Received from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway. Available February 10, 2015.
This is the first time I've read Kelly Link, and after reading t Received from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway. Available February 10, 2015.
This is the first time I've read Kelly Link, and after reading this collection I'll start looking into her previous work. Get in Trouble is unlike any other book of short stories I've read before. Link has a relatively unadorned writing style that is, on the surface, straightforward storytelling. However, there's are nuances in each sentence, between characters, or in scenes that push the narrative in directions that were unexpected or that make it much more engaging.
Since the book won't be out for a while I don't want to talk about the individual stories too much, but like all any collections of this kind, there were highlights. My personal favorites were "Secret Identity" and "The New Boyfriend." In my opinion, these were the two most compelling stories, with well-developed characters and effortlessly executed narratives.
I'm glad I was one of the lucky few to receive an advance copy of this. Kelly link is like no other writer I know of, and recommend Get in Trouble to anyone who's looking for a pleasant literary surprise. ...more
I don't read a lot of sports books. I've noticed that most of them fall into the ghost-written athlete I received this as part of a Goodreads giveaway.
I don't read a lot of sports books. I've noticed that most of them fall into the ghost-written athlete autobiography category, or the 300-page Sports Illustrated article category. This book is neither of those. It's well-researched and well-written, and the author spent a good amount of time doing personal interviews and consulting multiple sources. Essentially, this book is an all-access pass to the history of the 1970s Steelers.
The story begins with the young Art Rooney and leads up to Noll's hiring and the selection of Mean Joe Greene in the 1969 draft. The story then centers around Greene, Terry Bradshaw, and Franco Harris, from the Immaculate Reception to the first Super Bowl victory. After that, individual chapters are dedicated to individual players, a series of anecdotes about their playing days and their current lives.
Aside from the obvious sports narrative, Pomerantz also addresses the racial tensions on the team and society. In today's world, it's odd to think that a pro athlete like Terry Bradshaw had never had a black teammate until he played for the Steelers, or the innate distrust of whites that many of the black players from the South carried for their first few seasons. It's also refreshing to know that the Rooneys played a role in hiring black staff and coaches.
Although Pomerantz dedicates a lot of time to the good days - defensive domination, humiliating victories, and four Lombardi trophies - he also spends a lot of time on the price that these players paid when they stepped on to the field. The chapter on Mike Webster shows the dark side of the NFL, and how the collective injuries and brain damage ruined his marriage and his life. It's hard to imagine a former NFL champion being homeless, yet attending Terry Bradshaw's hall of fame ceremony. At his own induction speech, he would ramble incoherently as a result of years of multiple concussions and shots to the head. Other players suffer from neck, back and knee problems, endure multiple surgeries and constant pain.
I'd recommend this book to any fan of the 1970s Steelers, or anyone who is a fan of well-written sports histories. There won't be another team like this, and you can see how all of them together - the Rooneys, Noll, and the players - came together as a family. Together they won, lost, grew up, grew old, and still reminisce about the days they were the best football team in the world.