THE HANDOFF by John Tournour

THE HANDOFF

A Powerful Memoir of Two Guys, Sports, and Friendship

KIRKUS REVIEW

Sports talk radio show host Tournour recalls his employer, their friendship and what they learned about life together.

For many people, "JT the Brick" is to sports what Edward R. Murrow was to World War II; legions of fans tune in to his radio shows for discussions of all the latest news. After walking away from a safe job in the financial industry, Tournour built a radio career from scratch with help from a Miami program director named Andrew Ashwood, and the two men became friends as well as business partners. Their relationship went through the peaks and valleys that most longtime friends endure, including miscommunications and oversights that led to hurt feelings, as they weathered changes in the business they both attended to with devotion, overcoming the competition over and over again. When Ashwood was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he turned to Tournour for support, and the bond between them took on a new level of strength. “The Handoff” of the title refers to the lessons—about living, work, mortality—that Tournour gleaned from being at Ashwood’s side throughout his chemotherapy treatments. The book at first seems like another overly self-aggrandizing, look-at-how-I-conquered sports memoir, but as it shifts into an exploration of the men's friendship, and then into a frank portrait of grief and loss, the bravado and machismo of the early chapters is put through the wringer. The lessons, previewed in chapter titles like “Don’t Back Down,” transcend pep-talk cliché and carry genuine weight. Ashwood's and Tournour's stories combine here in a way that lifts the book above others in its genre.

A memorable meditation likely to resonate deeply with sports fans everywhere.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2790-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Center Street/Hachette
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2013




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