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The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality
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The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  227 ratings  ·  25 reviews
He was supposed to be the next Nolan Ryan: Roger Clemens, the fearless, hard-nosed Texan with a 98-mph fastball and a propensity to throw at the heads of opposing hitters. Yet shortly after his arrival in the major leagues in 1984, it became apparent that the Ryan comparisons were simply unfair—Roger Clemens was significantly better.

Over 24 seasons, the Rocket would go on...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2009)
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I read this entire book in one day, a first for me. It's a very easy read that follows the saga of the Rocket from fat kid in Ohio to misremembering in court as a superstar clinging onto anyhing he can grab a hold of. I really liked Roger Clemens when I was younger. Had the video game and was so happy when he signed with Toronto. I still wear my Clemens jersey to games on ocasion. Like Charles Barkley made it known, athletes are not rolemodels; Roger Clemens is not an exception. Sure he can be c...more
Apr 06, 2009 Emily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball_books
When I saw this at Borders, I thought it was another salacious baseball book. Then I read the small write up in Sports Illustrated and decided it would be worth my while: "in this well crafted bio, author Jeff Pearlman digs deep into Roger Clemens' rep as a texas-bred flamethrower, devoted family man, and dedicated teammate. Pearlman produces a rich character study, revealing a complex figure ultimately undone by the ambition that made him great."

Oct 14, 2009 Sherrie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: baseball fans
I was always a Clemens fan. I was from the Bob Gibson School--if the batter is taking away the inside part of the plate, throw inside. Plunk him in the ribs if necessary. Clemens did that often, and was a fierce competitor on the field. I liked him a lot.
And then he became--in no particular order-- an obnoxious boor, a lousy teammate, and a steroid cheat. So I read this book hoping to find out what happened to him. But Pearlman never really makes it clear whether Clemens was always a jerk or whe...more
This is a well written book about someone that I used to idolize.

Roger Clemens was was an intimidating pitcher that dominated well into his 40's. He was known for his work ethic, and his longevity was attributed to his hard work in the gym while off the field.

It turns out that this, in fact, was too good to be true. There is ample evidence that when Clemens started to show signs of aging, and he lost his zip, he turned to steroids.

This, unfortunately, was not that unusual. Baseball was riddle...more
After reading "The Bad Guys Won," I became a huge fan of Pearlman. So when I saw this book at my local library, I did not hesitate to pick it up. Clemens' fall from grace has been documented elsewhere, but I figured Pearlman might be able to offer some new insight. Although I found the subject interesting and learned quite a bit more about one of my former pitching heroes, I was disappointed with some glaring shortcomings, shortcomings unbecoming of an author like Pearlman. A couple of little th...more
I have to say, I picked this up expecting to learn what kinds of steroids exactly Clemens used and was engrossed immediately by his interesting story. Was he a hero? No, but his story needed to be told because it was a good one. And complimented with good writing; you can tell Pearlman really appreciates the English language.
I had no idea of Clemens's troubles with his drug-addicted, psychopath brother who instilled within Clemens the desire to excel at sports, so much that it almost consumed h...more
Brent Soderstrum
I really enjoy Jeff Pearlman's books which give you a behind the scene glimpse at a sports figure or team. This book on Roger Clemens is no different. Pearlman examines Roger growing up a fat boy in Ohio with average talent. The early loss of his father and step-father, his drug addicted brother Randy who was his idol and his determination to be a major league pitcher.

I am always amazed that national figures who we view as having such great lives can, despite their fame and money, be living mise...more
While this book has some good things in it, Pearlman's biased writing gets old after a while. He puts little drops of good things Clemens did here and there throughout the book, but he elaborates on the negative.

The biggest annoyance for me, however, was all his information seemed to come from OTHER sports writers who often got their information from “unnamed sources” or “a former MLB player” or a “former teammate” when making a point about something negative. If you’re going to drag somebody’s...more
This is the story of Roger Clemens from the fat kid who shared pitching duties with a girl in little league to the steroid using major leaguer. An excellent chronology of Clemens career and his drive to make the major leagues. My one complaint about the book would be that the author spends much of his time focusing on Clemens negatives of which their are many on not enough on some of the good things he did like visiting sick children in hospitals.
I've enjoyed reading this author. All three books I've read by him have been about players (Bonds, Clemens) or teams (1986 Mets) that I really didn't care for. Pearlman does a good job of helping the reader understand why they are such jerks, without apologizing for or justifying their actions. The forces around Clemens coupled with his own amazing talent virtually guaranteed the road he traveled. Really a tragedy.
This book is a pretty quick read - I finished it in about a day. It's a decent bio on Clemens and goes over what drove him to become great (his older brother Randy), his career arc, when his body started to fail, and how he decided to start using steroids to get back to his former level of greatness. Pearlman is a good writer and if you're interested in baseball this is a book worth of your time.
Glen Mcguffin
Steroids have been a subject for several years in relation to sports. Here is Roger Clemmens who was an outstanding pitcher but he got old, as do we all, and needed something to keep him in the spotlight. He denied using steroids to congress and was tried for it. No decision. This book's author obviously feels he was a liar. Interesting book about a major leaguer who is/was not honest.
Jan 23, 2014 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-new
Good book. Lots of info on his life, from kid to current. This book definitely reinforced my impression of him... a guy who can be great when he wants to be, but is overall a liar and arrogant SOB. Not the kind of person I'd call friend, but he's been successful and is rich so I guess he's happy.
Interesting read - less for the snide comments and occasional pat on the back. But for someone who essentially grew up with Roger Clemens as a baseball star, it was good to get more into the background. Hard to like someone (regardless of the author's bias) who says "do as I say, not as I do."
You won't like Roger Clemens any more after reading this book (and you may dislike him even more!), but the whole story of this "cheater" is important to know: he had his few sincerely good moments buried amidst so many bad ones. Understanding the entire man is revealing, of course...
It had been awhile since reading a book that I was unable to put down. That is, until opening The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality. Simply, it is a fantastic read on one of sports' most compelling figures.
I really didn't know all that much about Roger Clemens when I started this book - but I really enjoyed the writing style (always love Jeff Pearlman's books) and I found myself really enjoying the book all the way through.
Kevin Wright
Pearlman isn't the greatest writer and this is a tad on the tabloid side of storytelling but, regardless, there is something so fulfilling about seeing someone like Clemens get his comeuppance.
Matt Laduke
Eye opening book. Despite the negativity that was being painted, it still shocks me how good Roger Clemens really was. Even it it was enhanced.
A very good read. I would recommend this book to all baseball lovers.
Interesting information about his life and the allegations made against him.
Jeff Raymond
Did I mention schadenfrudelicious? It’s definitely a negative borderline hit piece on Clemens, but still a fun read for what it was.
I never thought I'd enjoy reading a book about someone I loathed, Pearlman made this interesting and readable.
A massive letdown from Pearlman's Dallas Cowboys book.
Kelly marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2014
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anti-Roger 1 6 May 21, 2009 07:14AM  
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