For 14 years during the golden age of sports, Paul Gallico was one of America's ace sportswriters. He saw them all - the stars and the hams, the immortals and the phonies in boxing, wrestling, baseball, football, golf, tennis, and every other field of muscular endeavor in which men and women try to break hearts and necks for cash or glory. Then in 1937, at the height of his game (and the height of the payroll), Gallico suddenly and famously called it quits and left the New York Daily News. But before he departed the world of sports, he left his legions of fans one last hurrah: a collection of his best sports essays called, appropriately, Farewell to Sport.
Here, in 26 chapters, every major and minor sport is covered. Included are sketches of Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Tex Rickard, and Jack Sharkey, written in an accessible, conversational style. Often credited with creating "participatory journalism", Gallico would play golf with Bobby Jones, catch Major League pitcher Dizzy Dean's fastball, swim with Johnny Weissmuller, play tennis with Helen Wills, catch passes from quarterback Benny Friedman, and box with Jack Dempsey (he lasted one minute, 37 seconds).
©1937, 1938 Paul Gallico (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"David Stifel brings the perfect voice to this aptly named collection of essays on sports, first published in 1938. Emotions run the gamut from sadness to disgust, and Stifel deftly covers them all." (AudioFile)
Paul Gallico's writing and David Stifel's narration
Paul Gallico's personality.
Paul Gallico was an example of good ol' two-fisted sportswriting. He pulled no punches when expressing any of his opinions and convictions, but in the midst of his muscular writing dwelt the mind of a poet, and when he wanted to he could wax rhapsodic with the best of them. David Stifel's narration jibes perfectly with Gallico's mode of expression, and does expert service to his varied moods and viewpoints. Clear and well paced, one begins by wanting to hear what Gallico had to say, and ends with wanting to hear more of how David Stifel says it. Great listen all around
Paul Gallico is a decent writer, problem is he writes with the attitudes of the 1930's. If you can get past the bigotry and chauvinism and if you really like boxing, then this book is for you. The couple of really good portions of the book are that he makes a point about professionalism seeping into college sports, which proves how long this has been a problem. He also tells a nice Babe Ruth story. Otherwise, it was not for me
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