Pistol

  • by Mark Kriegel
  • Narrated by Lloyd James
  • 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Pistol is more than the biography of a ballplayer. It's the stuff of classic novels: the story of a boy transformed by his father's dream and the cost of that dream. Even as Pete Maravich became Pistol Pete, a basketball icon for baby boomers, all the Maraviches paid a price. Now acclaimed author Mark Kriegel has brilliantly captured the saga of an American family: its rise, its apparent ruin, and, finally, its redemption. Almost four decades have passed since Maravich entered the national consciousness as basketball's boy wizard. No one had ever played the game like the kid with the floppy socks and shaggy hair. And all these years later, no one else ever has. The idea of Pistol Pete continues to resonate with young people today just as powerfully as it did with their fathers. In averaging 44.2 points a game at Louisiana State University, he established records that will never be broken. But even more enduring than the numbers was the sense of ecstasy and artistry with which he played. With the ball in his hands, Maravich had a singular power to inspire awe, inflict embarrassment, or even tell a joke. But he wasn't merely a mesmerizing showman. He was basketball's answer to Elvis, a white Southerner who sold Middle America on a black man's game. Like Elvis, he paid a terrible price, becoming a prisoner of his own fame. Set largely in the South, Kriegel's Pistol - a tale of obsession and basketball, fathers and sons - merges several archetypal characters. Maravich was a child prodigy, a prodigal son, his father's ransom in a Faustian bargain, and a Great White Hope. But he was also a creature of contradictions: always the outsider but a virtuoso in a team sport, an exuberant showman who wouldn't look you in the eye, a vegetarian boozer, an athlete who lived like a rock star, a suicidal genius saved by Jesus Christ.

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What the Critics Say

"A delightfully written biography....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"What Pistol Pete was to the no-look, 50-foot bounce pass, Kriegel may be to the sports biography: transcendent." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Extremely Good!

I don’t know why exactly but I absolutely love hearing about the story of Pistol Pete. Maybe it’s just because I am fascinated with the whole child prodigy thing but in any event, I just love this story and could listen to stories about Pistol Pete all day.

With that said, I found that this book takes way too long to get into the story. Slow start. But by the second chapter, this gets great and by the end, it's amazing. I really loved how the author sprinkles in the history of basketball throughout the book and especially enjoyed hearing about Pete’s father and his beginnings as a player and coach. And the last hour about Pete's children is also very good.

Two thumbs up and if I had more hands, I'd give it more thumbs!
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- steve

Surprising Details

I always ratet the book and the reader/production since there are some readers and some productions that can ruin the book as an audiobook. This reader was fine and there was not a lot of unnecessary music etc. in the production. As for the book, very good for a sports biography that pretty much sticks to the details of its subject and does not try to expand the story with too many details about places, historical context, etc. I had no idea what a troubled home life the Maravich family had, or that Press Maravich was such a respected BB coach, one of Wooden's inner circle even. It also does a good job of explaining that Pete's NBA career did have its high points but why his unbelievable skills did not always translate to NBA superstardom. Interesting book.
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- Danny D.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-25-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio