• Excellent... The chapters on Muhammad Ali are delightful, and Ali is not easy to write about

  • With his gentle, ironic tone, and unwillingness to take himself too seriously, along with Roger Angell, John Updike and Norman Mailer he made writing about sports something that mattered

  • What drives these books, and has made them so popular, is Plimpton’s continuous bond-making with the reader and the comedy inherent in his predicament. He is the Everyman, earnests and frail, wandering in a world of supermen, beset by fears of catastrophic violence and public humiliation, yet gamely facing it all in order to survive and tell the tale… A prodigious linguistic ability is on display throughout, with a defining image often appended at the end of a sentence like a surprise dessert... It is a fan’s book, not only displaying the awe and devotional piety of the true fan but also the perils of the condition.

    Timothy O'Grady, Times Literary Supplement

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