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Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  5,064 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
"Pistol" is more than the biography of a ballplayer. It's the stuff of classic novels: the story of a boy transformed by his father's dream -- and the cost of that dream. Even as Pete Maravich became Pistol Pete -- a basketball icon for baby boomers -- all the Maraviches paid a price. Now acclaimed author Mark Kriegel has brilliantly captured the saga of an American family ...more
Hardcover, 381 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Free Press (first published 2007)
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Hunter Oda
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich was not nearly as good as hoped it would be. Maybe it’s just that Pete’s life wasn’t as interesting as I thought or the author didn’t do a great job telling the story, but I was’t a big fan of this book. It starts out very slow talking about the story of Pete’s dad, Press. Press was a great basketball player too as a child. He loved the game more than anyone on any of his teams and he was willing to do anything just to play a few games of basketball. He ...more
Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Older basketball fans will know that Pistol Pete was the Elvis of basketball, a white guy who could play "black" before the black guys did. He was an amazing ball handler and prolific scorer. If there had been a three point line in the late sixties when the Pistol was in college his average would have been 58 a game for his career! As it stands, his scoring record will never be broken. His is a sad story. Kriegel tells it pretty well. Pete dropped dead at age 40 playing in a pick up came with Dr ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good biography of an obsessed father who makes his son into one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Press Maravich had his son impressing people like John Wooden with his skills from grade school on. He was determined that his son would be the first million dollar player. Pete loved his dad but never found happiness until his career ended too soon and he found Jesus. He died young of a heart condition that should have killed him 20 years earlier and prevented sports. Decades a ...more
M. Milner
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
There’s a line in Mark Kriegel’s book “Pistol” that does a good job of summarizing Pete Maravich’s life, and the book, quite nicely - “I don’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at 40.”

Instead, he died of a heart defect at 40, after playing in the NBA for almost 10 years.

“Pistol” is not so much a biography as it is a study on passion and obsession and how the two can be confused. At it’s core it’s about how much a father, in this case Press Maravich, can drive his son int
Steve Bennett
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pete Maravich was one of the most flamboyant and exciting athletes of the 1970s. This excellent book is actually less about Pistol Pete and much more about his father Press Maravich. Press lost his own father at a young age in a mining fatality in Western PA. His mom remarried and Press became the forgotten stepson in the new family. Press as a youngster was going nowhere fast in a dead-end mining town until he went to a local religious youth group meeting where, perchance, they organized basket ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pistol Pete is the man. It cannot be argued that he changed basketball. If only more kids knew how much he practiced and followed his lead.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the last few years I've often had the belief that Pete Maravich the legend was better than Pete Maravich the player because he was a white guy who was very good at basketball. This book disproves that belief. He was very good -- absolutely ahead of his time -- but he also struggled with some demons many of us don't have to deal with.
Abraham Mathew
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Real inspiration. ❤ ...more
Laura Edwards
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
Years ago while in high school, I read another biography about Pistol Pete ("Pistol Pete Maravich" by Bill Gutman) and liked it enough that I (confession time here) swiped it from the library. What I remember most were Pete's mom committed suicide and Pete spun the ball so much on his fingers, the fingernail wore down. Oh, and that he dribbled the ball out the car window while his dad drove down the street.

I couldn't really say how much detail was in the other biography, but Mark Kriegel's book
Zac Huguet
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I felt this book is a very good book for serious basketball fans and people who want to learn about he life of Pete Maravich. This book I feel takes a while to get going as the beginning is very slow and was challenging for me but once the book started to get going I really enjoyed the book as a whole.
Grindy Stone
Reading this I came away with the conclusion that Pistol Pete was an overrated gunner who never won a meaningful game in his life. The author should have realized this as there is about 200 pages of material on Pete, the other third of the book is about his dad.
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good but I think there are better ones out there on his life.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Good book, but some more harsh topics not everyone would enjoy.
Jon Finkel
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The showman's showman. Pete would have 50 million instagram followers today and probably his own YouTube channel. Amazing book.
Zach Ross
Pistol Pete has grown up his whole life being a basketball prodigy. All his father, Press, ever thought about was Pete's future as a basketball superstar. Some of this rubbed off on Pete too, because whenever he was asked about it, he would say he is going to be the first million dollar player. This goal was not unreasonable because Pete has always been good. He practiced, and practice, and practiced over, and over, and over again until he got it right. The author's purpose in writing the book w ...more
Jack McFadden
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich is a biography written by Mark Kriegel that narrates Pete Maravich’s childhood and his journey through his professional basketball career. Mark Kriegel wrote this book with the purpose to entertain readers and provide information on Pete Maravich’s life. The story starts with Pete’s childhood as he grows up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Kriegel then describes Maravich's career playing college basketball at Louisiana State University, and then playing for the Atla ...more
Jack McFadden
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich is a biography written by Mark Kriegel that narrates Pete Maravich’s childhood and his journey through his professional basketball career. Mark Kriegel wrote this book with the purpose to entertain readers and provide information on Pete Maravich’s life. The story starts with Pete’s childhood as he grows up in Aliquippa pennsylvania. Kriegel then describes Maravich's career playing college basketball at Louisiana State University, and then playing for the Atlant ...more
Mr. Trapp
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One cannot tell the story of Pete Maravich without mentioning his father Press. The first part of the book is exclusively about Press Maravich, but it sets the stage for later on when Pete is born. Press is largely responsible for molding Pete into the high scoring, ball handling wizard he would become. In fact, Press would be Pete's college coach at LSU, which can be argued either was helpful or detrimental to his career and well being. His dad/coach gave him the freedom to set many unbreakable ...more
Leo Jacobowitz
Biographies about sports heroes are rarely great literature. This isn’t an exception. I would recommend this book only for basketball fanatics. Even if you just fancy basketball as an entertaining spectator sport, you must seek out footage of “the Pistol.” Pete Maravich was the most innovative player of his age – a player possessed with nearly every gift one could imagine – except for that intangible attribute of leadership. His lack of leadership coupled with a gloomy volatility prevented him f ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Chris Ruprecht
Ms. Emmett
Academic English 10
4 April 2013

The book Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich by Mark Kriegel highlights the short lived, legendary career of basketball superstar Pete Maravich. Pete, whose father was a basketball coach, spent the majority of his childhood practicing basketball. He disregarded his social and academic life and spent hours at the gym. As he developed, he became a extraordinary ball handler, and was soon put on display by his father. When Pete got to high school
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Comprehensive look at someone I am just young enough not to remember. Hard to imagine there will ever be another Pistol Pete.
Mad Dog
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio, non-fiction
This is a darn good book for sports fans that are interested in reading about 'father-son' relationships. As I see it, Pete's father Press was more interesting than Pete. This presented a heck of a challenge to the biographer (how to write a biography about someone whose father is much more interesting than the subject of the biography?). The author handles it well, by devoting sizable portions (including the beginning) to Press. It's been a while since I read it, but I chiefly remember that I f ...more
Brett Owens
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In the book “Pistol”, the author’s purpose was direct. Throughout the whole story it was pretty much serious. It talked about Pete Maravich’s life. I think that the author also wrote this story to inform the people reading the book. The author talked about how Pete got where he got and how he broke many records. It also talked about Pete’s dad and how he was a great basketball player and how basketball ran in the family genes.
I think the theme of the book is that you have to work hard for succ
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
First of all, this book isn't all about Pete Maravich. The first four chapters are about his dad Press excelling at this new sport called "basketball" and then later as a charasmatic coach. The last chapter is about Pete's sons playing basketball aftre his death in their father's shadow. All very interesting (especially the latter), but not about Pete.

Second, sure Pete had amazing numbers. His college record of most profilific scorer still holds, which averages out to 40-something per game (this
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Kriegel wisely chooses the complex relationship between Pete and his father, Press Maravich, as the central theme of his biography. Raised in a hard-scrabble company town, Press represents a dark side to blue collar parents fighting for better lives for their children. Press didn’t just work to give Pete a better life, he lived vicariously through Pete. When Pete couldn’t score high enough on the SATs to get into an ACC school, Press left his position as head coach at the then-national powerhous ...more
Jasmine Blankenboat
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Pistol Pete is a book I recommend all people to read. It’s a basketball book telling about a young boy’s life. It tells about his childhood life and his career. I think the author, Mark Kriegel, wrote this book to inform all readers about the great Pistol Pete. I liked this book because of its genre and the things that happen in this book because of the kind of person I am.

Description and summary of content:

The book is about a little boy growing up in the shadow of his father. His f
Michael Campbell
I read the book Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich. The book was about a famous college basketball star and NBA star. I believe that the author, Mark Kriegal, purpose to writing this book was to tell the rich and interesting back story of the Maravich Family beginning in 1929. Also he wrote the book to talk about the ups and downs of arguably the best college basketball player to ever play the game. You can obviously tell that Mark Kriegal is a big basketball fan.

The theme of the book was to neve
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I did'nt really know what to think when I first got the book from my brother. But as i started reading it it became a story of one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game. They call him the link from old basektball into the new, flashier, entertaining basketball. He revolutionized the game of basketball and averaged 44.2 points. If ther was a 3 point line bakc hten he probalby would have averaged high 50's. He was a terrific ball handler, a great passer, and a even better scorer ...more
Derek Noble
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: basketball fans
In Pistol by Mark Kriegel, the story line i simple. Basically it is a biography on a former professional basketball player named “Pistol” Pete Maravich. Through the plot events we see the authors message that Pete Maravich had a long road to success before his basketball stardom. We understand this theme through events such as his dad constantly making him practice and improve as a player. An important quote from the book that reinforces the theme is “It was in the drugstore that he took a famou ...more
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a life story of a great basketball player who changed the face of basketball - from slow, layup, bounce pass pace to flashy, extraordinary, and impossible. Pistol Pete was a troubled person that always searched for life. He was pressured by his father to be the first "million dollar" basketball player and he changed the rules of the game (literally, the refs didn't know if he was playing within the rules because his moves were so unique and spectacular). This story tells the dark side of ...more
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