Book recommendation:

I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite books, George Plimpton‘s Paper Lion. It catalogs his amateur attempt, as a 36 year-old journalist, to play professional football. (I won’t tell you how that turns out, though you can find out if you read the Wikipedia page.)

Now, this may not sound like that interesting of a subject to you if you aren’t a sports fan, and I admit that my enjoyment of it is to some extent personal. I was never very good at sports, and the book captures very well the feeling of trying to play an athletic game that you really aren’t suited to very well against many people who are very good at it indeed. So, if you were good at sports, it might not be as funny to read.

But what really makes the book enjoyable for me is this: Plimpton had a remarkable gift for writing memorable endings to chapters that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen matched by any other writer. I can easily remember the closing sentence of most of the book’s chapters, and they’re all quite witty and often even insightful. (I won’t give examples; wouldn’t want to spoil it.)

And also, it’s good to read in this relatively bare time of year for sports.

1 Comment

What's your stake in this, cowboy?