The Cost of These Dreams

Sports Stories and Other Serious Business
Narrated by: Wright Thompson
Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of America's most beloved sportswriters, a collection of true stories about the dream of greatness and its cost in the world of sports.

"Wright Thompson's stories are so full of rich characters, bad actors, heroes, drama, suffering, courage, conflict, and vivid detail that I sometimes thinks he's working my side of the street - the world of fiction." (John Grisham) 

There is only one Wright Thompson. He is, as they say, famous if you know who he is: his work includes the most-read articles in the history of ESPN (and it's not even close) and has been anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing series ten times, and he counts John Grisham and Richard Ford among his ardent admirers. But to say his pieces are about sports, while true as far as it goes, is like saying Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is a book about a cattle drive. 

Wright Thompson figures people out. He jimmies the lock to the furnaces inside the people he profiles and does an analysis of the fuel that fires their ambition. Whether it be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Pat Riley or Urban Meyer, he strips the away the self-serving myths and fantasies to reveal his characters in full. There are fascinating common denominators: it may not be the case that every single great performer or coach had a complex relationship with his father, but it can sure seem that way. And there is much marvelous local knowledge: about specific sports, and times and places, and people. 

Ludicrously entertaining and often powerfully moving, The Cost of These Dreams is an ode to the reporter's art, and a celebration of true greatness and the high price that it exacts.

©2019 Wright Thompson (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Cost of These Dreams

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Just great

Wright Thompson is a great sportswriter, but the themes covered in these pieces go beyond sports. He asks what is the price of pursuing greatness for the people who have achieved it, been close to it, or fell short. Great stories about humanity, mortality, and the way we choose to live our lives.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully written.

I grew up knowing Wright Thompson and his family as we are from the same hometown. The last story about Augusta got to me as I just lost my dad and he loved The Master’s. Wonderful all around. Look forward to more books by you Wright!

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06/2020 Tough Times!!

It’s a book I needed & didn’t know it! Wow!! Thank you Wright! You captured their voices...and yours!

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Good book but a bit repetitive.

I enjoyed the book I specifically enjoyed the obvious work that was put into finding all of the information. However; after a time the stories began to run together and sound the same. Each of them seem to be the same story with different characters.

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Captivating

Awesome book that captures the thoughts of great athletes and describes nuanced stories with great detail. Wright narrating takes it to another level.

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A great read!

I loved this book and I will reread it many times. Had me in tears in moments and laughing in others. You hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about these legends of sport and leave with a better understanding of their humanity! I recommend to anybody sports fan or not.. there’s something for you in this book.

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Brilliant

Wright Thompson brings to light the high price of greatness. Great job humanizing figures we have all regarded as deity for so long.

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First not great review

I found three chapters interesting. I like learning about Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods and the narrator did a good job exploring his journey searching for a washed up fighter who allegedly thought Muhamed Ali. However the rest of the book was quite boring. The speakers voice wasn’t exactly enjoyable. I am sure he’s a fantastic person. I thoroughly enjoyed him talking about bringing home his firstborn child. Some people are writers. Some have a great voice and a few have both. Maybe for the next book the author could have someone else do the voiceover. Everything is a process. Three of the chapters were fantastic. But it did leave something to be desired.

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One of the greatest writers of our generation.

Reading anything done by Wright Thompson is a treat. You can be sure that any story will be given an attention to detail that few can replicate. In this collection of stories, there were some on the surface I thought I would care nothing about. But upon giving a listen, I found myself immersed into a world of complexity, nuance and intrigue. I plan on listening through a 2nd time at some point.

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One of the great writers of our time.

Wright Thompson is my favorite writer. He doesn’t write articles often, but when he does I make sure to read them. He is not your typical sports writer. He doesn’t do Twitter or have “hot takes”. He transports you to time and place. Moments in people’s lives that seem to matter most. In this book he seems to normalize the biggest of titans in sport. He takes you into the lives of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi and others. He shows you what makes them tick, what drives them. While also uncovering scars and flaws which make them seem human like you and me. He also tells stories of people I’ve never heard of previously like Chris rose, a writer from New Orleans and Tony Harris, a basketball prodigy from Washington state. His last chapter devoted to his father and future son(or daughter) will inevitably give you all the feels. I could not recommend this book enough.