• Sidecountry

  • Tales of Death and Life from the Back Roads of Sports
  • By: John Branch
  • Narrated by: Charles Constant
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Sidecountry  By  cover art

Sidecountry

By: John Branch
Narrated by: Charles Constant
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times reporter John Branch's riveting, humane pieces about ordinary people doing extraordinary things at the edges of the sporting world have won nearly every major journalism prize. Sidecountry gathers the best of Branch's work, featuring 20 of his favorites from the more than 2,000 pieces he has published in the paper.

Branch is renowned for covering the offbeat in the sporting world, from alligator hunting to wingsuit flying. Sidecountry features such classic Branch pieces as "Snow Fall", about downhill skiers caught in an avalanche in Washington state, and "Dawn Wall", about rock climbers trying to scale Yosemite's famed El Capitan. In other articles, Branch introduces people whose dedication and decency transcend their sporting lives, including a revered football coach rebuilding his tornado-devastated town in Iowa and a girls' basketball team in Tennessee that plays on despite never winning a game. The book culminates with his moving personal pieces, including "Children of the Cube", about the surprising drama of Rubik's Cube competitions as seen through the eyes of Branch's own sports-hating son, and "The Girl in the No. 8 Jersey", about a mother killed in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting whose daughter happens to play on Branch's daughter's soccer team.

©2021 John Branch (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Sidecountry

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Why so repetitive?

The stories are interesting but someone did a lousy job of editing. Why do we have to hear a summation of the same story in each chapter. Cannot finish what could be a much shorter and better book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Repetitive and boring

Mr Branch’s approach to a story is well suited to interest pieces in The NY Times. Accumulated in a single volume, he comes off like a one-trick-pony whose cookie cutter journalistic approach is applied to new topics in an attempt at a refresh. Unfortunately, this poorly edited volume does him no favors, and I found listening to him, and the mediocre reader, a trial of self-satisfied writing read poorly.

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Great title, okay content

It would have been nice if the serial pieces had been re-edited to reduce the redundant. Also, few of the stories- while interesting, live up to the suspense suggested by the Side Country title.

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The book title is more exciting than the content

Overall I enjoyed the book but the content isn't as exciting as the title and cover picture suggest. The bowling story will stay with you forever!