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To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry
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To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  667 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews

A thoroughly obsessive, intermittently uplifting, and occasionally unbiased account of the Duke-North Carolina basketball rivalry

Published March 1st 2006 by HarperCollins (first published February 28th 2006)
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Nov 07, 2008 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was raised a Duke fan by my dad, who is an alumnus. He taught me the ABCs of college basketball (i.e., Anybody But Carolina). When he bought this book, we were both really looking forward to reading it. Then, we discovered that the author is a Carolina fan.

I was not confident that I could enjoy a book about the Duke-UNC rivalry if it was written from the Tarheel perspective. Surprisingly, I found myself really enjoying Blythe's journalistic writing style. Even more surprisingly, I discovered
Mar 21, 2014 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Blythe severely overestimates the world's tolerance for self-loathing middle-aged white guys. By about 300 pages.
Oliver Bateman
A sporadically affecting account of Will Blythe's lifelong "struggle" with his animus toward Duke University and its legendary basketball team. The book is many things: an account of a father-son relationship, a history of a great sports rivalry, a paean to the lost Old South, an account of backup PG Melvin Scott's senior year at UNC, etc. As it turns out, it's way too many things, with great set pieces (Bylthe's biographical sketch of Mike Krzyzewski or his account of his father's death) scatte ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing
When I was little, my father told me that our favorite team was UNC and our second favorite team was the one that beats Duke. I have since embraced this worldview wholeheartedly. At times I have struggled to explain to outsiders why this is and why my family cares so much about it. To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever is a book that CAN explain these emotions, from the title to the final page. This book just gets it. Blythe's writing is funny, candid, and sentimental; his mixture of hatred a ...more
Kathryn Hopper
Apr 01, 2008 Kathryn Hopper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-books
This book really, and I do mean really gets the UNC-Duke rivalry right. I knew author had cred when he correctly knew Coach K's nickname - Satan.

I particularly loved his interview with "Towel Man." It's a great that we live in a country where a guy can get famous simply by only wearing a towel to Duke home games!

Even if you don't like basketball, North Carolina or whining angst-filled fortysomething men (the author), this book is well written and engaging for all types. I related to his reminisc
Nov 22, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. As a Carolina grad a life-long Tar Heel fan, Blythe's words spoke to me. I found myself constantly thinking, "That's EXACTLY how I feel!" But, it's not just a book about a basketball rivalry, it's a story of a great state!
Kind of disappointing as a whole. Jenn's husband is quoted/mentioned in it though, so that was kind of exciting.
Matt Schinsky
Mar 19, 2013 Matt Schinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a big Carolina fan I thought that this book would be a great read. However some aspects of the book were kind of annoying. Blythe goes over the 2005 UNC Basketball season and describes the feuds between the Tar Heel nation and the Dookies. At first I thought that this type of book would be great for showing our hatred towards Dook, but the front cover really didn't express the actuality of how this literature came across. I thought that this was great for people that are a part of this Caroli ...more
Feb 15, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books2011
As a Duke fan, this was an entertaining read for the most part. Although Blythe is a Carolina fan, there's a lot that's shared between UNC fans and Duke fans, and that comes through in the book. In other parts, though, the author comes across as absurd, needlessly angry, self-indulgent. The book starts to drag. And in the end, the book turns into an account of the 2005 Tar Heels' path to the NCAA championship...and I felt sad for the author and UNC fans, because Duke looms over the entire story. ...more
Jun 18, 2007 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one who is not from the South--particularly North Carolina--or who is not involved in an adamant sports love and hate will fully understand this book. They may enjoy it as an anthropological insight, but they don't really get it. As a Duke fan, the UNC love rankled and the Duke bashing irritated--even when it was right. Deeper themes of family and the function of hate give the book a far more philosophic layer than a simple recounting of one college basketball season. Perhaps the complicated ...more
As a Duke fan, I was skeptical as to what I would gain from reading To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever, Will Blythe's pro-UNC tirade of a book. Blythe, a journalist and UNC alum, writes about various Duke-Carolina games, Carolina practices, and other topics that he ties into the Duke-Carolina rivalry. He also was able to interview several UNC players from the early 2000s, which provided me with information I couldn't get elsewhere. I was thoroughly entertained by Blythe's wit throughout th ...more
Nov 26, 2007 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. I liked, but did not love the memoir portions of the book, but the portions about the crazy Duke fans(Crazy Towel Guy) and the crazy Carolina fans(Manhattan Heel) was riviting. I also enjoyed the coverage of Melvin Scott and his family. Scott, a highly touted recruit, did not live up to the high expectations that were put upon him by the media. The author really did a great job explaining how Melvin became an important component in something bigger then himself, and when his team ...more
Aug 08, 2008 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
On the whole, this is one of the better sports books I have read. It's about college basketball, and looks at the experiences of the fans as well as the players. The author does a good job of situating the Carolina-Duke rivalry in a larger context, not just in sports but life in general.

On the plus side, the author's analysis of the Carolina-Duke rivalry taught me a lot about the history and culture of North Carolina. One reason given for the intensity of this rivalry is that the schools represe
May 22, 2007 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only UNC or Duke fans
For anyone who knows me, this is the most suspect 5-star rating that I will ever give a book. That is because of my rather rabid support of, and obsession with, the Carolina basketball team and program.
I don't think that anyone other than Duke or Carolina fans -- OK, OK, I guess we could expand that to say ACC basketball fans -- could really enjoy this book. Yes, I believe that it is well-written and, yes, it does move away from the core controversy/hatred at issue into general discussions of th
Sep 11, 2009 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: North Carolinians
This book made me miss NC. I hate Duke, so this book was too my liking (I wonder if I would have read it if it were written by a dookie). I enjoyed reading about players and coaches as people, because I often forget they are humans just like us. But mostly I enjoyed reading about North Carolina. The stories about the author's dad were the best, becuase he was so proud of his state. I too am proud of NC, but accoridng to the author's dad, I am crazy for living somewhere else.

Even if you arent in
Jul 12, 2007 Kristen rated it it was amazing
This hilarious book was a fun read for a Tar Heel in the Diaspora. If you are a Carolina fan, you are sure to enjoy it. The longer you've been a fan and the more time you've spent in Chapel Hill, you'll like it all the more. I giggled constantly while reading. The stories about his mother, a transplanted yankee-turned-Carolina fan, were priceless. I had been trying to be less hateful towards particular former dookies (love the sinner, hate the sin?) such as J. J. Reddick and Wojo, but this book ...more
This book starts out as funny but eventually is more sad raging about the author's hate of Duke basketball. It seems to be a presentation of the 2005 UNC basketball season mixed with him dealing with his grief and loss of his father who was also obsessed with UNC hoops and hatred of Duke. He explores some psychological angles as to why he hates Duke so much. These are mainly a bit of odd propaganda.

Recommended for die hard fans only. I read this because a friend hoped it would make me a die har
Sep 23, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
I cannot believe someone wrote this book--such a smart and funny and unbelievably accurate look at what it means to be a fan--AND it's actually about college basketball, my chosen sports-related obsession! I love this book. If Will Blythe had written it from the perspective of being a fellow Kentucky Wildcat fan, rather than as a North Carolina Tarhole (kidding!), I would have probably have had to stalk him for his sheer awesomeness. Still though--I got no love for Carolina, but I have to have g ...more
May 18, 2009 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duke-Carolina Rivalry told by Carolina fan. Laugh out loud funny in lots of parts and also poignant when talking about dead father. And he loves North Carolina (the state) as well. Here's a quote I like....

"So as I neared St. Louis, at the edge of the Plains, the beginning of the West, I felt slightly unmoored amidst the expanse of flatness and sky, and homesick for vegetation and slope, the pastel greens of a North Carolina spring complicating the modest hills."

Holly Cline
Feb 21, 2010 Holly Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, sports, nypl
Interesting look into the rivalry. I myself don't HATE another team as much as anyone from Duke or Carolina. I've always been more of a root for my team rather than root against someone else kind of person. But this was a nice look inside of someone that hates with such passion. And loves their own team with such passion (THAT I can relate to). Definitely worth reading for any college basketball fan.
Jan 19, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I wanted to like this book. As a 2-time UNC grad and irrational hater of Duke, I even assumed I would. But instead of an account of how, exactly, I ended up with such an irrational hatred of all things Duke, it was more of a half-baked David Sedaris knock-off about the 2005 NCAA championship season, with some random musings about family and religion thrown in. Not what I was expecting, and very disappointing overall.
This is a fun and engaging look inside the greatest rivalry in all of sports: Duke/North Carolina basketball. I learned a lot and I appreciated that the author took the time to depict the attitudes and passions of fan-fanatics and players/coaches from both sides of the court, even though he admits -- in hilarious fashion -- that he is a hardcore Heels fan (as am I). Let’s face it though: this book is for the diehards of these two teams. If that isn’t you, feel safe in moving on.
Agatha Donkar
I wouldn't recommend this to someone who isn't a Carolina basketball fan, unless you're really, really curious about what goes on in our heads from November to April, but if you are a Carolina fan -- it's an anthem to our insanity, a love song to the things that have made us crazy and gloriously happy all these many, many years.
Oct 01, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a crazy book that wanders all over the terrain of the UNC-"Dook" rivalry. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing. Blythe covers the coaches, the games, the hard-core fans, the customs, and the histories. He also delves into religion, philosophy, family, geography, class, and love of home. A great read if you want to see inside the the disturbing place called fandom.
Dec 04, 2007 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely quick read. The author explains why he loves Carolina, and therefore must hate Duke. He hits the nail on the head of what drives hardcore basketball fans like myself. And it mentions my Illini in passing as well. This would make a great gift for anyone who is a freak about a college team.
May 12, 2008 Kurt rated it liked it
If only the book were about Kansas ... if only Kansas had a rivalry like UNC does with Dook. Still and all, a very readable book on basketball, a rare thing. Blythe kills Feinstein in terms of ability to turn a phrase, and once you cut out all the blah, blah, blah, I miss my dad and North Carolina is a helluva state, the basketball writing is good.
Jun 25, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, this book was like going to a basketball addiction support group! Even though Blythe is a Carolina fan, it was encouraging to find that someone else is as obsessive about basketball as me! (You can ask my friends... I don't make any plans in the month of March!) It's a good book for other reasons, too, I'm sure...
Mar 28, 2008 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-it
Just started a week or so ago...I am halfway through it. I picked this up because I loved "Blue Blood", which is much better than this. Part of his personal story and connection to North Carolina basketball is interesting, but part of it is distracting from the topic that I am most interested in, the Tar Heels, and the guys from Dook. So so. For a Carolina die-hard only.
Mar 11, 2008 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Carolina or Duke devotees
I started this one at the dawn of March Madness 2007 and picked it back up in March 2008. It's probably not going to be an enjoyable read in any large dose for those not already interested in the Duke/Carolina rivalry, but for those of us raised in the midst of that perpetual grudge match it's a must-read.
Jun 12, 2009 Marta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fun. It's extremely locally oriented - I don't think if you haven't lived in Chapel Hill or Durham that you would find it appealing. If you have, and if you like college basketball, you will find it a tremendously entertaining rambling story.
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