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Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,443 ratings  ·  269 reviews
Hi. In your hands, right now, you hold the culmination of thousands of years of human intelligence, ingenuity, and brilliance. Now put your goddamn phone down and pay attention to my book.

What is in my book, you ask? (I'm really glad you asked, by the way, because now I get to tell you.)

Time travel. Gay marriage. Sportsballing. Futuristic goggles that DO NOTHING.

Tiny brag
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Little, Brown & Company (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,443 ratings  ·  269 reviews

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Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I should probably give this book a 2 star rating. I skimmed a lot of the essays and was pretty glad to be done with it, but it's hard to do so because I get the feeling I would really like talking to Kluwe at a gathering. He seems thoughtful, well educated, funny, compassionate and we have similar values both politically and religiously. I really appreciate his commitment to marriage equality and his general goal of being a voice for the under represented.

And I wouldn't know any of this if it we
I feel like such a douchebag for giving up on this book (and giving just 2 points to the part I did read) because Chris Kluwe just seems like such an amazing guy and is such a valuable ally to the LGBT community. And to be clear, the 2 stars are for the writing, not the opinions, with which I almost 100% agree. I've followed @ChrisWarcraft on Twitter for a long time, and I love reading his tweets (except the ones about video games and football--what are those?). And of course, I loved the letter ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Warning: This review contains a profanity below. Why? Because my reaction to this book calls for its use.

I read this book in an afternoon. Based on what I knew about Chris Kluwe, I expected to like his book; I didn't expect to be as completely blown away as I was. He writes with a satisfying blend of courage and imagination.

For the past several months I had basically stopped discussing politics, turned off talk radio altogether, and taken myself out of most online political discussion groups (wi
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
How can you NOT read a book with this cover and this title? (And how can you not read a book by the author of the amazing rebuttal letter to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. when he decided PEOPLE SHOULD NOT COME OUT IN APPROVAL OF ZOMG GAY MARRIAGE OF THE GAYSSSSS END OF THE WORLD?)

The rating for this book is a weird one. What I liked in this book, I liked a lot. What I didn't like - well, that's the weird part.

What I liked:

Kluwe is INTELLIGENT, you guys. Like, you know how you think
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thinkers
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Nonfiction/Essays
Reading Level: Adult (language)
Recommended for: Thinkers
Trigger Warnings: mention of school shootings

My Thoughts: I don't necessarily agree with all of Chris Kluwe's opinions (but then again the world would be mighty boring if everyone thought the same of everything), however I found this peek into his brain to be fascinating. This is a guy I would love to sit down and shoot the breeze with about all sorts of things. This book ranges from poetry to stream-of-co
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I can't even remember how this book got on my radar--I know from my own shelving tag that I heard about it on CBC radio, but I can't recall the details at all. Which is kind of disappointing, as those details might have given me more enthusiasm for the work. Not to say that its a bad book, just that I am not its intended audience.

Kluwe actually writes quite clearly and intelligently, not necessarily something that you expect from someone who plays pro football. He is outspoken in his support of
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This may be one of my favorite books of the year, which is interesting (to me) for several reasons. Mainly, up until a year and a half ago, I had no idea who he was. I'm an easily distracted football watcher, a fan of the Broncos and the Ravens (which made this last year interesting...) who can only reliably name maybe 5 people who play in the NFL who aren't on either of those two teams. Sorry to disappoint, but between my job, working on my master's, and everything else, I don't really care tha ...more
Bonnie McDaniel
Chris Kluwe is a punter with the NFL. Formerly with the Minnesota Vikings, he now kicks for the Oakland Raiders. He is also a staunch supporter of marriage equality, has a penchant for writing letters to and about people who piss him off, and swears a lot. (Indeed--I've never seen such creative, laugh-out-loud profanities as he puts together.)

The genesis of this book is a letter Kluwe wrote to a Maryland state delegate who wanted to restrict another NFL player's right to free speech (said player
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book fascinated me. It was interesting to see a writer who was so aware of his own privelege, yet occasionally throw out opinions that were so clearly shaped by his position in society. From his analysis of mortgages (yes, you're right - I'm paying twice what my house is worth, but I have to because I don't make the $770,000+ per year that you've made in the past!) to his take on people complaining about video games being released on only one platform (uh, I don't have a PS3 or a Wii, or an ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I *really* wanted to love this book. So much so that I bought it in hardcover (only after vetting my library's physical and e-book catalogs, of course). And to be fair, there were sections that I did love. However, the book as a whole felt (in part because Kluwe tells the reader so) like he grabbed a file filled with individual rants, rambles, and bits, slapped a title on it, and called it a book. For some pieces, this makes sense (like his response to Delegate Burns, from which the creative tit ...more
If the point of this book was to make us all get over our appreciation for Kluwe's outspoken support of gay marriage, then I suppose it's a success. I was looking forward to reading this one based on ridiculous title and description, but I was severely disappointed. The first few essays were fun, "yeah, that's right!" kind of political rants, but pretty quickly the whole thing devolves into the self-righteous, insufferable ramblings of an ego-maniac who wants us to think he doesn't take himself ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bio, funny, sports
$3 at Chapters discount bin on holiday...needed hotel reading.

Worth every penny, not a ton more.

He's interesting, but a whole book is just "the world is shitty people, we need to be better" not exactly helpful. Also he's kinda up his own ass quite a bit. I feel like he bought into his own hype after being Twitter sensation as an NFLer with a brain. Seems to be he got blackballed for having an opinion on gay marriage (pro) which I'm fine with but apparently the manly footballers didn't care for.

Jonathan Jacobs
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked this up out of admiration: I admire any guy who has the balls to truly speak his mind. In this book, Chris throws what must be 50-75 short vignettes at his readers on topics meandering from his eulogy for himself to what he's learned from his kids to how ridiculous our celebrity-obsessed culture is. While I enjoyed many of these stories, after time they became tired and repetitive, he would make the same point, the same way, in three different chapters. At it's best, the good stories we ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
This assortment of essays and rants on technology, society, family, and self by smart and opinionated former Minnesota Vikings punter Kluwe is a mishmash of equal parts brilliance and ridiculousness. Unless you're a Vikings fan (and possibly even if you are), you know Kluwe from his famous 2012 letter to then-Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns. This book is like fifty such letters, but on various topics and organized in a disorganized fashion. Still and all, Sparkleponies should probably be ...more
Larry H
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although I'm a big fan of pop culture and sports, I don't tend to revere celebrities. While there are certainly people whose work or abilities I enjoy or appreciate more than others, the people I admire most or even view as personal heroes are often those making a difference in our world or impacting people's lives.

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (now an Oakland Raider) is one of those people. While as a football fan I knew of Kluwe's prowess on the field, I didn't become aware of hi
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Every time I've gotten a Goodreads update via email the past year and a half, it's told me I'm currently reading Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies. Somehow it occurred to me only about three weeks ago that maybe it's been telling all of my friends that in all their Goodreads updates for the past year and a half as well. I really hope it hasn't been telling you've I've been reading this for the past year and a half. It's been on my nightstand that long, but I certainly didn't mean to keep you all ...more
Now, I'm not a big sports fan. Okay, that's not totally true, I like baseball and hockey quite a bit, but football is not my thing unless I'm at a Gopher game cheering for my alma mater. Living in Minnesota, the team that I would root for if I were a football fan would probably be the Vikings. Wlel, would have been the Vikings, were Chris Kluwe still on board. See, Chris Kluwe first came to my attention not as a punter for my local team, but through a letter he wrote to a Maryland politician who ...more
Allen Adams
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it

“Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies” starts off in perhaps the only way it could: a reprint of Kluwe’s Deadspin evisceration of Emmet Burns. In fact, the title of the collection springs from that letter after a fashion.

See, while the majority of Kluwe’s critics used “He’s only a punter” as the foundation for their dismissal of him, others viewed his liberal use of profanity and other perceived vulgarities as a way to negate the validity of his views.

So Kluwe
Jul 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is pretty much my worst nightmare. Kluwe is smart, funny, often clever, and [IMO] right on the issues. But the book is grating and disjointed and self-righteous and, above all, unnecessary. No one needed him to write this book, and nothing has been gained by my reading it. Except that I lost some respect for him because of his idiotic defense of his salary (in a chapter entirely about how horrible it is that sports and entertainment figures are paid more than public servants), and for ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Contrary to what my 2-star rating indicates, there are parts of this book I genuinely liked. I generally agree with Kluwe's viewpoints and find him to be an intelligent and insightful writer. I just found there to be too much filler: chapters that didn't need to be there because they were repetitive, whiny, or just completely pointless. Did we really need a chapter that was simply a stream of consciousness list of twenty or so words? How about a list of injuries (groin pull, sprained ankle, etc. ...more
Roberto Chavez
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Kluwe has potential. You see the potential in this collection of blog posts and letters to the editor that's collected into a hardcover book. He has lots of ideas, but needs an editor to help him develop and focus his ideas. On the other hand, if I could give half stars I would. This book contains the awesome reply to Emmett C. Burns, Maryland state delegate, who wrote a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, back when a Ravens linebacker stated his support of same-sex marriage. The Maryla ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Okay, Chris Kluwe and I are on the same page about a lot of things. These are great essays on all variety of topics, and each, on their own, is a compelling work. What keeps me from giving this book 5 stars is the poor editing. It feels as if they were all just jumbled together without much rhyme or reason. Ultimately what this book needs more than anything is a unifying arc from beginning to end, something that it ultimately lacks.

I'll buy pretty much anything Kluwe puts out—his style and sense
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I already loved Chris Kluwe before he wrote this book, so by saying I absolutely loved this book, I may be a little biased.

Not only is Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies a bit funny, but it's also an enormous pit of logic. Kluwe discusses gay marriage, guns, and other things with refreshing logic and humor that make you want to jump up in celebration because it's exactly what you've been thinking for so long.

In addition to essays and letters, there are also a few short stories, in which Kluwe's t
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I wanted to love this book and - as several reviewers have stated elsewhere - there are portions of this book I did love. However, the format of the book and the piecing of the essays / entries together didn't make for the best end product. Kluwe is an interesting man and I have loved listening to him on various Podcasts (this makes me wonder what a longer form piece of writing might look like from him) but a lot of that, for me at least, didn't transfer to the book. I will say this in the book' ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Chris Kluwe is an astute guy who transcends the stereotype of the meathead or uncultured football player, and would be great to hang out with at a bar. He has a strong ability to write a sharp, memorable sentence, and represent an old idea in a new way. These characteristics alone do not inherently lead to a coherent, compelling book, as Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies demonstrates. But I'm glad to know that there Chris Kluwes in professional sports, and to the degree that exposure for this book ...more
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Two stars not for the content of the book, but rather the organization and presentation of it all. It just isn't a very fulfilling book. It seems like a large collection of blog rants compiled together...many of which were very funny and thoughtful. It just wasn't a very satisfying book to read (perhaps because I waited for so many months to get this through the public library...I was just left disappointed).
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love Chris Kluwe. Gay marriage is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and as a fellow straight ally, he argues on behalf of equality in a hysterical but still meaningful way. Gay marriage is the topic of several chapters but he also talks about other "current events" as well as some random short stories. This is an easy read and poignant for the times. He approaches things in a humorous way which is refreshing when talking about such divisive topics.
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really like Chris Kluwe, and I wanted to like this book. The parts I enjoyed the most were his previously published letters and columns, which leads me to believe this book's problems come from lack of editing and a rush to publish quickly. (Total speculation on my part.) Kluwe is intelligent, articulate and creative. (Also, arrogant and confident, but if you read his stuff, you know that.) I hope he writes another book, and that he tightens up a little before that happens.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quite erudite discourse at times, and deliciously vulgar yet poignant phrasing. Still, best saved for small doses, as it careens from topic to topic, and the meandering subject matter eventually blurs together if you read too much at once.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Overall really enjoyable, hilarious, and very relatable
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So, I'm gonna give this a shot 1 14 Jun 24, 2013 08:29PM  
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Christopher James "Chris" Kluwe (/ˈkluːi/; born December 24, 1981) is an American football punter for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2005 before playing the next eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He is currently with the Oakland Raiders. He played college football at UCLA.
“People ask me, 'Who is your hero?'
My answer, my true answer, is that I am my hero, the me I aspire to be, the very best at everything I put my hand to, treating people with dignity and respect because it's the right thing to do, surmounting obstacles with justice and empathy and compassion. I don't need anyone else to live my life for me, to mold me, to tell me what is or isn't possible. I don't need a path to follow.
I create my own path. I live up to my own dreams. I demand greatness of mind, body, and spirit, not someone else's, but my own.
I am my own hero. Are you yours?”
“Above all, enjoy one another's company. We never know when we'll be able to tell someone "I love you" again - say it often.” 5 likes
More quotes…