cvillewords 11/03/2011

  • Is basketball legend Jerry West’s new autobiography, West by West, the most depressing sports autobiography of all time? Sounds like it from the reviews. Take Dwight Garner‘s review from the New York Times: “How unlikable is Jerry West in ‘West by West’? Let’s count some of the ways.” Which he does, concluding that “This book tastes like a spoonful of coal tar,” and that “It’s like Bob Cousy meets Arthur Rimbaud, this book. West is so hard on himself that a line from Rimbaud does come to mind: ‘I’m now making myself as scummy as I can.’”–Yow.

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2 Responses

  1. The overwhelming response to this book has been very positive. People, people who are not interested in sports at all and it is not a sports book per se anyway, have spoken out about Jerry West’s courage in writing about the things he writes about–childhood abuse and a lifelong battle with depression,among other things.

    The NYT review was far more an ugly, vicious, hideously unfair diatribe than it was any sort of review.

  2. I think the NYT article — not quite a review, is it? — makes the book and West both sound very interesting. I don’t know why we should expect our sports heroes to be all-round wonderful people. BTW, CvilleWords readers might be interested to know that Mr. West will be appearing at the 2012 Festival of the Book at a ticketed event: http://vabook.org/index.html/.

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