Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins
New York : Atheneum, 1972. First edition. Stated. 307 pages ; 22 cm. $7.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Mustard yellow and brown cover cloth with gilt title at spine. Lean to spine. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
"A total joy. Semi-Tough is moving, informed, falling-down funny. I was happy while I was reading it, sad when I came to the end and envious of all those who get to begin on page one." Bruce Jay Friedman
Giant halfbacks are as rare in American fiction as great white whales.
Let us now welcome such a wonder: Billy Clyde Puckett of the New York Giants, whose genius for making successful forays into an opponent's territory is matched by his roisterous, unfettered ingenuity with the idiom of his country, his home state of Texas, and his profession.
Billy Clyde andhis pals have come to Los Angeles for an epic duel with tha hated Jets in the Super Bowl. Our Mr. Puckett is indeed faced with a dual challenge: not only must he try to run over a bunch of malevolences incarnate, but dlso he has been commissioned by a New York book publisher to keep a journal of the events leading up to, including, and following the game.
Here, then, in the unexpurgated result, discover for yourself a good-bad old boy as he prepares to pass into American folklore, surrounded by a gallery of unforgettables, including:
Marvin (Shake) Tiller, Billy Clyde's lifelong friend and teammate, a split end who runs pass pat¬terns in the manner that Keats composed sonnets, and who, in fact, is touched with a poet's madness; Barbara Jane Bookman, model and confidante, and incidentally the girl with whom almost everybody must fall in love;
Elroy Blunt, country-and-western celebrity and orgiast, among whose biggest hits are "Flip-Top Heart" and "Fm Just a Bug on the Windshield of Life";
T. J. Lambert, a prodigiously flatulent lineman whose primordial attainments might cause anthro-pologists to reassess the cultural level of Cro-Magnon man;
Big Ed Bookman, Barbara Jane's father, an oil tycoon who knows what's wrong with America-minorities.
At once painfully comic and whimsically tender, country-boy shrewd and big-city romantic, Semi-Tough—accent on the eye, if you please— inevitably tells us more than we've ever known about the modern athlete and the game of football, and triumphantly reveals even more about the game of living.
"Funny, irreverent, stylish, and insightful. Dan Jenkins is one of the few who understand that sport is not a religion." Howard Cosell
"The funniest, raunchiest book ever written about football." Robie Macauley of Playboy "A super 'inside' book with the right language, speed, energy and tone. It's brilliant!"
William Price Fox
Dan Jenkins is a native Texan who has been a riter all his life. A former reporter, sports editor, and columnist in his home state, he is now a Senior Editor at Sports Illustrated, and his by-line appears requently in that magazine. He lives in Manhattan ith his wife and three children.
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