Bill Simmons, aka "The Sportsguy" (I hope he didn't give himself that nickname), really loves the Celtics. I mean, I always knew from reading his arti...moreBill Simmons, aka "The Sportsguy" (I hope he didn't give himself that nickname), really loves the Celtics. I mean, I always knew from reading his articles on ESPN.com that he was a Boston homer, but I didn't know that he loved the Celtics so much that he would dedicate three years of his life to write a book that should have been titled "The Bible of Beantown Basketball (With the Occasional Talk of Non-Boston Related Items to Spice Things Up)".
But once you get past the Russell and Auerbach and Bird and McHale and Walton and the rest of the '86 Celtics love fest--which is pretty much 80% of the book--you're left with the sometimes coherent, and most of the time entertaining, ramblings of a self-professed basketball junkie.
Now I know some people will be turned off by Simmons' writing style, which consists of a healthy amount of pop-culture references in addition to the many stories of the debauchery that he and his merry band of buddies took part of in their good old days. But I'm ok with it. He doesn't try to be and write like an accomplished journalist or author which is something that he's clearly not. It seems to me that his purpose behind writing this book was to write to write a book about basketball that not only educated the reader but also entertained. And for the most part it did.
So to wrap things up, if you're a fan of the sport, and you've read a couple of Simmons' ESPN articles without having the urge to strangle him afterwards, than more than likely you'll enjoy this book. (less)
I kinda got a more epic and slightly more serious version of a Latin-tinged "Catch-22" vibe while reading this, hence the five stars. This book also h...moreI kinda got a more epic and slightly more serious version of a Latin-tinged "Catch-22" vibe while reading this, hence the five stars. This book also holds the distinction of being the first library book that I've ever had to pay late fee for. It's not that I speed read--I do read pretty fast but I only read when... you know--or am OCD about returning them on time. I just used to never go to the library. Ever. But that was then. Now I go so often that the crazy homeless guy who bathes him self in the restroom recognizes me. And I know what you're thinking. No, I don't know if he reads when he's on the can. (less)
Talk about a depressing read. Every single character in this book was dead. Every single one! After reading this, I would not be surprised at all if E...moreTalk about a depressing read. Every single character in this book was dead. Every single one! After reading this, I would not be surprised at all if Edgar Lee Masters lived next to (or grew up on) a cemetery as a kid.
Maybe I'm just not smart (or emo) enough to fully appreciate poetry like this, but there were definitely times when I caught myself mentally wandering off while reading this. (I blame the ADD.) Don't get me wrong, there were parts that I enjoyed, but as a whole, I didn't really find it that interesting. There was only so much poetry that I could read that centered around death, ya dig?
Anyway, I do recommend this to people who like poetry. (If they haven't already read it. According to my American Lit text, which is where I first heard about "Spoon River Anthology", it's a "classic".) If you're not a big fan of poetry, then you might still like it. Just try to not fall asleep on the toilet while reading this like I did. (less)
This book is groundbreaking... if you read it 40 years ago. Now, it's just filled with obvious observations that any half-way paying attention person...moreThis book is groundbreaking... if you read it 40 years ago. Now, it's just filled with obvious observations that any half-way paying attention person can make like, "If a woman is frowning then she may--or may not--be upset." Ok, maybe the book isn't that obvious, but you don't really want me to spoil all of it for you, do you?
But I do want to thank Julius Fast for giving me the line, "Nah, baby, I wasn't staring. I was just admiring your particular mode of nonverbal communication. It's very inspiring." Good looking out Captain Obvious!(less)