The Throwback Special is the story of 22 ordinary guys who gather each fall to reenact what ESPN has called "the most shocking play in NFL history": the November 1985 play in which Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins had his leg horribly broken by Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. (The play was known by the Redskins as "the Throwback Special".) Over the course of a weekend, we follow the men as they choose roles; spend a long night of the soul revealing their secret hopes, fears, and passions as they prepare for the game; and finally enact their strange and yet oh, so American ritual for what may be the last time.
With his trademark "microfine sense of humor and tragic sense of history" (Michael Chabon), Chris Bachelder fills his moving and very funny tale with pitch-perfect observations about manhood, marriage, and middle age.
"What a brilliant book." (Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang)
"A comic meditation about marriage, ritual, friendship, parenthood, aging, and unlikely obsessions. This is a funny, insightful, and surprisingly poignant book." (Julie Schumacher, best-selling author of Dear Committee Members)
"A hilarious literary novel about our least hilarious - and least literary - national pastime. No one who reads it will ever be able to think about football, Joe Theismann, Lawrence Taylor, or indeed the male psyche in quite the same way again." (Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives)
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Definitely appeals to me as a middle-aged male.
Very funny in several unexpected ways. Definitely appeals to me as a middle-aged male. I loved how all the men whose heads we got inside were all weak in some way and never told each other certain things about themselves which actually could have brought some of them closer together (e.g., the 3 men who went out to smoke their customary cigarette, even though all 3 had quit, but were embarrassed or ashamed to tell the others).
Not sure. I don't normally listen to sports-themed books and I don't read (or listen to) enough short stories to be familiar with stories where the main characters are all pretty much the same at the end of the story as the beginning. Not sure who to compare the humor to, either. Carl Hiassen, maybe (sans the super-crazy characters).
After all the build-up, I really like the depiction of the climactic scene!
Yes, although I couldn't. I did manage to listen to it all over about 2 days.
Very funny. Loved the reader and also the writing. Will probably examine other works by both.
- David Andrew Levy
Not the least bit interested