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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  827 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Made into a hilarious and timeless film starring Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, and Jill Clayburgh, and recently named number seven on Sports Illustrated's Top 100 Sports Books of All Time, Semi-Tough is Dan Jenkins's masterpiece and considered by many to be the funniest sports book ever written. The novel follows the outsize adventures of Billy Clyde Puckett, star hal ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published June 1st 1973 by Signet
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Nov 04, 2009 Wally8541 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book before. Dan Jenkins is one of my favorite authors. The book club I just joined asked me to pick the next book and I couldn't resist. Very off-color, completely politically incorrect, and one of the funniest books ever written. Hope somebody likes it or I may never get to pick a book again. :-)

Finished. I am still amazed at how I laugh at this book. Jenkins humour is just hilarious to me. Part of it is the way he understands how athletes talk and act. I know that this book is
Jun 25, 2011 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I like Dan Jenkins. As a budding sportswriter growing up near Fort Worth, I found it impossible not to. He's funny, insightful and he's forgotten more about golf and football than most people learn in a lifetime. I'll be reading his tweets from the British Open this weekend, no doubt.

That's why it absolutely pains me to pan this book. Maybe I'm just being prudish. Maybe I've become oversensitive. Maybe I didn't live through the free-wheeling late '60s and early '70s and just don't get it. But to
Feb 08, 2017 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, sports-related
Originally read this back in 1973. I remember at the time, back when I was in the military, I thought this book was hilarious. Well, on rereading, I guess my tastes have changed. The book was filled with racist and sexist language and remarks that now seems embarrassing. The book is told by Billy Clyde Puckett, who plays for the New York Giants, and who tells of his exploits before, during, and after meeting the New York Jets in the Superbowl. One of the reasons I reread this was because of the ...more
Wyatt Hamilton
Oct 07, 2015 Wyatt Hamilton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is called Semi Tough, written by Dan Jenkins. Semi-Tough is Dan Jenkins's masterpiece and considered by many to be the one of the funniest sports book ever written. The book cover the escapades Billy Clyde Puckett, an elite running back for the New York Giants. His team has come to LA for an epic duel with the despised Jets in the Super Bowl. He is faced with 2 challenges, not only must he try to beat a team of punk Jets, but he has also been asked by a book publisher to keep a journal ...more
Nicholas Grant Garcia
Hilarious, equally irreverent and touching, this sports book captures team camaraderie and truths about life like few others I've ever read. If you can stand cussing and swearing like they used to in the good ol' days, (and you love sports) this book is for you. The consistent profanity and immorality portrayed earns it four instead of five stars.
Mar 08, 2017 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humorous yet very dated. I'm trying to separate my positive experience with the book from negative experiences involved with trying to write about the movie it was turned into.
May 05, 2012 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, published in 1972, is to pro football what "Animal House" was to college life. A way over the top look at the off-the-field life of NFL players, as exemplified by the fictional Giant stars Billy Clyde Puckett and "Shake" Tiller, and their teammates, girlfriends and other acquaintances. Setting his novel in the week leading up to the Super Bowl, to be played against the "dog*** Jets" in Los Angeles, Mr. Jenkins manages to send up every participating constituency. The language, situati ...more
Lydia Blue
Dec 05, 2013 Lydia Blue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those definitely not easily offended
Recommended to Lydia by: Saw the horrible movie verion one drunken night and then out of curiosity got the book at the library
I love Goodreads, but their description of the film version of this book as "timeless and hilarious" is WAY wrong. It may be timeless, only because it's possibly one of the worst films ever made. I noticed Dan Jenkins' name wasn't even in the beginning credits. Out of morbid curiosity I got the book. I was pleasantly surprised to find it NOTHING like the movie. A semi-hilarious romp through the NFL in a totally different era than we have now. Billy Clyde Puckett and his buddies on the New York G ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Rscarff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Semi-Tough is the funniest book I have read in a long time, if not ever. It's kind of the Texan Clockwork Orange. I realize the comparison is a pretentious reach, but there is a shared originality of language and subversiveness that I felt more than once.

Fair warning - this book is not for prudes. If you're not laughing at something by the second page, you should probably put it down. It only gets worse.
Feb 16, 2009 Carolyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard of this book I was told how hilarioulsy funny it was. I was told it was 'a first person account of the NFL.' I am a football fan so I suckered in.

Yes, it was told in the first person, but the style was rambling to the point of incoherence and the text looked as if it had never seen the pencil of the editor.

As for the 'humor'? It was entirely too coarse and vulgar for my tastes. Funny? NOT.
David Ward
Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins (Da Capo Press 1972) (Fiction). This is an uproarious novel about three best friends, two of whom are totally irreverent pro football stars. Jenkins creates some unforgettable teammates. When I was fourteen, I thought this was the funniest book ever written. This brings back great memories. My rating: 7.5/10, finished 1972.
This was a major disappointment.
Was it funny? Hell no.
Was it racist? Yes.
Was it sexist? Yes.
Was it homophobic? Yes.
Was it an interesting football story? Not really.
Was it predictable? It was completely predictable.
This book would make a good substitute for toilet paper.
No stars for me.
Mitch Gage
May 03, 2016 Mitch Gage rated it really liked it
Good stuff. I liked the narrator and the rough frankness of the language but it wasn't much of a story. Just sort of a long glimpse into a lifestyle and vibe. Fun companion to North Dallas Forty's bummer.
Jan 30, 2011 Owen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny. Takes you inside the lives of football stars in the 80's without holding back. The language is certainly offensive, but that's part of making a period piece; you can't sanitize it, it was the way it was and to try to change it is dishonest. A great story.
Aug 10, 2011 Chandler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, quick read. Similar to the writing of Peter Gent, provides a semi-fictional tale of what it is like to be a pro football player, not so much on the field, but in the private, free swinging life. By the way, the movie of the same name is vastly different from this book.
Aug 03, 2009 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great literature? Maybe not. Great and original entertainment? Yes definitely. Politically correct? Not for a second! Read the original scale for rating women from one to ten based on their looks. My friends and I have been laughing over this book for over forty years!!!
Apr 08, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2009-10-season
Utterly foul-mouthed (even by today's looser standards) and utterly hilarious while being completely politically incorrect. Don't read this if you are easily offended by any indelicate discussion of race religion or gender.
Chris Gager
I don't remember it much which isn't a good sign. For some reason the writer and director of the film chose to focus on New Agey hocus pocus like Est(Beat), Rolfing("Pelfing")and "Moviegenics" instead of football. Why? Ask them. Date read is a guess.
Apr 20, 2012 Jennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable piece of football fiction. Definitely a bit dated, but fun to read. If you're in the mood for something that will keep you entertained, don't want to think to hard, and like football, check this book out. A good travel book to occupy stopovers, plane trips and hotel time.
Nov 10, 2008 Ryan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read it if dated bigotry, photos from the movie included, and one sentence paragraphs do it for you.
May 11, 2008 Ita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hilarious! must read!
Sara Haenes
Jan 31, 2008 Sara Haenes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, especially if you like football.
Jul 28, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, smart, very early seventies- free love, Vietnam, and prickly NFL racial politics.
best locker room humor i ever read,,,,1st book to make me laugh out loud,,,,,,next was hitchikers guide,,,,,,,read during the week of 5 of 6 steeler super bowl wins,,,,CAN'T FIND IT AGAIN,,,,HELP
Chris King
Jun 26, 2012 Chris King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the funniest books I've read.
Jul 25, 2012 Robby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Football Fans
Shelves: sports
Read this a good while back.Really enjoyed it for its' local flavor, being from Fort Worth. Still a fun read.
Dean Brodhag
Nov 30, 2008 Dean Brodhag rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it would be more about sports in the Sports Illustrated tradition. Not. Some good one liners and small set pieces but NOT a book to lose time over. I watched the movie and it was worse.
Aug 19, 2008 Joel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Low brow sports pulp. Gotta love it. Liked his rating system for wool.
David Feinman
Nov 15, 2014 David Feinman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any doubts that we carry vestigial DNA evidence of sexual relations between humans and Neanderthals (known at the time as "doin' the nasty") may be quickly dispelled by reading SEMI-TOUGH.
Aug 15, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You don't have to be football fan to be entertained by this. Great fun!
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Great book, easy read... 2 15 Jan 03, 2013 09:19PM  
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Dan Jenkins is an American author and sportswriter, most notably for Sports Illustrated.

Jenkins was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where he attended R .L. Paschal High School and Texas Christian University (TCU), where he played on the varsity golf team. Jenkins has worked for many publications including the Fort Worth Press, Dallas Times Herald, Playboy, and Sports Illustrated. In 1985 he
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