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The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality
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The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  336 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
“Pearlman’s book develops a stark, unsparing picture of Clemens’s life that surpasses anything that’s come before.”
Boston Globe


Jeff Pearlman, the New York Times bestselling author of The Bad Guys Won! and Boys Will be Boys, now brings us The Rocket That Fell to Earth, an explosive account of the rise and fall of Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees superstar Roger Clemens
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Harper (first published 2009)
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Brent Soderstrum
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoy Jeff Pearlman's books which give you a behind the scene glimpse at a sports figure or team. This book on Roger Clemens is no different. Pearlman examines Roger growing up a fat boy in Ohio with average talent. The early loss of his father and step-father, his drug addicted brother Randy who was his idol and his determination to be a major league pitcher.

I am always amazed that national figures who we view as having such great lives can, despite their fame and money, be living mise
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this entire book in one day, a first for me. It's a very easy read that follows the saga of the Rocket from fat kid in Ohio to misremembering in court as a superstar clinging onto anyhing he can grab a hold of. I really liked Roger Clemens when I was younger. Had the video game and was so happy when he signed with Toronto. I still wear my Clemens jersey to games on ocasion. Like Charles Barkley made it known, athletes are not rolemodels; Roger Clemens is not an exception. Sure he can be c ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For an avid baseball fan just coming of age during Roger Clemens' final few seasons in the mid-2000s, the only memories and knowledge I had of "The Rocket" were of a 40-45 year old man still able to pitch (and at an incredible level!) in the major leagues, along with the statistics that sports broadcasters and journalists through my way regarding this legendary pitcher. I never knew about Clemens' years in Boston, where he won the MVP and his first 3 Cy Young Awards, nor his back-to-back marvelo ...more
Apr 06, 2009 marked it as to-read
Shelves: baseball_books
When I saw this at Borders, I thought it was another salacious baseball book. Then I read the small write up in Sports Illustrated and decided it would be worth my while: "in this well crafted bio, author Jeff Pearlman digs deep into Roger Clemens' rep as a texas-bred flamethrower, devoted family man, and dedicated teammate. Pearlman produces a rich character study, revealing a complex figure ultimately undone by the ambition that made him great."

Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports
Roger Clemens is like a high school boyfriend who cheats on you. You fall in love when you are young and impressionable. He is so full of promise and greatness. You overlook all of the flaws. He will mature, he will grow, he will only get better. But he doesn't. He gets worse. He cheats on you. You can't live with that. You know you have to break up, but you still love him. He is so amazing, when he wants to be, but he has to go. Years later you still find yourself thinking about him, missing hi ...more
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I picked this up expecting to learn what kinds of steroids exactly Clemens used and was engrossed immediately by his interesting story. Was he a hero? No, but his story needed to be told because it was a good one. And complimented with good writing; you can tell Pearlman really appreciates the English language.
I had no idea of Clemens's troubles with his drug-addicted, psychopath brother who instilled within Clemens the desire to excel at sports, so much that it almost consumed h
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports, fun, biography
While this book has some good things in it, Pearlman's biased writing gets old after a while. He puts little drops of good things Clemens did here and there throughout the book, but he elaborates on the negative.

The biggest annoyance for me, however, was all his information seemed to come from OTHER sports writers who often got their information from “unnamed sources” or “a former MLB player” or a “former teammate” when making a point about something negative. If you’re going to drag somebody’s
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written book about someone that I used to idolize.

Roger Clemens was was an intimidating pitcher that dominated well into his 40's. He was known for his work ethic, and his longevity was attributed to his hard work in the gym while off the field.

It turns out that this, in fact, was too good to be true. There is ample evidence that when Clemens started to show signs of aging, and he lost his zip, he turned to steroids.

This, unfortunately, was not that unusual. Baseball was riddle
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports, texas
After reading "The Bad Guys Won," I became a huge fan of Pearlman. So when I saw this book at my local library, I did not hesitate to pick it up. Clemens' fall from grace has been documented elsewhere, but I figured Pearlman might be able to offer some new insight. Although I found the subject interesting and learned quite a bit more about one of my former pitching heroes, I was disappointed with some glaring shortcomings, shortcomings unbecoming of an author like Pearlman. A couple of little th ...more
Ken Heard
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like him or not, you had to admire Roger Clemens' dominance on the mound during the regular season. Playoffs? Perhaps not. Fans knew of his manic work ethic that, at first led us to believe it was what helped him pitch into his 40s. Nolan Ryan did it.

But then, the allegations of steroids surfaced and Clemens, like most other sports heroes became tarnished. Now we question if he should even be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Jeff Pearlman does a great job chronicling Clemens' career, beginning fro
Oct 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: baseball fans
I was always a Clemens fan. I was from the Bob Gibson School--if the batter is taking away the inside part of the plate, throw inside. Plunk him in the ribs if necessary. Clemens did that often, and was a fierce competitor on the field. I liked him a lot.
And then he became--in no particular order-- an obnoxious boor, a lousy teammate, and a steroid cheat. So I read this book hoping to find out what happened to him. But Pearlman never really makes it clear whether Clemens was always a jerk or whe
Don Kaiser
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
As the title would indicate, this book obviously has an agenda. If you liked Roger Clemens before reading the book, as I did, it will do nothing to change that. If you don't like him, same story. To me, he comes off as a human being, flawed in many respects, admirable in others. His story could just as easily have been that of any of dozens of high-profile baseball superstars of the juiced-era. Roger was just arrogant enough to go before Congress and lie. He shouldn't be in Cooperstown, but he h ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed reading this author. All three books I've read by him have been about players (Bonds, Clemens) or teams (1986 Mets) that I really didn't care for. Pearlman does a good job of helping the reader understand why they are such jerks, without apologizing for or justifying their actions. The forces around Clemens coupled with his own amazing talent virtually guaranteed the road he traveled. Really a tragedy.
Nov 03, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the story of Roger Clemens from the fat kid who shared pitching duties with a girl in little league to the steroid using major leaguer. An excellent chronology of Clemens career and his drive to make the major leagues. My one complaint about the book would be that the author spends much of his time focusing on Clemens negatives of which their are many on not enough on some of the good things he did like visiting sick children in hospitals.
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is a pretty quick read - I finished it in about a day. It's a decent bio on Clemens and goes over what drove him to become great (his older brother Randy), his career arc, when his body started to fail, and how he decided to start using steroids to get back to his former level of greatness. Pearlman is a good writer and if you're interested in baseball this is a book worth of your time.
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books because I learned a lot about Roger Clemens . Before reading it I knew little about him, other than that he got in trouble for PEDs. The book is written in third person. There is internal conflict in Clemens, because he realizes that steroids are against the rules, but he wants to be the best player he can be. I would recommend it to any baseball fan.
Glen Mcguffin
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Steroids have been a subject for several years in relation to sports. Here is Roger Clemmens who was an outstanding pitcher but he got old, as do we all, and needed something to keep him in the spotlight. He denied using steroids to congress and was tried for it. No decision. This book's author obviously feels he was a liar. Interesting book about a major leaguer who is/was not honest.
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good book. Lots of info on his life, from kid to current. This book definitely reinforced my impression of him... a guy who can be great when he wants to be, but is overall a liar and arrogant SOB. Not the kind of person I'd call friend, but he's been successful and is rich so I guess he's happy.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting read - less for the snide comments and occasional pat on the back. But for someone who essentially grew up with Roger Clemens as a baseball star, it was good to get more into the background. Hard to like someone (regardless of the author's bias) who says "do as I say, not as I do."
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An even handed account of one of the most puzzling figures in baseball. Pearlman gets such great copy and so many insider stories that it's impossible to not like his books if you are a fan of the game.
Frank Corriveau
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball, egomaniac
One word "egomaniac". Interesting reading. A slight feeling of pity as he was a pawn from birth in his brothers' game of chess. What an ass. His records should be stricken from all of baseball. Still worth the read. Lied his way through much of life.
Rachel Mavity
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really didn't know all that much about Roger Clemens when I started this book - but I really enjoyed the writing style (always love Jeff Pearlman's books) and I found myself really enjoying the book all the way through.
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It had been awhile since reading a book that I was unable to put down. That is, until opening The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality. Simply, it is a fantastic read on one of sports' most compelling figures.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
You won't like Roger Clemens any more after reading this book (and you may dislike him even more!), but the whole story of this "cheater" is important to know: he had his few sincerely good moments buried amidst so many bad ones. Understanding the entire man is revealing, of course...
Matt Laduke
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Eye opening book. Despite the negativity that was being painted, it still shocks me how good Roger Clemens really was. Even it it was enhanced.
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
A massive letdown from Pearlman's Dallas Cowboys book.
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I never thought I'd enjoy reading a book about someone I loathed, Pearlman made this interesting and readable.
Thomas Nahigian
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Interesting biography of the Rocket, Roger Clemens.
Kevin Wright
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Pearlman isn't the greatest writer and this is a tad on the tabloid side of storytelling but, regardless, there is something so fulfilling about seeing someone like Clemens get his comeuppance.
Jan 23, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2014-new
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anti-Roger 1 6 May 21, 2009 07:14AM  
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Jeff Pearlman is an American sports writer. He has written two books about baseball and was the author of the infamous John Rocker interview in Sports Illustrated. In October 2011 he released his fifth book, a biography of Walter Payton titled, "Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton." It spent four weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Pearlman was born and raised in Mahopac, New Y
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