The John Lardner Reader: A Press Box Legend's Classic Sportswriting

The John Lardner Reader: A Press Box Legend's Classic Sportswriting

by John Lardner
     
 

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This collection marks the return to print of John Lardner, one of America's press box giants, a classic stylist whose wry humor and tireless reporting helped elevate sportswriting to art. The brilliant W.C. Heinz called Lardner "the best of us." This book shows why.

Lardner applied his singular touch not only to his era's icons-Joe Louis, Ted Williams, Satchel

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Overview

This collection marks the return to print of John Lardner, one of America's press box giants, a classic stylist whose wry humor and tireless reporting helped elevate sportswriting to art. The brilliant W.C. Heinz called Lardner "the best of us." This book shows why.

Lardner applied his singular touch not only to his era's icons-Joe Louis, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige-but to the scamps, eccentrics, hustlers, and con men in the shadow of sports. Whether in snappy columns or leisurely magazine pieces, Lardner held sport of every description up to the light, forever changing the way people wrote, read, and thought about their heroes, from superstars to scrappers. These forty-nine pieces represent sportswriting at the top of its game.

Editorial Reviews

Rick Reilly
"Shut down all the sportswriting classes and seminars and workshops and hand out this book instead. Lardner is all you need."

-Rick Reilly, ESPN the Magazine columnist, author of Hate Mail from Cheerleaders

Pete Hamill
"Reading Lardner late at night in a comfortable chair is (as Walt Kelly once said of the man himself) to enjoy solitude in the best of company."

-Pete Hamill, legendary New York columnist and author of North River

Roger Kahn
"Quite simply, the best sports columnist I have read."

-Roger Kahn, author of The Boys of Summer

Red Smith
"John really was funny, but not like his old man. He wasn't funny like anybody else. He was funny like John Lardner, a bona fide original."

-Red Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist

Booklist

"If this collection of 49 sports pieces is a true measure of John Lardner’s talent, it’s almost scandalous that the work of Ring’s oldest son has not appeared in book form for some 50 years. . . . A collection well worth the wait."—Alan Moores, Booklist

— Alan Moores

The Reluctant Blogger

"In these days of chest-thumping anthropoids on ESPN, it does one’s heart good to read Lardner (son of Ring) once again and to be reminded that there really was a golden age of sportswriting."—Henry Kisor,The Recluctant Blogger

— Henry Kisor

SI.com

"Fortunately for us, John Schulian, a distinguished sportswriter in his own right. . . has put together an invigorating sample of Lardner’s best sportswriting, [The John Lardner Reader is] a generous and representative blend of Lardner’s Newsweek columns, newspaper stories and freelance magazine pieces."—Alex Belth, SI.com

— Alex Belth

Wall Street Journal

"While his fellow sportswriters were perfecting new techniques in the line of hero worship, Lardner was exploring sporting celebrity as performance, a way of hiding private obsessions and defeats, and a love, above all, of money and the high life. That he wrote about what he saw with such a light, clean touch doesn’t diminish the basic darkness of his vision. Lardner, his mind on a time already past, saw LeBron James, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Alex Rodriguez coming. He was appalled."—Tim Marchman, Wall Street Journal

— Tim Marchman

Los Angeles Daily News

"Lardner, who unfortunately died 50 years ago a couple of calendars short of his 50th birthday, fortunately has Schulian in his corner and reintroducing his work to a generation of scribes who could benefit from the opportunity to step back and reassess their craft."—Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News

— Tom Hoffarth

The Columnists.com

"The people at the University of Nebraska Press have done a good thing. They have published a collection of pieces by John Lardner."—Stan Isaacs, The Columnists.com

Boston Globe

"The John Lardner Reader is a terrific book because the best of John Lardner is extraordinarily good. And nobody should dismiss even the worst of him. . . . It is a great joy to see his work recollected and republished."—Bill Littlefield, Boston Globe

— Bill Littlefield

SI.com - Alex Belth

"Fortunately for us, John Schulian, a distinguished sportswriter in his own right. . . has put together an invigorating sample of Lardner's best sportswriting, [The John Lardner Reader is] a generous and representative blend of Lardner's Newsweek columns, newspaper stories and freelance magazine pieces."—Alex Belth, SI.com
Wall Street Journal - Tim Marchman

"While his fellow sportswriters were perfecting new techniques in the line of hero worship, Lardner was exploring sporting celebrity as performance, a way of hiding private obsessions and defeats, and a love, above all, of money and the high life. That he wrote about what he saw with such a light, clean touch doesn't diminish the basic darkness of his vision. Lardner, his mind on a time already past, saw LeBron James, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Alex Rodriguez coming. He was appalled."—Tim Marchman, Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles Daily News - Tom Hoffarth

"Lardner, who unfortunately died 50 years ago a couple of calendars short of his 50th birthday, fortunately has Schulian in his corner and reintroducing his work to a generation of scribes who could benefit from the opportunity to step back and reassess their craft."—Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News
Boston Globe - Bill Littlefield

"The John Lardner Reader is a terrific book because the best of John Lardner is extraordinarily good. And nobody should dismiss even the worst of him. . . . It is a great joy to see his work recollected and republished."—Bill Littlefield, Boston Globe
Booklist - Alan Moores

"If this collection of 49 sports pieces is a true measure of John Lardner's talent, it's almost scandalous that the work of Ring's oldest son has not appeared in book form for some 50 years. . . . A collection well worth the wait."—Alan Moores, Booklist
The Reluctant Blogger - Henry Kisor

"In these days of chest-thumping anthropoids on ESPN, it does one's heart good to read Lardner (son of Ring) once again and to be reminded that there really was a golden age of sportswriting."—Henry Kisor,The Recluctant Blogger

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803230477
Publisher:
UNP - Bison Books
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


John Lardner (1913–60), the son of legendary humorist Ring Lardner, was a columnist for Newsweek; a frequent and much-honored contributor to the New Yorker, True, and Sport; and the author of It Beats Working, Strong Cigars and Lovely Women, and White Hopes and Other Tigers. John Schulian’s work has been included in Best American Sports Writing and Sports Illustrated’s Fifty Years of Great Writing. His Twilight of the Long-ball Gods: Dispatches from the Disappearing Heart of Baseball is available in a Bison Books edition. Dan Jenkins is the author of Jenkins at the Majors: 60 Years of the World’s Best Golf Writing, from Hogan to Tiger.

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