Golf Tournament, where one participant tells him, “I literally have one foot in the grave.” Along the way, Rushin meets fellow travelers like Joe Cahn, a professional tailgater who confesses aboard the RV in which he lives: “It’s wonderful to see America from your bathroom.” And even Rushin has logged fewer miles in pursuit of extreme recreation than Rich Rodriguez, a marathon roller-coaster rider who makes endless loops for entire summers on coasters around the world. The Caddie Was a Reindeer is a ride to everywhere: to south London (where Rushin downs pints with the King of Darts), to the Champs-Elysees (where the author indulges in “excessive nightclubbing” with World Cup soccer stars), and to Japan (where Rushin eats soba noodles with the world champion of competitive eating). Enlightening, hilarious, and unexpectedly heartwarming, this collection is not a body of work: it’s a body of play.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Popular Sports Illustrated columnist Rushin collects his favorite pieces, including one about his trip above the Arctic Circle for some "ice golf" (a reindeer really did carry the clubs). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wry essays on sport and its enthusiasts by an agile writer (Road Swing, 1998) who's likely to discern the human-interest story behind the statistics. Rushin, a four-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, has traveled worldwide for the "Air and Space" column in Sports Illustrated, where these 24 essays and shorter pieces originally appeared. Along the way, he's developed an appealing style that combines deadpan humor with a focus on offbeat events (lucrative darts championships, an amputee golf championship, competitive eating) or unusual settings (the Topps baseball-card company offices, Germany's most dangerous racetrack). Some pieces give prominence to Rushin's personal misadventures; the title essay, for example, describes his "June golf tour of Scandinavia," which brought him near the Arctic Circle, a region where one can "banana-slice a ball so badly that it not only travels backward but also travels back in time." Elsewhere, he takes a broader, historical view: a piece rife with period details and hilarious pseudo-nostalgia examines the bizarre circumstances that made the 1962 Mets the worst ball team ever. Similarly, the 60-page "How We Got Here" explains how TV and personalities like Roone Arledge transformed spectator sports from a regional, blue-collar phenomenon into the "axis on which the world turns"; Rushin is observant, but arguably pulls his punches here. "Tour de France" offers a pungent snapshot of European soccer, as embittered English rowdies clash with colorful French, Italian, and Brazilian fans. "High Rollers" covers roller-coaster cultists who ride for days on end, a breed of enthusiasm also seen among the amateur racers on Germany's "Green Hell," theNurburgring track deemed too dangerous for Formula One. "Planet Nagano" argues that the 1998 Winter Olympics was well served by Japan's constant blending of normality with the perverse. At his best, Rushin is reminiscent of such other tart commentators on American leisure as Carl Hiaasen and Padgett Powell; his skillfulness enables him to wring entertainment even out of such chestnuts as the epic Yankees-Red Sox fan rivalry. Engaging, entertaining, and more laid-back than many sports books. First printing of 25,000. Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802142115
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
11/09/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
837,913
Product dimensions:
5.55(w) x 8.35(h) x 0.96(d)

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