58 in 2005, 32 in 2006, 46 in 2007, 54 in 2008, 27 in 2009, 73 in 2010, 61 in 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
52. Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins
Not good. Probably the biggest disappointment since I've started doing this blog. It's not like I had super high expectations, but I like football and I like the early '70s and the combination of the two is a great little slice of American culture that I've always enjoyed (Hunter S. Thompson talking with Nixon about football on the campaign trail is a great example of this). I guess Dan Jenkins is a well-respected sports writer and Semi-Tough was quite successful, critically and commercially. But it sucked. I don't even really get what the point of it is. About three-quarters of the book is the narrator, the star running back for the New York Giants, saying all this stuff that is supposed to be shocking: casual racism, sexism and drug use. Whoopee-doo. Maybe for people in the '70s this was some titillating, shocking revelation. Even if it was, do we need a hundred pages of it, and always in this self-congratulatory tone? The whole thing is narrated before a Super Bowl, though the game itself is an afterthought. The climactic scene seems to be a big party the night before the big game where two women strip naked in front of the party. Whoop-dee doo. Even lamer, the whole thing ends with a weak romance. There was just nothing here and it was boring.
I had kind of wanted to see the movie, but it sounds even stupider.
If you want to read a half-decent book about football in the '70s, go read Jack Tatum's biography "They Call me Assassin."
1/3 American, 1/3 Canadian, 1/3 Montrealer, when I'm not working for the planet and living my lucky life, I hang out on the internet and write about culture and language in Montreal, books and movies. I also rant on a wide range of subjects and try to do that here so my wife doesn't have to be the only one to suffer.