An endearing recollection of one man’s long career in basketball.

READ REVIEW

Hittin' the Jumper

A 60-YEAR AFFAIR WITH BASKETBALL

Dowdall recounts a lifetime of amateur basketball in this debut sports memoir.

Born and raised in small-town Montana, Dowdall was the son of a basketball coach who introduced him to the sport in the 1950s, when the author was just 3 years old. So began a lifetime love of the game. Though he never performed at the professional or even collegiate level, Dowdall has consistently played basketball throughout his life and hopes to keep at it for as long as he can: “I have played through many stages of my life, and the circumstances of each necessarily had some impact on my playing. I’ve progressed from being the youngest on the court to the oldest on the court.” This book represents a treasury of stories from Dowdall’s decades of play, from participating in high school games and rec leagues to coaching youth basketball and finally competing in the Over The Hill pickup group. Dowdall not only tracks his own life via his long relationship with the sport, but also charts the rise of basketball as a new American pastime, enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, in games both formal and casual, from elementary school gymnasiums to the White House itself. (Dowdall refers to Barack Obama as “our first basketball president.”) The author is a natural raconteur, and his ability to recall the details of games, locations, people, and rivalries from yesteryear provides a colorful bed of specificity. Though occasionally nap-inducing in that charming way that sports minutiae can often be, many of the stories are quite entertaining and artfully constructed. Dowdall frequently builds them around the other competitors on various teams, their personalities, and career trajectories—from pro players in Belgium to future Democratic nominees for governor—providing a human lens through which to view the sport. One might be incredulous that a memoir by a basketball nobody could be of general interest, but Dowdall represents the perfect Everyman baller, intimate with the sport not at its heights but at its grass roots. Sixty years on, he’s still excited just to be out on the court.

An endearing recollection of one man’s long career in basketball.

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9976902-0-0

Page Count: 469

Publisher: Goosetown Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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