Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland

Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland

by Mark Kreidler
4.3 13


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Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland by Mark Kreidler

Somewhere beyond the circle of money, glitz, drugs and controversy that characterizes professional sports in America, there exists the remnants of the ideal. In Iowa, that ideal survives in the form of high school wrestling, a way of transforming the local virtues--modesty, privation, hard work--into sporting glory. To be a wrestling champion in Iowa is to achieve greatness--individual glory where the only back to pat is your own.

For Jay Borschel and Dan LeClere, though, the stakes have been raised. Already three-time state champions in differing weight classes, each boy has a chance in his senior year of high school to do something historic--to become a "four-timer," joining the most elite group in the sport and essentially ensuring his status as an Iowa wrestling deity. For Jay, a ferocious competitor who feeds off criticism and doubt, a victory would mean vindication over the great mass of skeptics waiting for him to fail. Dan, the kid from a farm near the tiny town of Coggon (population 710), carries other burdens. For his community, for the hard-driving coach who doubles as his father, and for his own triumph over his personal demons, another title is the only acceptable outcome.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060823191
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 792,479
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.73(d)
Lexile: 1180L (what's this?)

About the Author

Mark Kreidler is an award-winning journalist and author of the acclaimed Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland. A regular contributor to ESPN television,, and ESPN: The Magazine, he lives in northern California.

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Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Patrick Morse More than 1 year ago
this book definitely brings out the lifestyle of a wrestler and his/her family
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed reading Four Days to Glory. It is an enlightening source of entertainment and first hand knowledge on the subject. The book keeps your interest.
Hunter1995 More than 1 year ago
The author takes an honest look at high school wrestling in the wrestling crazed stae of Iowa and how the personal goals of two high school grapplers attempt to become "four timers" winning four state titles in a row . The author gives a lot of insight into how the young men deal with family pressure , community backing, emotional baggage and depression. Overall, I found this book very enlighting and raw and real because I used to be a wrestler in both high school and college and now I am teaching the sport. This book is equal to Buzz Bissinger's Friday Night Lights!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every real athlete vying for greatness understands the agony of defeat, the pain of training and the few glorious moments of victory. Kreidler offers an in depth viewing of not only one, but two, of Iowa's high school wrestling gods, Dan LeClere and Jay Borschel, as they leave everything on the mat to win four consecutive state titles. Kreidler's point of view is comparable to Bissinger's Friday Night Lights and carries just as much drama. The book follows both athletes not only in their respective gyms and matches, but also into their family and personal lives. The stress and emotion roused by the sport because of its intensity in Iowa is exposed and the book shows the raw effects of the parental and societal pressure found surrounding the sport. The book follows the trials and tribulations of two very different young adults, both of whom merely share a passion and a talent for wrestling. Both are three time state champions in the beginning, yet are both vying for a fourth title. Winning four titles is considered legendary in Iowa high school wrestling. For one of the boys, Jay Borschel, the stakes are even higher as Jay, a motivated and driven young man, attempts to win a fourth title after moving up a weight class every year. That type of movement among the ranks stirs doubts among the people of the state, which only further fuels the fire within Jay. For the other young man, Dan, the fourth title is more what his father and his town wishes for, than for himself. Dan is Doug LeClere's hope for glory for the LeClere family after Dan's older brother quits the sport, a sacreligious act in the eyes of Doug LeClere. Dan hopes to use the final and definitive win as a gateway to bigger and better things in life. This book is a MUST READ for any current or former athlete who once dreamed of glory. Kreidler's portrayal of Dan and Jay's trek makes you laugh out loud, grit your teeth in frustration and yell in jubilation throughout the book. Kreidler's skill as an author is unquestionable as his writing lays down an understandable storyline of complex emotions and times in an intense sport in an even more intense atmosphere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you haven't wrestled, you will find this book interesting because it is about kids growing up and parents and coaches watching it happen. If you have wrestled, don't make any other plans. It is impossible to put down. Mr. Kreidler's writing pulls you from page to page. This book is such an accurate portrayl of the trials and tribulations (and lack thereof) that wrestlers know so well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is an amazing book especially if you have wrestled at some point in your life time. it really can hold your attention. i can honestly say this because i am not a big reader and have a hard time paying attention but this book really did it for me.
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zf12fz More than 1 year ago
The author of "Four Days to Glory" writes of the struggle and endurance of Jay Borschel and Dan LeClere. Both are senior boys who live a rural life yet look to win their consecutive fourth win at state champions; a triumph only fourteen other Iowans had accomplished. Given the boys luck, nerves, injuries and adolescent bodies, this was a nearly impossible achievement. LeClere and Borschel embrace on a journey "right on through hell, an extended stay replete with wind sprints and projectile vomiting and blood and contortionist acts and stinging, salty sweat." The "four timers" are an elite group of high school wrestlers who win four consecutive state championships. There are many people who doubt Jay Borschel yet he feeds off of criticism and doubt. A fourth time victory would mean justification that his doubting peers will have been wrong. For Dan on the other hand, the dreams of his stern father and the burdens he carriers from his diminutive farming community, a win is only a necessary outcome. Many of the details from the novel are quite familiar to me as I have been wrestling since I was young. The way which the author, Mark Kreidler, creates clear images of the wrestling room, the mentality of the wrestlers and the matches they took part in all were vivid seemed natural to me. Both Jay and Dan have different mentalities to overcoming their triumphs compared to the rest of the team. They both appeared to have difficulty in finding quality sparring partner which I have found to be a challenge for myself. There were countless aspects in Kreidler's writings that I could relate to which made the novel even more inspiring and touching. For me, the most interesting part of the book was Jay's and Dan's family lives. Their lives outside of school completely affected their performance as wrestlers. I have never been able to relate to such characters so easily and can understand how their family life does take a toll on their wrestling. Yet, back on the matt the boys dealt with the issues wrestling brought upon their bodies such as a stunted growth due to weight loss and cauliflower ear. As I take wrestling to heart, I appreciated Kreidler's attention in his writing to the effects which wrestling can have on one's life. Cutting weight has always been a difficulty for me yet the mental and physical achievements from the sport push me to do so. However, Kreidler tended to have several of his facts wrong within the novel. This became an annoyance to me as I felt he did not do the research he should have in writing a wrestling book. For example, what was especially impressive from Dan's match in the championship was not that he won all of his matches, but that no one had scored against him. His careless mistakes became a distraction to me. Although Mark Kreidler made some mistakes within his writings, his novel was overall very relatable and kept me interested page after page. It was refreshing to find a book which I could compare my own sport life to and the effects it has on the wrestler. As I am extremely passionate about my wrestling, I found that Dan and Jay's journey on the way to a state championship became an inspiration to me.