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To Absent Friends

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Paperback, 478 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Plume (first published June 1st 1982)
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4.29  · 
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 ·  21 ratings  ·  5 reviews

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Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all writers
Journalists who want to be better observers, reporters and writers should read this -- no matter whether you're into sports or whether you don't even understand sports. Smith's ability to capture the personalities, stories and significance of the people he writes is an example that everyone can learn from.

Plus, it's a collection of columns, so you don't have to read it straight through; you can skip around to what looks interesting.
Andrew McMillen
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is one of the strangest books I have read, as it comprises nearly two hundred tributes to dead men I have never heard of. Almost all of the deceased were professional athletes in the fields of baseball and American football, though boxers, jockeys, coaches, agents, racehorses and sports journalists all figure heavily, too. Red Smith is considered by some to be the greatest sportswriter of all time. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1976. His newspaper columns were published for over ...more
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sports fans, people who love columnists
Shelves: books-to-keep, sports
In the minds of many, Red Smith was the greatest sportswriter of all-time, the guy Mike Lupica has admittedly tried to be. This book is a collection of his, well for lack of a better word, obituaries, a bunch of stories about Smith remembering the best of famous people and athletes after they have thrown off this mortal coil.

Unlike most sports writing, which is transient and seems so banal as the years flow by, Smith writing holds up even 50 years later because the man could write a sentence.

James of the Redwoods
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read this book for a college writing class. I was immediately blown away by Red's storytelling. I was never a fan of sport subjects - until this book. Wonderful then and gets better every time I read it again.
Martin Bihl
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
the old red head was a good writer, but this suffers from a bit too much of the same thing over and over again - in short, too many dead people.
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Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith (September 25, 1905 – January 15, 1982) was an American sportswriter. Smith’s journalistic career spans over five decades and his work influenced an entire generation of writers. Smith became the second sports columnist ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1976. Writing in 1989, sportswriter David Halberstam called Smith "the greatest sportswr ...more
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit down at the typewriter, cut open a vein, and bleed.” 6 likes
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