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."


Caropops said...

Man, call me old-fashioned but I loved this book. Of course I read it when it came out. And I also enjoyed the sequel. Since I was even more unsophisticated about football then, it might be why I liked it so much.

Anonymous said...

who wins the super bowl?